Cereals Certification

Crop Certification Schemes exist to protect farmers buying the seed, to ensure that the product they receive meets certain quality standards. The current UK Cereal Scheme incorporates several quality control mechanisms, including official testing to ensure that the seed meets prescribed standards for germination, freedom from weeds, and varietal identity and purity. 

SASA is the Certifying Authority for Scotland, and cereal seed certification in Scotland is managed by the Cereals Section and other species, such as grasses and oil seeds by the Herbage and Vegetable Section.

The EU requires that all cereal seed that is marketed for growing as crops must meet the standards in Directive 66/402/EEC. This in turn is incorporated into UK (and now Scottish) law through the Cereal Seed (Scotland) Regulations (see the Office of Public Sector Information OPSI).  Please see the following:

  • The Cereal Seed (Scotland) Regulation 2005 SI No. 2005
  • The Cereal Seed (Scotland) and Fodder Plant Seed (Scotland) (Amendment) Regulation 2006 SSI No. 448
  • The Seeds (Scotland) (Amendments for Tests and Trials Etc.) Regulations 2007 SSI No. 224
  • The Seed (Registration, Licensing and Enforcement) (Scotland) Regulations 2006 SSI No. 313

There are electronic copies of some of the Forms that are required for the certification process, together with guidance notes for their completion. Paper copies can be obtained from seeds@sasa.gov.scot, and should be returned to:

    Cereal Certification
    Roddinglaw Road
    EH12 9FJ

Information on weight certified and areas approved, are available at Facts & Figures.

View a selection of recent Seed Certification Letters or check out the Fees, Forms & Guidance section. These contain general guidance, information and advice on a number of certification topics. New Seed Certification Letters will be published on this site as they are issued.  You can also access the Public Register and Scottish General Licences.

View a summary of the of Enforcement and Certification Control samples 2016/17

View a summary of the results of the 2016 Seed Certification / MySEEDS survey.

For further information on seed certification, please contact Gerry Hall  for cereals or George Campbell for non-cereal species at seeds@sasa.gov.scot.

Training courses for certification include crop inspections and sampling - contact seeds@sasa.gov.scot for more information. 

For information on seed testing, please visit the section on the Official Seed Testing Station (OSTS) or contact seedtesting@sasa.gov.scot

There are separate Authorities responsible for the certification process in England, Wales DEFRA and Northern Ireland. 


Cereals Disclosure Statement

Handling procedures for information received in relation to the certification of true seeds have been designed to take into account legislative developments, particularly the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 and the Data Protection Act 1998.  Applicants should be aware that from the seed year 2008 onwards it is the certifying authority's intention to release details of all seed lots to BSPB, on request.

The following statement will now appear on the SDG 7 (application for certification) form: "The Certifying Authority is bound by current disclosure legislation which includes the Data Protection Act 1998, the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004. Details of all seed lots certified in Scotland will be subject to release to BSPB. For further information on the disclosure policy, please see the Guidance Notes or the SASA web site." 

The following statement will appear on all other forms: "The Certifying Authority is bound by current disclosure legislation which includes the Data Protection Act 1998, the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004. For further information on the disclosure policy, please see the Guidance Notes (or the SASA web site)."

The certifying authority may be required to release information, including some personal data and commercial information, if requested under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 or the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.  The certifying authority will not permit any unlawful breach of confidentiality nor permit breach of obligations under the Data Protection Act 1998.

Applicants should also note that information supplied on seed certification forms will be used by SASA and other branches of the Scottish Government Rural Directorate for the purpose of determining the application, for enforcement purposes and for research and statistical purposes. Information may also be shared / exchanged with other Certifying Authorities for verifying applications and for enforcement purposes.


Cereals - Facts & Figures

Cereal section has collated the following statistics regarding Passed Crops for Certification in Scotland and Weights of Seed Certified in Scotland. 

Seed Lot Statistics

Weights of Seed Certified in Scotland for the seed years 2005-2006 to 2007-2008.   For further information please contact Bob Sunter or Gillian Liddle at seeds@sasa.gov.scot.

There are also comparisons of Passed Crop Areas for the years 1999 to 2001 and Seed Lot Weights for the years 1998 to 2002, which are displayed in graphs.

View the Seed Lots statistics.

Crops Statistics

Passed Crops Area (hectares) & Number by Variety, Category and Level for Certification in Scotland for the years 2005-2007. For further information please contact Margaret Hislop or Moray Anderson at seeds@sasa.gov.scot.

View the Crops Statistics.

Fees, Forms & Guidance

This area contains forms to be completed for Certification.


Fees are payable for Certification, and a list is available here.

Forms & Guidance

These forms are accompanied with the appropriate Guidance notes for completion. Please note that these forms are in Adobe Acrobat format, and may be completed electronically, but must NOT be returned to SASA electronically. For paper copies of these forms and for forms that are not available electronically please contact Margaret Hislop at seeds@sasa.gov.scot for all forms.

Seed Certification Letters

These are circulated to all Registered merchants, processors, packers and other interested parties in Scotland. They are issued as the situation demands, to provide advice to firms who certify in Scotland about latest Certification developments as well as general information and guidance. Some of the more recent Letters and Guidance can be accessed below.

For further information on these letters, please contact Gerry Hall at seeds@sasa.gov.scot


Contacts - Seed Certification Branch

Cereals Branch address: Cereals Branch, SASA, Roddinglaw Road, Edinburgh, EH12 9FJ
Email: seeds@sasa.gov.scot

Mike Parker - see also Staff Directory page
Head of Cereal Section :
Tel: 0131 244 8856

Bob Sunter
Certification Manager (Seeds) :
Tel: 0131 244 8815

Margaret Hislop
Certification Manager (Crops) :
Tel:  0131 244 8838

Susan McFarlane
Cereal Taxonomist
Tel:  0131 244 8930

Tel:  0131 244 8833