Evaluation of Commercial Greenhouse Pesticide Applicator Continuing Education Courses

Linda Naeve, P&S, Entomology


Certified commercial pesticide applicators are required to attend annual recertification programs or retake and pass the exam every three years in order to maintain their certification to apply restricted use pesticides. Applicators attending these programs have a wide range of educational backgrounds and experience. As a result, it is difficult to make these programs educational, informative and non-repetitious for participants as well as make an impact on their pesticide practices and determine the most effective delivery method.


To develop and administer an evaluation tool to determine the educational value, usefulness, and preferred delivery method of the commercial greenhouse pesticide applicators recertification training.


Fifty certified commercial greenhouse and ornamental pesticide applicators completed a one-page evaluation after they attended a live continuing instruction course (CC) last fall. Fifty participants completed the evaluation after viewing a videotape of the program. 


The individual behavioral changes of the 100 applicators who completed the evaluations were measured through a Retrospective Pretest as described by Rockwell and Kohn (1989 Journal of Extension; vol. 27, no.2) which leads to credible indications of program impact and behavioral change. This evaluation showed that base-line knowledge of participants on the topics covered was moderately knowledgeable ranging from 2 to 4 (on a 1 - 5 scale; 1 = little knowledge to 5 = very knowledgeable). After the CIC, the average knowledge gained among 57% of the participants increased at least one level.  Applicators ranked the usefulness of the live programs an average of 4.3 (on a scale of 1 5, 1 = not useful, 5 = very useful), while applicators viewing videotaped programs ranked its usefulness at 4.0. As a result of attending a CIC program in 2004, 45% of the respondents at the live presentation said that they increased their use of respirator equipment in 2005 as compared to 32% of those watching videotapes. 36% of the respondents in the live presentations (29% of those who watched videotapes) updated the respirator equipment that they used. The evaluation results showed that those attending live presentations were slightly more likely to implement pesticide safety techniques and found the program more useful than those who viewed the videotaped program. This difference influenced the decision to increase the number of live continuing instruction courses for certified commercial greenhouse and ornamental pesticide applicators offered throughout the state.

September 2006

142 - Integrated Pest and Crop Management

Page last updated: October 4, 2006
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