Frequently Asked Questions
- How can I get Green Shield Certified?
- What types of certification are available?
- How does the certification process work?
- How much does the certification process cost?
- How long does the certification process take?
- Can more than one location be included under one certification?
- How do I best prepare for a successful certification process?
- What pesticides are allowed under Green Shield Certification?
- Why choose Green Shield Certified?
- How do I find a Green Shield Certified service?
- Is the certification process confidential?
- Who performs the evaluation?
- General information on Green Shield Certified
These are the steps to become certified:
You can find a list of our fees here (PDF).
- Contact us – Schedule an initial evaluation conducted at your office, plus a minimum of one customer site visit.
- On-site evaluation – An approved IPM professional will visit you and audit your business against our standards.
- Interim evaluation report – Receive a set of detailed, confidential interim evaluation reports that summarize the results of your evaluation.
- Identify required improvements – The reports list any changes that need to be made to complete certification.
- Address required improvements – Submit the relevant documentation to us for review.
- Certification – Once all improvements are made, receive your certificate and final report.
- Promotion – Use our marketing toolkit to promote your certification to customers.
- Renew – Complete our annual renewal form each year. An on-site re-evaluation is required only every three years.
Certification is currently available for:
Pest management providers who certify their entire business, making all of their services Green Shield Certified.
Pest management providers who certify an individual service. Providers who choose this option may also offer conventional, non-certified services.
Buildings. Certification is available for single buildings, multiple buildings and campuses.
Structural pest management programs. Certification is also available for IPM programs not tied to a specific set of buildings or locations, such as a regional or area-wide pest management program under the control of a program manager, a government entity or a private firm.
Green Shield Certified evaluates and certifies facilities, pest management providers and programs. Certification requires a full-day, on-site evaluation of the facility or pest management provider. During the evaluation, an IPM specialist inspects the facility or pest management provider’s IPM practices and protocols, IPM training, pesticide product list, business practices and records to determine if they meet Green Shield Certified standards. For pest management providers, this inspection also includes an on-site account visit to observe technicians' IPM practices in the field. Pest management providers can choose to certify their entire business or a single service. Certification must be renewed annually, with an on-site re-evaluation required every three years.
After the evaluation, the pest management provider or facility will receive a detailed, confidential interim report which summarizes the results of the evaluation, including any areas that require improvement. Green Shield Certified will work with the pest management provider or facility to ensure that all improvements are satisfactorily addressed. Certification is awarded once all minimum requirements and a score of at least 80% has been attained. Please read the evaluation standards form to see what is required and what score opportunities are offered. After certification participants can start to promote their achievement.
For pest management providers: The annual fee for certification starts at $500 per year and may run up to $2,000 per year as the size of the certified service operation increases. For the initial pest management provider evaluation and each re-evaluation we charge a fee of $1,000 plus the cost of travel. Travel estimates will be provided upon request.
For pest management providers with six or more locations managed centrally (including central technical direction, service protocol development, product selection, staff training and quality assurance), a custom proposal will include on-site evaluation of at least 20% of all locations. Costs will include travel to each location. For multiple locations managed independently, a separate evaluation and certification is required.
For facilities: Annual certification fees start at $500 per year depending on the size and number of facilities certified. A fee of $1,500 plus travel costs is required for facility evaluations of 1-5 buildings, with additional fees for larger numbers of buildings. Please see the Green Shield Certified certification requirements and pricing document for details. Travel estimates will be provided upon request.
For programs: Program costs for certification are $500 per year and $1,500 plus travel costs for the evaluation.
Renewals: To maintain both certifications, a brief annual update form must be returned each year, with an on-site re-evaluation (and fee) required every three years.
See our fee schedule for more information on costs for pest management providers, facilities and programs with one or more locations.
The time to complete the certification process can vary greatly and usually depends on several factors:
- How well the pest management provider or facility has prepared for the evaluation.
- How closely the pest management provider or facility's practices match Green Shield Certified standards.
- How quickly the pest management provider or facility can work to address necessary improvements.
The process from the initial evaluation, to receiving interim reports, to final certification can fall anywhere from six weeks to six months plus, with an average at about four months.
Yes, provided that each location is managed directly from a central location (i.e. central technical direction, service protocol development, product selection, staff training and quality assurance). See our certification and evaluation guidelines for additional details and restrictions.
1. Review the standards: View or download the Green Shield Certified standards online. We highly recommend conducting a self-evaluation by comparing your practices to the standards before scheduling an evaluation. Feel free to call 1 888 GRN SHLD (1-888-457-7353) or email for more information about certification.
2. Schedule your evaluation: Call 1 888 GRN SHLD (1-888-457-7353) or email us.
3. Prepare for the evaluation: To greatly improve the efficiency of the evaluation process, both pest management providers and facilities will need to prepare the required items (page 19 of the pest management provider standards, page 21 of the facility standards) before the evaluation. Pest management providers must also schedule the required one to two customer site visits in advance.
