(1) An individual applying for a commercial, public utility, governmental, or noncommercial applicator's license shall be required to pass a written examination prior to issuance of a license.
(a) Examinations may be taken at the department's Helena office or the applicant may make arrangements for examination at other locations in the state or in other states at the convenience and approval of the department.
(b) Any individual applying for a license shall meet the general and specific competency standards of ARM 4.10.204 and 4.10.205.
(c) The competency of applicants shall be determined by their knowledge and passage of written examinations on the subjects set forth in the department's designated manuals for applicators, including revisions, and any other manual, guide, or materials as designated by the department. Examination questions will be derived from these manuals and their degree of difficulty will be based upon the degree of importance established by the department for the various subject areas. (d) The department may accept the applicant's examination scores from other states if the examination or examinations are equivalent to the department's examination. However, all other standards and requirements of the department must be met by the applicant. All out-of-state applicators will be required to take and pass an examination based on the Montana Pesticide Act and these rules. The scores required are set forth in (3).
(2) An applicator's examination must consist of:
(a) a core examination consisting of, but not limited to, questions based on pesticide laws, rules, regulations, definitions, labeling, safety, toxicology, effects on animals, plants, and the environment, safety equipment, first aid, and alternatives to chemicals.
(b) a specific examination or examinations consisting of, but not limited to, questions based on the pests to be controlled, various control methods, pesticides utilized, environmental and safety considerations, pesticide formulations, and equipment calibration and maintenance, in the specific classification or classifications the applicator chooses for certification.
(3) The minimum passing score for applicants shall be:
(a) 80% for the core pesticide examination, and 80% for each respective specific examination required.
(b) Applicators licensed prior to April 30, 2010 who did not receive a score of 80% or higher on their core pesticide examination and/or specific classification examinations must retest or have obtained 12 hours of recertification training approved by the department before April 30, 2011.
(4) An applicant not receiving a passing score on one or more of the examinations shall be required to retake and pass the failed examination(s) prior to issuance of a license. The applicant taking more than one specific examination may elect to be certified only for the specific examination(s) passed if the applicant has passed the core pesticide examination, and at least one specific examination.
(a) Applicants failing the core pesticide examination or any other examination the first time shall not be allowed to retake the examination(s) for seven days after notification of failure. Applicants failing the examination(s) a second time may retake the examination(s) 15 days after notification. Applicants failing the examination(s) a third time shall not be allowed to retake the examination(s) until the next licensing period beginning January 1 of the next year. Reexamination may be taken at the department's Helena office or the applicant may make arrangements for reexamination at other locations in the state or in other states at the convenience and approval of the department.
(5) Applicators shall be required to requalify for licensing prior to every fifth licensing period.
(a) The department has a staggered four-year requalification time period designated by applicator classification and subclassification. Applicator classifications must requalify by December 31 of the year designated by the department. Thereafter the qualification period extends from January 1 through December 31 of the next four
(b) Applicator requalification must be accomplished by either passing the complete examination series or by attending 12 hours of training approved by the department. Courses must be either six, five, four, three, or two hours. An applicator requalifying for certification by attending pesticide training courses must have written verification of his/her attendance.
(6) The department retains the right to approve or disapprove training courses relative to meeting the qualifications for recertification. Training course sponsors must petition the department for approval of their courses at least 30 days prior to being held. The petition must include dates, time, location, projected attendance, speakers, and a synopsis of their presentations.
(7) The department may require applicators to pass an examination during any certification period on new pesticide technology which applies to the applicator's classification.