Model IPM Policy Framework

(Geared towards the development of IPM policies for public land resource management settings.) ============================================================================

Copyright IPM Associates, Inc. 1993-1996. All rights reserved. This document may be freely printed, copied or redistributed as long as it is copied in its entirety with all headers, trailers, credits, and other identifying information completely intact. It is intended as a model document to aid organizations in producing their own similar materials and in that regard may be used as such.


NOTE: The original version of this document is supplemented with graphics which are not included in this file. The graphics will be included in a future version of this document for on-line viewing. However, the complete hard copy version with graphics is available for a nominal shipping and handling charge. If interested, send a request to the IPMPA (see end of document to find out how to contact IPMPA)

1. Overview

This sample IPM policy was developed through work sessions with several constituencies with an interest and/or stake in the development and implementation of effective and economical administrative guidelines for management of public lands: This comprehensive information base was used to develop a policy that not only reflects the requirements of implementing an IPM program in a complex urban environment, but one that is responsive to the broad range of concerns and needs of the public as well as administrative and operational staff in charge of implementing pest management programs on public lands.

Of prime importance was developing a policy that would promote an IPM program that:

  1. addresses public and agency concerns about human health and safety as well as environmental quality;
  2. is operationally cost-effective;
  3. supports maintenance of vegetation in a wide range of management settings.
As a result of this process and focus, the example IPM policy includes:
  1. Rationale for the title.
  2. A defined purpose.
  3. Statements of guiding principles and philosophy.
  4. A clear definition of Integrated Pest Management.
  5. A requirement for compliance with regulations pertinent tvegetation and pest management.
  6. Specific components for individual IPM programs relative to their operational function.
  7. Descriptions of special roles and responsibilities for implementing the IPM program.

2. Policy Title

The IPM policy is entitled: Vegetation and Pest Management Policy to draw attention to the fact that pro-active management of desirable vegetation (e.g., native, exotic, ornamental) is of paramount importance in implementing IPM.

Healthy, vigorous plants are resistant to insect and disease problems and enhance the quality of the environment. Direct control of existing insect and disease problems is critical to the success of IPM, but this work should not be the only focus of the pest management program; it is essential that a substantial amount of effort in urban IPM be devoted to landscape and facility design and construction as well as cultural maintenance practices. Also, vegetation is emphasized to clarify that the term "pest" pertains to weeds as well as to insects and diseases. In fact, in most ornamental horticulture settings, weed control is a key pest control requirement of the pest management program.

3. Purpose

Section 1 describes its purpose and identifies the parties that are subject to the requirements of the policy.

4. Principles/Philosophy

Section 2 identifies important concepts and approaches that will be employed in managing vegetation and pests:

5. Definition of IPM

Section 3 includes definitions of IPM and other important terms and concepts to provide an explicit meaning and common understanding of the scope and intent of the specific actions that are required for developing and implementing the IPM program. This information will also facilitate effective communication between those affected by or interested in the policy.

6. Regulatory Context

Section 4 ensures that staff and personnel directly or indirectly involved in vegetation and pest management are aware of and operate in compliance with legal requirements pertinent to these activities.

7. IPM Programs

Section 5 requires preparation of IPM programs by each/any part of an organization that is responsible for or involved with: These required programs incorporate two primary approaches to vegetation and pest management:

  1. Treatment of existing or potential vegetation and pest problems by direct management of the physical environment.
  2. Prevention/reduction of vegetation and pest problems by the development of design improvements and education and training in mitigative strategies.
Requirements are outlined for each of the two types of IPM programs to ensure their specific development and implementation.

Together, these programs provide a comprehensive approach to pest management that is composed of short and long-range pest management strategies involving an integration of prevention, mitigation, education, and direct control techniques.

Each program's monitoring, record-keeping, and data management component provides information for effective program evaluation and improvement.