Less-toxic pesticides: In general, Green Shield Certified prohibits use of pesticides identified as known or possible carcinogens, reproductive or developmental toxins, cholinesterase inhibitors, endocrine disruptors, neurotoxins or that have high acute toxicity (e.g., "Warning" or "Danger" labeled products). For a complete list of criteria as well as standing exceptions, see page 11 of the Green Shield Certified standards.
Reduced exposure applications: Approved products may only be applied per the reduced-exposure application methods cited on page 9 and 10 of the evaluations standards form. In general, approved application methods include residual-active pesticides to non-exposed surfaces, e.g., crack and crevice applications or bait stations. Fogging and regularly-scheduled (e.g., weekly or monthly) applications are not allowed.
Sample product list: Green Shield Certified does not offer a public list of approved products. Instead, we review the products you're currently using during your evaluation, and in your interim report, we provide a sample approved product list for your adoption with recommendations on effective alternatives. For assistance with developing an approved product list, please contact Green Shield Certified at 1 888 GRN SHLD (1-888-457-7353) or via email.
Green Shield certified businesses find that it makes their operations more efficient and consistent for providing effective, prevention-based pest control.
Certification is also an easy, credible way to communicate the benefits of your service to environmentally conscientious customers who seek a reduced-risk solution to prevent harm to their homes, families, pets and communities.
It helps customers to identify dedicated companies that are leaders in green pest management practices and who consider the least hazardous option in every decision.
In addition, Green Shield Certified focuses on:
- Effective pest control through IPM: Green Shield Certified services offer effective, long-lasting pest control through the use of advanced IPM techniques. By focusing on prevention and non-chemical approaches, Green Shield Certified services address pest problems at their source.
- Stringent less-toxic product restrictions: Green Shield Certified ensures reduced pesticide use, toxicity and potential for exposure through the following requirements:
- Reduced pesticide use: Non-chemical approaches such as monitoring, inspection, identification, sanitation, exclusion & mechanical repairs must be the first actions taken. Regularly-scheduled pesticide applications are not allowed.
- Reduced pesticide toxicity: Green Shield Certified prohibits the use of pesticides that are classified as known, possible or suspected carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, reproductive or developmental toxins, cholinesterase inhibitors or that are labeled "Danger" or "Warning."
- Reduced pesticide exposure: Residual-active pesticides cannot be applied to exposed surfaces. In general, pesticide applications are limited to crack and crevice or bait applications that are inaccessible after use.
- Rigorous audit by an IPM specialist using a published, third-party standard: While many pest control companies or facilities say they offer Integrated Pest Management (IPM), Green Shield Certified sets a published, third-party, industry-tested standard for advanced IPM practices and uses a rigorous 63-point, on-site evaluation by an IPM specialist to verify these standards.
- Assistance setting up IPM program: The Green Shield Certified interim report will identify and describe how to address each required improvement.
- Promotion: Pest Management Providers who offer Green Shield Certified may use the Green Shield Certified logo and name. (See page 7 of Green Shield Certified standards for restrictions.)
Model documents such as a sample product list, sample training program and sample IPM protocols are provided for reference as part of the evaluation process.
View a list of current pest management providers offering Green Shield Certified services by location.
If there are no Green Shield Certified services offered in your area, ask your local pest control provider about becoming Green Shield Certified. Doing so lets local pest control companies know that their customers want less-toxic IPM services that are verified by an independent third-party.
You may also call Green Shield Certified at 1 888 GRN SHLD (1-888-457-7353) or email us to see if a pest management provider in your area will be certified in the near future. We can ask them to contact you once they have become certified.
Yes. Your evaluation will remain completely confidential throughout the evaluation and certification process. Neither the evaluator, Green Shield Certified nor the IPM Institute will share your information with other companies. Your participation will only be announced with your permission after you have become certified.
A certified, trained evaluator with experience in the pest management field and a professional background in IPM performs the evaluation. Evaluators may be consultants, educators or former pest management providers who do not have ties to specific companies. Learn more about our evaluators' credentials. Are you a pest management professional interested in working for Green Shield Certified as an evaluator? Please review our evaluator hiring criteria and contact us.
Green Shield Certified is an international, structural pest management certification program that evaluates and certifies the pest control practices of pest management providers, facilities and programs. Pest management providers may certify their entire company (100% Green Shield Certified) or a single service they can offer to customers interested in less-toxic pest management.
Green Shield Certified standards are based on advanced Integrated Pest Management (or IPM) practices. IPM is a sustainable approach to managing pests by combining biological, cultural, physical and chemical tools in a way that minimizes economic, health, and environmental risks. Green Shield Certified ensures strict adherence to Green Shield Certified standards by requiring pest management providers and facilities to undergo a rigorous, on-site evaluation by an IPM specialist.
Green Shield Certified ensures that pest management providers and facilities that attain certification use advanced IPM practices to provide effective, prevention-based pest control that reduces pesticide use, toxicity and potential exposure by preventing pests from entering the building and addressing pest problems at their source.
Green Shield Certified is operated by the IPM Institute of North America, an independent, non-profit organization.