CSGA Designations

Seed growers and plant breeders have set a standard of excellence, demonstrating advanced knowledge and skills in pedigreed seed production. In pursuit of excellence, CSGA offers designations to support individuals in their careers, improve quality control oversight, and mitigate seed production risks.

CSGA offers several professional designations. A CSGA designation is awarded to an individual who has achieved a particular standard of excellence and experience. Growers and Plant Breeders have high investments in seed production. What sets high performers apart is their solid understanding of regulations, best practices and the skills, knowledge, tools and resources to support their businesses. Ongoing development and competencies are essential to success in today’s seed sector. CSGA accreditations are voluntary and designed to ensure the sector is working together consistently across the country in support of a next generation seed sector.

1. CSGA-Accredited Plot Grower

In Canada, plot production is the responsibility of, and is restricted to, CSGA-Accredited Plot Growers. Plot production is usually the first multiplication of Breeder seed for most annual crop kinds. Breeder seed is carefully multiplied by CSGA-Accredited Plot Growers to maintain varietal purity to provide enough parent seed to produce enough Foundation, Registered and Certified seed of the variety. Plot production must follow strict standards and requirements specific to plot production.

Accreditation Requirements

To obtain the CSGA-Accredited Plot Grower designation, a grower must:

  • Complete the CSGA Learn Probation Plot Grower Program, make an application to CSGA to begin plot probation production and successfully complete two years of production of probation plots
  • Make application to CSGA to begin probation plot production and successfully complete three years of production of probation plots

To meet eligibility requirements to begin probation plot production, a grower must have experience producing certified seed in at least three of the previous five years. This requirement can be reduced with a recommendation from a CSGA-Accredited Plot Grower, a CSGA-Recognized Plant Breeder, or the voluntary completion of the CSGA Learn Probation Plot Grower Program.

For more information on these requirements, including application information and deadlines, please visit the CSGA website.

2. CSGA-Recognized Plant Breeder and CSGA-Recognized Associate Plant Breeder

The plant breeding community is a key subset of the CSGA membership. Experienced plant breeders have made significant scientific strides to improve the crops we grow in Canada.

Breeder plots produce the highest class of seed crops certified by the CSGA. In Canada, Breeder seed is produced by CSGA-Recognized Plant Breeders. Produced in small plots, Breeder seed provides the original parent seed for all other classes of pedigreed seed. Breeder seed production must follow a set of guidelines with stringent standards. Plant Breeders are responsible for assuring Breeder seed is grown and processed to the highest standards.

Recognition Requirements

To obtain the CSGA-Recognized Plant Breeder or CSGA-Recognized Associate Plant Breeder designation, a Plant Breeder must:

  • Make application to CSGA for plant breeder recognition
  • Pass a peer-review process by CSGA’s Plant Breeders’ Committee, which reviews the application and recommends accreditation approvals to the CSGA Board of Directors.
  • Voluntarily complete the CSGA Learn Plant Breeder Program

To learn more about the requirements and application process to obtain the CSGA-Recognized Plant Breeder or CSGA-Recognized Associate Plant Breeder designation, please visit the CSGA website.

3. CSGA-Accredited Seed Grower (ASG)

Nobody knows more about certified seed production and its value than successful, experienced seed growers. Experienced seed growers dedicate their careers to producing the highest quality of pedigreed seed. They understand the standards, follow best management practices, and hold strong reputations as providers of high-quality, trusted seed. The voluntary CSGA-Accredited Seed Grower designation is awarded to individuals who have met specific education requirements and in-field experience. 

Accreditation Requirements

To obtain the CSGA-Accredited Seed Grower designation, a seed grower must:

Promote Your CSGA Designations with Digital Badges.

CSGA is happy to provide digital badges to individuals holding various CSGA designations. Displayed proudly on social media channels, websites, or email signatures, digital badges help increase awareness of an individual’s achievement and help promote excellence within the Canadian seed sector. Fully verifiable online, these badges confirm the individual’s designation and achievements.

Plant Breeder applicants must meet with following criteria:

  1. A Ph.D. in plant breeding plus one year of independent plant breeding experience in a country participating in the OECD Seed Schemes
  2. An M.Sc. in plant breeding plus three years of independent plant breeding experience in a country participating in the OECD Seed Schemes
  3. A B.Sc. in Agriculture plus ten years of on-the-job training (five years in a country participating in the OECD Seed Schemes) plus the release of a recognized variety
  4. A Ph.D. or M.Sc. in a closely related field/discipline plus seven years of on-the-job training, including at least one year’s training in a country participating in the OECD Seed Schemes. The number of training years may be reduced depending on the amount and relevancy of formal training in plant breeding and/or closely related field(s)/ discipline(s)
  5. D., M.Sc., or B.Sc. in an unrelated field/discipline plus qualification as an Associate Plant Breeder plus successful completion of graduate-level course work or equivalent in plant breeding.