8. Roles and Responsibilities

Section 6 identifies special roles and responsibilities for implementing an organization's IPM policy. The number and type of of roles needed depends on a variety of factors specific to the organization (e.g., size, structure, purpose). Minimum recommended roles to define include:
  1. An IPM Program Coordinator (i.e, a person to oversee/support day-to-day functioning of the IPM program)
  2. A Coordinating Committee (i.e, a group that represents all of the stakeholders in an IPM program; they serve as an intermediary between the staff and personnel responsible for implementing the IPM program, the IPM Coordinator, and the organizations governing body (e.g., Board of Directors; School Board); they provide a review and recommendation function for implementation of the IPM policy)
  3. A Governing Body (i.e, the group that determines and is responsible for an organization's policies, procedures, operational guidelines, etc. and their implementation.)

8.1. IPM Coordinator

Experience has demonstrated that it is very difficult to effectively initiate and coordinate a large scale urban IPM program without full time guidance by a skilled leader who is able to facilitate and track both the development of the technical aspects of the pest management program and its broader administrative, political, and public relations requirements.

Fulfillment of this position or responsibilities reflects an organization's understanding of and commitment to the amount and diversity of work that is required for effective and economical implementation of an IPM program in a complex urban environment (note: while small scale IPM programs can be successfully developed and implemented without staffing a full time coordinator position, it is still necessary to provide routine oversight and coordination of the program's functions).

That most communities in the United States and Canada with successful, large scale IPM programs have staffed full-time IPM Coordinator positions illustrates the importance of this job and the amount of work involved in bringing a complex IPM program to maturity.

The sample policy outlines major areas of responsibility for an IPM Coordinator, however, these responsibilities are not necessarily complete nor have they been developed into a formal job description. These tasks can be accomplished when a comprehensive list of implementation requirements is identified during the development phase of an IPM program. Job descriptions for IPM coordinators in other communities may be useful in developing a scope of work for this position.

8.2. Coordinating Committee

A Coordinating Committee is usually charged with the approval and evaluation of the key components of an organization's IPM program(s), both before and after implementation.

This role provides a safeguard for genuine implementation of IPM, including the selection and application of pesticides within the guidelines of the IPM policy and program(s).

Because citizens are almost always included in a coordinating committee, this group can play a key role in building public acceptance and confidence in an organization's IPM program(s).

The recommended oversight and evaluation role for the committee can be outlined in the policy in two forms: written and diagrammatic. The written outline frequently includes statements requiring:

  1. the approval or rejection of IPM prescriptions, requests for pesticide use, and individual
  2. IPM programs (e.g., landscape management; facility management);
  3. an annual review and report on the implementation of the IPM Policy.
A set of criteria for the Committee's reviews and evaluations are often included in the policy to provide specific guidelines for these processes.

The results of the committee's work gives the public an opportunity to examine and measure the quality of implementation of an organization's IPM program(s), the role of the IPM Coordinator, and the activities of the Coordinating Committee. This information is generally essential for developing public trust and confidence in the IPM program(s), particularly with respect to pesticide use.

To clarify the role of the Coordinating Committee, the IPM Coordinator, and any other groups in implementing an IPM policy, flow charts can be developed to illustrate each of the policy's four major decision and review process:

  1. the Routine IPM Prescription Approval Process;
  2. the Pesticide Approval Process;
  3. the Special/Emergency IPM Prescription Approval Process;
  4. the IPM Program and Approval Process.
8.2.1. Routine IPM Prescriptions Approval Process This flow chart illustrates the process for approval of all prescriptions that are utilized in an organization's IPM program(s). This approval includes an initial approval for new prescriptions, and an annual review and evaluation of prescriptions that are routinely implemented from year to year. The prescription approval process includes non-chemical prescriptions as well as those that do, or may, involve pesticide use.

The purpose of reviewing non-chemical prescriptions is to ensure that an effective IPM strategy has been well-developed and is genuinely being implemented. This is a safeguard to prevent the development and use of IPM strategies that are not likely to succeed - which may then unfairly discredit the cost-effectiveness of the IPM program or provide justification for the need for chemical use.

At the same time, a similar review and evaluation process for routine prescriptions that use or may require pesticide use provides an opportunity to examine the necessity for those applications, the pursuit of measures for mitigating the need for the pesticide, the need or opportunity to change products, the volume of use, application practices, results, etc.

The guidelines of this process are intended as safeguards against misuse of IPM prescriptions, to provide for routine review of pesticide application practices, to document progress in implementing prevention and mitigation strategies, and to help ensure monitoring and record-keeping systems are being appropriately implemented and evaluated. Each of these is essential in developing public trust in an organization's implementation of IPM.

