QS CO Testing Information

Study Guides & Test Preparation

Certified Operators and Qualified Supervisors must both pass a General Core examination that covers laws and regulations, pesticide safety and use of pesticides; and pass at least one pest management licensure category (i.e.: Agricultural Insect Pest Control, Turf Pest Control or Residential/Commercial Pest Control) prior to applying for licensure. A Qualified Supervisor must obtain the relevant pesticide application field experience prior to licensing.

Certified Operators (CO) must be familiar with the Colorado Pesticide Applicators’ Act (PAA) and its associated Rules, in addition to the General Core Study Guide and the study guide for each pest management category in which the CO intends to make pesticide applications.

Qualified Supervisors (QS) must be familiar with the materials described above for the CO, as well as application knowledge gained through experience. The requisite experience is detailed in Parts 8 – 10 of the PAA Rule.

Study guides are not specific to the level of licensure. There is one general study guide and one study guide for each pest management category. Study guides are available from CDA’s partner the CSU Colorado Pesticide Education Program (CEPEP). Additional study materials are referenced at the end of the Licensing and Examination Guide, as well as through CSU’s Colorado Pesticide Education Program (CEPEP). CDA does not endorse any specific test preparation course.


Exam Administration

Scheduling & Taking QS and CO Examinations

CDA partners with Metro Institute and Colorado State University Extension to provide secure online QS and CO examinations at proctor locations across Colorado. When you register for your exam you will be prompted to pick the time and location where you would like to take your exam.

To begin the testing process read all of the information on this page first; then begin by visiting the Metro Institute online testing website and select Colorado. You will be asked to visit two parts of the Metro Site to complete the exam application and schedule your test.

Complete the Exam Application

1. Complete the Exam Application

  • The first part of the Metro Institute website provides information to CDA through an Online Exam Application. CDA will use this information to verify your CDA Pesticide Applicator ID number if you have one or to create a Pesticide Applicator ID number for you if you are new to the pesticide applicator examination process.
  • CDA will send an e-mail to you confirming your CDA Applicator ID number - please write it down for future use. Continue on to step 2.

2. Schedule your Online Test

  • The second part of the Metro Institute website is where you will start the test scheduling process.
  • Choose your Testing Center location and time.
  • You will be prompted to enter your name, applicator ID number, and password provided by Metro Institute.
  • You'll be asked for some optional employer related information and any missing information. The information collected at this website is used to create a Metro account that allows you to schedule and pay for exams.
  • Follow the prompts to choose your testing location and exams you wish to take.
  • Pay all examination fees.
  • Metro will e-mail you your receipt and confirmation of your date, time and location of your scheduled exam(s).

3. Note:

  • All examinations must be paid for and scheduled online at least two days prior to testing.A test may not be scheduled and taken on the same day and must be taken at the scheduled location.
  • The examination fee is $31.50 per test.
  • For security purposes, you must have a valid e-mail account. Without a valid e-mail account, you will not be able to test.
  • You must provide a photo ID at the time of examination.
  • No reference materials are allowed in the examination area.


The CDA office is open Monday - Friday 8am to 5pm. Any applications and exam scheduling requests submitted during the weekend will be processed as soon as possible during the Monday-Friday work week. After scheduling and paying for each test, you will receive confirmation emails from CDA and Metro. You may schedule and take the exams in any order, but you must pass both the General Core exam and at least one pest management category exam to license as a QS or CO.

Anyone can take the QS examinations, but a QS license will be issued only if applicable experience requirements are met and documented on the license application. If they are not, a CO license will be issued upon application for licensure. If QS tests are passed, but a CO license is issued, the applicator may upgrade their license without retesting if CO licensure is continuous and an application to upgrade is submitted after the requisite experience is obtained.

Examination results are valid for one year from the date of the passed exam. In addition to testing, a license application must be completed to license initially, add a category or upgrade from a CO to a QS license. The fee to license or to renew a QS or CO license is $100.00. This is separate from any examination fees. There is no fee for a license upgrade, or to add a license category. An individual pesticide applicator license may be renewed through either examination or continuing education credits (CECs).

Apply for and schedule the Metro Institute online pesticide applicator exam. License information is available here, or call (303) 869-9065 with any testing or licensing question.