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 at spcs@sasa.gov.scot. 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

In conjunction with the British Potato Trades Association (BPTA), SASA runs a 2 day Potato Tuber Disease ID & Inspections course and a one day refresher course in alternating years. Both courses take place at SASA Headquarters in Edinburgh.

Two Day Full Course

Delegates will learn about the main potato storage diseases, pests, disorders and epidemiology 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.  There will also be related talks of interest from expert scientists at SASA and tours of laboratory/store facilities. The course attracts 12 BASIS points and 5 NRoSO points. The next full course will take place in Autumn 2019.

One Day Refresher Course

In intervening years, a one day refresher course is held. Delegates will refresh their existing knowledge in potato storage diseases, pests, disorders and inspections through lectures and practical sessions. This course attracts 6 BASIS points and 4 NRoSO points. The next course will take place on 1st November 2018.

Please contact the Pathology Manager Dr Rosalind McHugh at potpath@sasa.gov.scot for further information and to register interest in these courses.

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 at spcs@sasa.gov.scot.