Morgan Webb and Morgan Saumer,  two of the many CSAAC members who help with Canadian Seed Institute Grader Courses.

Accredited seed analysts are not the only people who test and grade seed in Canada. Some of the work is done by accredited seed graders. There are three types of seed graders in Canada. A GB Grader is accredited to retrieve, classify and report impurities (they perform a physical seed purity test), review a germination report and assign a grade name on crop kinds from Grade Tables I to VI and XVIII.

A GD grader is accredited to review Reports of Seed Analysis issued by accredited laboratories to assign a Canada pedigreed grade name. A Seed Import Conformity Assessor (SICA) is accredited to assess whether imported seed meets the minimum standards of the Seeds Regulations based on a review of Reports of Seed analysis and other documentation.

In order to gain the qualifications listed above, candidates must pass practical examinations set out by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and a written theory evaluation administered by the Canadian Seed Institute (CSI). Candidates wishing to become a SICA must pass practical exams set out by the CFIA.

Sound complicated? Well, it can be. That is why CSAAC members and CSI staff have teamed up to provide valuable courses to help new graders train to perform the work and prepare for the evaluations. The knowledgeable CSI staff guide students through all aspects of grading, from tags and documentation to sampling and filling out grading
reports. CSAAC seed analysts prepare and maintain training samples, train on weed and crop seed identification, and mentor the candidates on retrieval skills. Attendees leave the course with a better understanding of their responsibilities under the Seeds Act, the Seeds Regulations, and the Weed Seeds Order.

The course takes two days and students can apply ahead of time to be a candidate to write all or portions of the exam. The practical exam normally takes about a half-day to write. The CSI written exam can be done at home and mailed in for marking.

The CSI keeps these courses as current as possible and practical hands-on experience working with the accredited seed analysts is an invaluable asset for any career in the seed industry.

For information on the course availability, check out the CSI website at: csi-ics.com/canadian-seed-institute.  For information on the general structure of the various parts of the evaluations, refer to the Guide to Evaluation of Candidate Seed Graders and Seed Import Conformity Assessors on the CFIA website at: www.inspection.gc.ca/plants/seeds/testing-grading/candidate-s-guide/eng/1377363765109/1377363964670?chap=1.

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