(1) The department shall issue a pest control operator’s certificate to each individual who qualifies under this chapter. Before issuance of an original certificate, an individual must complete an application for examination, pay the examination fee required under s. 482.141, and pass the examination. Before engaging in pest control work, each certified operator must be certified as provided in this section.
(2)(a) The department shall issue pest control operator’s certificates in several categories, including fumigation, general household pest control, lawn and ornamental pest control, and termites and other wood-destroying organisms pest control.
(b) The specific scope of work (or job scope) for individuals in each category established under paragraph (a) must be pursuant to the definitions set forth in this chapter. Individuals certified in a particular category, or individuals operating pursuant to the authority of a certified individual, may not perform operations outside that category’s job scope if such operations are within the job scope of another category, unless the individual is certified in that category or unless otherwise provided in this chapter.
(3) Annually, on or before an anniversary date set by the department, an individual so issued a pest control operator’s certificate must apply to the department on a form prescribed by the department for renewal of such certificate. After a grace period not exceeding 30 calendar days following such renewal date, a late renewal charge of $50 shall be assessed and must be paid in addition to the renewal fee.
(4) Unless timely renewed, a certificate automatically expires 180 calendar days after the anniversary renewal date. Subsequent to such expiration, a certificate may be issued only upon successful reexamination and upon payment of the examination and issuance fees due.
(5) Each certified operator in charge at a licensed business location shall display her or his certificate and current renewal receipt at the business location in her or his charge.
(6)(a) Each location of each licensed pest control business must have a certified operator in charge who is certified for the particular category of pest control engaged in at that location. A certified operator in charge must be registered with the department pursuant to rules adopted pursuant to this section. A certified operator in charge may be in charge of one or more of all categories if she or he is certified for those categories.
(b) A person may not be in charge of the performance of pest control activities of any category of a licensee unless she or he is certified for that category.
(c) A certified operator may not be in charge of the performance of pest control activities at more than one business location for a licensee; however, the department shall prescribe by rule that, during the temporary absence of the certified operator currently registered in charge of a licensed business location, the licensee may, for a period not exceeding 30 days, designate another certified operator, certified in the same categories as the certified operator in charge, to be in charge of and responsible for performing those duties requiring the physical presence of a certified operator in charge. In any such case, the certified operator designated temporarily in charge and the licensee are jointly responsible for the pest control work performed and for compliance with other provisions of this chapter and of the rules adopted pursuant to this chapter.
(7) The fee for the renewal of a certificate shall be set by the department but may not be more than $150 or less than $75; however, until rules setting these fees are adopted by the department, the issuance fee and the renewal fee shall each be $75.
(8) A pest control operator’s certificate is not transferable to another person.
(9) In the event of the loss of a certified operator in charge or other emergency, one or more emergency pest control certificates may be issued by the department, upon the request of the licensee, to one or more designated identification cardholders for a period of 30 days. The department may issue additional emergency certificates to one or more designated identification cardholders for periods not exceeding 30 days, for up to a maximum of 1 year. The sum of the periods for which emergency certificates are issued to the same licensee may not exceed 1 year during any 3-year period except in the event of the death of a certified operator in charge, in which case, additional emergency certificates may be issued for an extension of up to 120 days. The department shall collect $50 for each emergency certificate issued. Upon request by the department, the licensee shall submit interim reports at 30-day intervals containing documented evidence indicating specific actions being taken by the licensee to fill the vacancy created by the loss of a certified operator in charge. The department shall adopt rules and prescribe forms for this purpose; however, an emergency certificate may not be issued in the category of fumigation.
(10) Prior to the expiration date of a certificate, the certificateholder must complete 2 hours of approved continuing education on legislation, safety, pesticide labeling, and integrated pest management and 2 hours of approved continuing education in each category of her or his certificate or must pass an examination given by the department. The department may not renew a certificate if the continuing education or examination requirement is not met. (a) Courses or programs, to be considered for credit, must include one or more of the following topics:
1. The law and rules of this state pertaining to pest control.
2. Precautions necessary to safeguard life, health, and property in the conducting of pest control and the application of pesticides.
3. Pests, their habits, recognition of the damage they cause, and identification of them by accepted common name.
4. Current accepted industry practices in the conducting of fumigation, termites and other wood-destroying organisms pest control, lawn and ornamental pest control, and household pest control.
5. How to read labels, a review of current state and federal laws on labeling, and a review of changes in or additions to labels used in pest control.
6. Integrated pest management.
(b) The certificateholder must submit with her or his application for renewal a statement certifying that she or he has completed the required number of hours of continuing education. The statement must be on a form prescribed by the department and must identify at least the date, location, provider, and subject of the training and must provide such other information as required by the department.
(c) The department shall charge the same fee for examination as provided in s. 482.141(2).
(11) When a certified operator becomes a member of the Armed Forces of the United States on active duty, the renewal fee and continuing education requirements are waived while the individual remains on active duty as a member of the armed forces. If the individual is designated as the certified operator in charge and no other certified operator is available to be placed in charge, an emergency certificate may be granted without a time or fee requirement until the certified operator is no longer on active duty.