If you are holding an outdoor pyrotechnic display, you need to have an outdoor pyrotechnic display compliance certificate for the event. An application form and supporting documentation must be submitted to a compliance certifier approved for issuing pyrotechnic display compliance certificates.

Your application should be submitted well in advance of the display.

You will also need a certified handler to operate the display.

Certified handlers for outdoor pyrotechnic displays

A certified handler is responsible for the safe handling and management of the pyrotechnics at each outdoor pyrotechnic display.

To become a certified handler, you will be assessed on matters described in the outdoor pyrotechnic display certified handler assessment forms.

There are three forms to complete. Forms 1 and 2 are completed by a compliance certifier. Alternatively, a work supervisor or training provider can complete them in consultation with a compliance certifier. Form 3 is completed by the compliance certifier who issues the certificate.

As well as a certified handler compliance certificate, you will also need a compliance certificate for the pyrotechnic display itself.

Application for an outdoor pyrotechnics display compliance certificate (PDF 104 KB)

There are three levels of certified handler compliance certificate for outdoor pyrotechnic display. Your knowledge, experience and competency in using pyrotechnics will determine which level certificate you can attain.

When you renew your certified handler compliance certificate, the compliance certifier will ask for evidence of displays you participated in as a certified handler. This ensures your renewal is issued at the level appropriate to your expertise.

Controlled substance licence

To be in possession of pyrotechnic substances you will need a controlled substance licence (CSL). 

For more information on how to obtain a CSL, see

Other controls

There are a number of other controls that you must comply with when you organise and hold an outdoor pyrotechnic display.  See regulations 9.31 to 9.41 of the Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations 2017(external link).

Code of practice for outdoor pyrotechnic displays

The code of practice for outdoor pyrotechnic displays, previously published under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act 1996, provides useful information for pyrotechnicians and other people involved in the planning for and holding of a pyrotechnic display.  This code is currently being revised to reflect the Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations 2017.

Until this revision is complete, the HSNO Code of Practice may still provide useful guidance in how to meet your duties under the Health and Safety at Work Act(external link) and the Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations(external link).

Code of practice for outdoor pyrotechnic displays (PDF 4 MB)