Iowa Dept. of Ag, Land Stewardship pilot online commercial pesticide applicator testing

Iowa State University Extension
Farm Forum

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig recently announced that the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is pilot testing a program that allows commercial pesticide applicators to complete some of their annual testing requirements online during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is yet another example of how the department is using technology and making testing accommodations to help pesticide applicators obtain or renew their certifications to ensure safe and effective applications and the continuity of business during the pandemic,” Naig said. “This new platform gives commercial pesticide applicators the flexibility to take the exam from their homes or offices given the current public health guidelines.”

Commercial applicators are required to take the same test and meet the same standards, regardless of whether they take it online or in-person. Commercial pesticide applicators can create an account to take the online exam at data.iowaagriculture.gov/pest_signup/#online. The online exams are monitored, recorded and reviewed by a third-party proctoring service. A web camera, high-speed internet connection and government-issued photo ID card are required for online testing. There is a $25 fee for each commercial pesticide applicator test completed online, payable directly to the third-party online testing service.

Pesticide applicators will receive a preliminary pass/fail test result as soon as they complete the online exam; these preliminary results cannot be used to apply for pesticide applicator certification. The third-party proctoring service will certify the test results and send the final scores to the email address used to register for the exam. Feedback on test results is only available at in-person testing sites and will not be provided for online exams.

For information about the commercial pesticide applicator online exam, visit data.iowaagriculture.gov/pest_signup/#online.

Private applicator online testing

Private pesticide applicators who want to obtain or renew their certifications can register to take the private certification exam online at iowaagriculture.force.com/pesticideapplicator/s/login/.

In-person testing options

In-person testing is available for both commercial and private pesticide applicators at college test centers and Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s test sites. A complete list of testing sites is available at iowaagriculture.gov/pesticide-bureau/applicator-licensing-certification. Individuals are expected to follow social distancing guidelines while taking in-person exams. Pre-registration is required and applicators can sign-up at data.iowaagriculture.gov/pest_signup/.

Apply for pesticide applicator licenses online

Once applicants pass the online or in-person exam, they will use their certification number to login to the department’s pesticide self-service portal to submit their application, test results and payment. Once the application, payment, training and testing information are received and processed by the Pesticide Bureau, the licenses and certifications will be sent directly to the applicants.

For more information, contact the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s Pesticide Bureau at (515) 281-8591 or pesticides@iowaagriculture.gov.