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Building Sustainable School IPM Inside and Out: Developing and Implementing Standardized Training Materials and IPM Proficiency Exams for Certification

2014 Grantee: University of Arizona
Funding Awarded: $250,000
Fact Sheet PDF (1 pp, 187k, about PDF)


The University of Arizona will promote safer pest management practices in schools by creating a national training and certification program on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for pesticide applicators and key school staff serving 1.8 million students. This project will reduce pest complaints as well as reduce pesticide use and risk. This project will leverage the national school IPM consortia, including professionals from land-grant universities, non-governmental organizations and school districts to create a sustainable mechanism to increase the IPM proficiency of pesticide applicators, administrators, facility managers, custodians, teachers, food service, maintenance, school health and grounds management staff.

The effort follows the StopPest.org curriculum that is used nationally to train managers and residents of affordable housing to implement IPM. The success of this standardized curriculum taught by a growing team of instructors demonstrates the value of a national curriculum and training effort. The resources developed will provide the same benefits to public, tribal, and private schools.

EPA recommends the use of IPM in schools as the standard for pest control and promotes its adoption through outreach, demonstration, technical support, and grants. Through this project, EPA is meeting the need for: training, a standard certification program, and outreach to surrounding schools to promote widespread adoption.


To increase adoption of IPM in public and tribal schools, impacting 1.8 million students, by implementing a comprehensive, national training and certification program for pesticide applicators and school staff in other key roles.

Programs & Activities

Information Gathering and Knowledge Transfer: Development workshop for the principal investigators and stakeholders to finalize performance objectives, training curricula, and certifications/certificate mechanics.

Training & Certifications: Standardized curricula developed to train individuals in each key school IPM role, detailed and comprehensive performance objectives for each key school IPM role, and a sustainable program offering IPM certification and certificates for each key role developed. Pilot training and a train-the-trainer workshop will be offered.

Outreach: Training materials and the certification program will be promoted through a variety of stakeholders and websites to reach out to schools and pest management professionals.

Desired Outcomes

  • A minimum of 1,200 individuals with increased knowledge and ability to competently perform IPM roles
  • A minimum of 1.8 million students and 60,000 non-teaching staff in 200 districts and eight states (including Arizona, Washington, Colorado, Oregon, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Nebraska) benefiting from improved IPM programs
  • A sustainable consortium of professionals to maintain, promote, implement, evaluate and continuously improve the program

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