Training Courses

We provide training on subjects for which we are a recognised source of excellence and expert knowledge. Our aim is that our students reflect that level of quality in their application of what they learn at SASA. Further information on the courses we provide can be found on the pages below.

Cereal Taxonomy Courses

Seed Certification Branch is responsible for running various courses throughout the year.

Please see course descriptions on the pages below for further information on course content and cost.

Contact Bob Sunter.

Cereal Crop Inspectors Course

The initial course, includes theory and practical sessions, and will last for 4 days. There is a 1-hour test after the completion of the course. 

The course will be limited to 12 participants in order that the full value of the practical demonstration and tuition may be obtained.

A further 2 days of practical work takes place in the Cereal Plots in late June/early July. On the first day there may be a 1-hour refresher on the main taxonomic characters if required. The final day will consist of a 2 hour plot test which will commence at 1030 hours. 

Candidates should bring a penknife, pen or pencil and for the June/July courses adequate waterproof clothing and suitable footwear. 

The cost of the course is currently £618 (VAT exempt).  There is also a fee of £35.60 per species, £71.20 for two species or £96.70 for all three species (VAT exempt) for the plot test.

Contact Bob Sunter.

Barley Grain Identification Course

This is a 2-day course which, will consist of tuition in barley grain characters and practical sessions. Both the tuition and practical sessions will involve using microscopes. 

The course will be based on the identification of barley varieties and detection of varietal impurities using grain characteristics. 

There will be a test on the second afternoon of the course. Candidates who pass are issued with a certificate of competence (normally issued within 10 days).

The course will be limited to 12 participants in order that the full value of the practical demonstration and tuition may be obtained. 

Candidates are issued with a course booklet and a description of the grain characteristics for popular barley varieties. 

Candidates should bring a pen or pencil. 

The cost of the course is currently £240 + VAT

Tea/coffee and lunch are provided.

Contact Bob Sunter.

Barley Grain Identification (REVISION) Course

This is a 1-day course which, will consist of tuition in barley grain characters and practical sessions. Both the tuition and practical sessions will involve using microscopes. 

The course will be based on the identification of barley varieties and detection of varietal impurities using grain characteristics. 

A certificate of attendance is issued to those taking part in the course (normally be issued within 10 days). 

The course will be limited to 12 participants in order that the full value of the practical demonstration and tuition may be obtained. 

Candidates are issued with a course booklet and a description of the grain characteristics for popular barley varieties. 

Candidates should bring a pen or pencil. 

The cost of the course is currently £180 + VAT 

Tea/coffee and lunch are provided.

Contact Bob Sunter.

Potato Training Courses

Potato Branch and Scottish Government Potato Inspection staff are responsible for running two courses for training seed potato inspectors:

Growing Crop Inspection Course for New Inspectors 

SASA provides an extensive range of plots at Gogarbank farm. The course normally takes place during the last 2 weeks of June. Trainee inspectors receive 7 days tuition in the recognition of the 30 most common potato varieties, genetic variants, and virus and bacterial diseases. The proficiency of the trainee is assessed by a practical exam. For further information please contact Maureen McCreath. This course is run for official inspectors in Scotland. Places may be allocated to officials from other authorities on request.

Immediately following the course for new trainees, all inspectors undergo 3½ days of supervised training to refresh their knowledge of potato varieties, undesirable variants and diseases. Tuition is given on inspection procedures, current classification issues and aspects relating to potato phytosanitary requirements.

Potato Tuber Disease ID & Inspection Procedures Course

9-10 November 2017

A 2 day course is offered at SASA, in conjunction with the British Potato Trades Association (BPTA), covering Potato Tuber diseases and Inspection Procedures.  Delegates will learn about the main potato storage diseases, pests and disorders via a series of lectures and practical sessions with live diseased tuber material. Scottish Government Inspectors will be on hand to explain and demonstrate inspection procedures for home and export markets.  Please contact Dr Rosalind McHugh for further information and to register interest.  The course attracts 12 BASIS points and 5 NRoSO points.

Courses for commercial organisations

SASA is happy to discuss providing similar training courses to those described above for commercial organisations. If you wish further information, please contact Maureen McCreath or Dr Triona Davey.

Seed Sampling Courses

The OSTS will carry out the following courses each year if there is sufficient demand:

  • Seed Analysis - All Divisions
  • Laboratory Management
  • Tetrazolium Testing - Cereals
  • Tetrazolium Testing - Oilseed rape
  • Loose Smut Testing
  • Other Disease Tests
  • Ad hoc seed technology
  • Seed Sampling

If you are interested in finding out more information on any of these courses please contact Seed Testing.