Figure 1. Routine IPM Prescriptions Approval Process

8.2.2. Pesticide Approval Process This flow chart illustrates the process for requesting, reviewing, evaluating, and approving pesticides that may be used as part of IPM prescriptions that are implemented in routine management operations.

No pesticide may be applied in day-to-day operations unless the product formulation has been subject to this review and evaluation process, which is performed by the Coordinating Committee using evaluation and ranking criteria outlined in the policy.

Requests for pesticide use must be submitted with a prescription which describes the need and application strategy for utilizing the pesticide. The prescription is a key element of the pesticide approval process since the purpose, location(s), and method of application influence the hazards involved with the use of a pesticide. The IPM Coordinator is expected to assist in selecting chemical products that are appropriate for specific application purposes and settings and to help identify application procedures and tools that can be used to minimize the hazards of planned treatment(s). The Coordinator can also provide information about new products, pest resistant plant varieties, and other methods for minimizing the need for and impacts of pesticide applications.

The guidelines of this process are intended as safeguards for limiting pesticide use to products and circumstances that can be routinely implemented without jeopardizing environmental quality or public health and safety. Assigning the review and approval of pesticide products to the Coordinating Committee is important in developing public trust and support for this process.

Figure 2. Pesticide Approval Process

8.2.3. Special/Emergency IPM Prescription Approval Process From time to time, immediate pest management requirements involving pesticide use may arise that do not conform to the guidelines established for day-to-day operations as outlined in approved IPM prescriptions. These circumstances might include, for example:

It is wise to anticipate such circumstances and to develop clear guidelines for the decision-making process that will be used to select strategies and prescriptions for managing pests when these problems occur. This permits an immediate response when quick action is required, but it safeguards the decision process to ensure that important factors and appropriate levels of authority are included in development and approval of final action plans. These are of significant interest to a public that is concerned with pesticide use on public lands. The flow chart below illustrates a special/emergency prescription approval process that can be included in an organization's IPM Policy.

Figure 3. Special/Emergency IPM Prescription Approval Process

8.2.4. IPM Program Approval Process This flow chart illustrates a process for evaluation, approval, and review of an organization's IPM program(s). This involves an initial program evaluation and approval as well as an annual review process.

It is similar to the process used for IPM prescriptions (see Fig. 1). However, two separate flow charts have been developed to clarify the operational differences of the two processes and to note the important and distinct role of each process.

While prescriptions are critical to IPM programs and involve the specifics of pesticide use as well as prevention and mitigation strategies for managing pests and pesticide use, they are but one component of an IPM program. IPM programs involve other major components (information, appropriate standards, monitoring, record-keeping, communication, etc.) all of which must be properly developed, implemented, and refined to achieve long-term program success.

Of special importance in this process is the requirement for the Coordinating Committee to prepare an Annual Review and Report for all IPM program activities. This document is usually developed under the leadership of the IPM Coordinator who will be knowledgeable about the IPM program(s) as well as the day-to-day operations involving vegetation and pest management. This report helps fulfill the critical review and evaluation requirements of the IPM process and provides information and direction necessary for program improvement. It also aids in developing public understanding, acceptance, and confidence in an organization's IPM policy and program(s).

For the IPM Coordinating Committee to prepare the Annual Review and Report in a timely and effective manner, each operational group with an IPM program (e.g., landscaping vs. facility maintenance) should implement monitoring, record-keeping, and information handling systems at the earliest opportunity. Delays in developing systems to provide information for program review and evaluation impede effective implementation and add to the time and costs required to bring the program to maturity.

Figure 4. IPM Program Approval Process

9. Policy Benefits

Together, the written requirements and criteria and the illustrated processes included in the Roles and Responsibilities section of the IPM Policy provide three valuable benefits:
  1. They safeguard and provide an effective response to the public's interests in the implementation of IPM.
  2. They provide guidelines and support for effective program implementation.
  3. They promote compliance with existing as well as anticipated regulatory requirements regarding pesticide use and implementation of IPM.

Last Modified: June 28, 1996 [updated 1/5/07]

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