Potato Branch and Scottish Government Potato Inspection staff are responsible for running two courses for training seed potato 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.
In November, a one day course is run for new or inexperienced inspectors.
The course consists of tuition and practical demonstrations in the recognition of diseases and physiological disorders affecting tubers in storage and in the official inspection procedures for labelling consignments of seed potatoes. Participants are also briefed on the Scottish Seed Potato Classification Scheme and current potato plant health issues in the EU.
Candidates receive a booklet which includes descriptions of each disease and some basic epidemiology and a certificate at the conclusion of the course.
For more information please contact Dr Denise A'Hara (tel: 0131 244 8931).
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 Denise A'Hara.