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Review and Development of the UK Licensed Seed Testing Station Monitoring Scheme - VS04003

The system of monitoring UK LSTS is designed to meet the requirements under the EU scheme for an experiment on licensed seed testing and sampling (EC/98/320). The monitoring system is designed to check the technical ability of LSTS and has several basic elements:

1. Annual official audits by OSTS staff to check the facilities, equipment, staff, training and procedures.
2. An OSTS check test of a randomly selected 7% of all cereal seed reserve portions and 10% of all other species. This serves as a check on the competence of the LSTS.
3. UK wide annual comparative seed tests, organised by the OSTS's as a further check on the competence of the LSTS.
4. Seed analysts receive standardised UK training and attend a refresher course every five years to maintain their analytical competence. Training is provided by OSTS.

Developments in quality assurance within ISTA in recent years offers a streamlined approach to system and technical auditing in seed testing, based on ISO principles. As demonstrated by other EU countries, e.g. Holland, with appropriate modification the ISTA approach to monitoring the quality of seed testing laboratories may offer the UK industry and Defra significant advantages compared to current approaches in LSTS monitoring. This proposal seeks to deliver the preliminary investigations needed to:

§ Improve the cost transparency of the UK LSTS monitoring system.
§ Further streamline the UK system.
§ Provide LSTS and Defra with a system that implements necessary EU Directive and UK Seed Regulations requirements in a cost-effective manner and separates other technical services from the basic system.

This project aims to facilitate a light touch implementation of EU and UK regulatory requirements for LSTS monitoring, in line with Defra strategy to reduce bureaucracy and cost in UK statutory systems in agriculture. The proposals stemming from this project should also facilitate greater cost transparency and flexibility in the system for monitoring UK LSTS.
Project Documents
• Final Report : LSTS monitoring   (345k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2004

To: 2005

Cost: £10,000
Contractor / Funded Organisations
National Institute of Agricultural Botany
Plant Varieties and Seeds              
Plants and Animals              
Fields of Study
Plant Varieties and Seeds