By Ross Cheeseright


Standards across the weed control industry are tightening. We dive deep into why this is vital for businesses working with weed control chemicals and why it is now a legal obligation to hold key accreditations.

There are several organisations that have been pivotal in setting standards for the use of chemical herbicides and pesticides; the most prominent being BASIS – a charitable organisation established by the pesticide industry in 1978. Its aim was to develop standards for the safe storage and transport of agricultural and horticultural pesticides and to provide a recognised means of assessing the competence of staff working in the sector.

The BASIS website lists these core functions:

  • Manages the Professional Registers for qualified pesticide and fertiliser advisers and for public health pest control professionals
  • Operates the BASIS Advanced Contractor Certification Scheme (BACCS) and the new Amenity Assured standard to raise and maintain good practice standards in the amenity and industrial pesticide sectors
  • Provides a forum for industry trade associations and other stakeholders to discuss how professional standards can be maintained, improved and promoted
  • Works closely with industry, the regulatory authorities and government to promote and develop professional standards

BASIS Amenity Assured Scheme

The BASIS Amenity Assured Scheme sets a benchmark of best practice methods for weed, pest and disease controls in Amenity situations. Companies which achieve the Amenity Assured Scheme demonstrate that their operating methods meet the compliance criteria for achievement of weed, pest and disease control through a variety of integrated approaches. The methods respect and incorporate high regard for the safety of the public, the environment, water protection and cost-effective programmes of work.

The Scheme Standard is defined by BASIS in conjunction with the Amenity Forum, City & Guilds Land Based Services (NPTC) and the National Association of Agricultural Contractors. The Amenity Assured Scheme is operated by BASIS and is recognised by the Chemicals Regulation Division which has responsibility for the implementation and control of UK pesticides legislation.

The Amenity Standard

The Amenity Standard is a significant UK wide development designed to reassure the public of the safety and effectiveness of methods used for weed, pest, and disease management. The standard was brought about from concerns raised by increasing publicity around use of herbicide treatments. The public needed assurance that safety controls were in place for both chemicals and operatives.

Amenity Forum

Being the industry-led body for the amenity sector, the Amenity Forum is a voluntary initiative for the promotion of “best practice” principles within the amenity sector when using pesticides such as herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, algaecides and other products to control pests and diseases in this diverse sector.

Membership of the Amenity Forum is open to individuals and organisations involved in weed and pest control in the sector who demonstrate a voluntary commitment to drive up standards and promote best practice. The Forum is a membership organisation relying on subscriptions to fund its activities as the voice for the sector. Every member has an equal vote where decisions are required.

So what does this mean?

These universally recognised standards are vital to any business wanting to provide reassurance of quality and professionalism to prospective clients. The new National Action Plan for the Sustainable Use of Pesticides (NAP) wants every company that uses herbicides to be registered with Amenity Standards and Amenity Forum, which is also backed by DEFRA and is a legal obligation. Anyone who employs a company that uses herbicides will be required to have the Amenity regulated standards. So, in a nutshell, this means that companies that do not comply with these standards may not be able to secure contracts for herbicide treatments in the future.

Our Specialist Advisory Manager Darren Greatbatch says:

“To be Accredited with the Amenity Assured and Amenity Standard is proof to the industry and to our clients that we adhere to “Best Practice” and uphold the highest of standards, coupled with membership of the Amenity forum this give Japanese Knotweed Ltd a voice within the industry and a standing of being an approved and accredited contractor, The Amenity standard is, in my opinion, the “Rolls Royce” standard.”

If you’d like further advice please contact Japanese Knotweed Ltd or email