Cereal Initial Crop Inspectors course

Candidates will be able to access the course and associated training materials between 6am on the 29/1/2024 until 6pm on the 2/2/2024. Please be aware some restrictions may be in place during the official examination period.

Devised by NIAB: Agricultural Crop Characterisation team

 The Seed Marketing Regulations require three building blocks before certification can take place: the crop, seed, and variety stages.

  • The crop stage consists of the entry of a seed lot for multiplication, then entry of a seed crop, followed by inspection to assess if it meets the conditions specified in the regulations and issuing of a report.
  • The seed stage is sampling and testing of seed to assess if it meets the standards specified in the regulations, and the issuing of a report.
  • The variety stage requires that seed must be of a variety that is on the UK National List before it can be marketed.

Licensed crop inspectors are licensed under The Seed Marketing Regulations. The duties of a licensed crop inspector are described in these regulations and in the crop inspector licence.

This online course provides training for Cereal Initial Crop Inspectors candidates.


The objective of this course is to develop your understanding of the theory and practical elements required for Cereal crop inspection.

If the required standard is achieved in both Part1 online and Part2 plot based training and examination, candidates will be licensed to inspect the species covered by this licence. A certificate of achievement will be issued to initial course candidates who are successful.

BASIS points to be awarded. Only users with a Basis accreditation are eligible to acquire points. Candidates who wish to acquire Basis points must add their Basis number to the feedback form.

Intended audience

The course is aimed at members of the seed industry, who wish to qualify in cereal inspection.

Learning objectives

This course presents the outline of Seed Certification, the theory that underpins cereal crop inspection, and species recognition.

At the end of this course, candidates should understand the following criteria:

  • The overview of Seed Certification and cereal inspection theory
  • Crop card completion
  • Botanical characteristics used to identify different species and varieties
  • The different characters that can be used during inspection to identify off types


There are no Pre- requisites for this course


We welcome all feedback and suggestions. Please complete the feedback survey that can be found on the web page below at the end of the course.

Getting the most from this course

Seed Certification e-learning delivers the knowledge required to be a licenced crop inspector through slide presentations, and lecturer assistance upon request. Learning is supported by end of module tests. Candidates will be able to download a course booklet, description sheets, and the Guide to Crop Inspectors from the course resources page. All materials may be used during the final examination.

The end of module tests are contained in a booklet available to download from the module test page, the answers can be viewed in a separate answer booklet. There is also an interactive online test that covers dried material, and character revision. The online test is useful in preparing candidates for their summer plot based course.  Candidates are encouraged to contact the training team with any queries, or to discuss answers. The course forum is a useful place to open discussion.

A course discussion forum is open for candidates to use. This should be focused on discussions around training, please note the forum will not be accessible during or after the examination, please be considerate to all users. Candidates will also receive communication via email and through the training platforms messaging service, please monitor inboxes, and the speech bubble at the top of the course page.

APHA contact information forms

Candidates must complete the contact information form prior to the course start date. Candidates who have not completed their contact information form must do so by clicking on the page below. The form is a compulsory requirement when sitting an APHA official examination, all results are distributed via email, the contact information form gathers this information.

Final Examination

The final exam will be available via the training website, at the end of the course. Candidates will have a set start time for the exam, and a deadline for submission.

The examination period for this course is between 1pm – 3.30pm on Friday the 2nd of February. Candidates will be reminded of this during the course.

Candidates will be required to access the final examination tab on the course home page, shortly before the exam. The format for completion and submission is identical to the interactive dried material test, however the examination page will close at the exam finish time, at this point no further submissions will be permitted. If there are difficulties with software, hardware or internet connection candidates are urged to contact the Certification training team at the earliest opportunity. Individuals who have been granted additional time for the exam will receive communication with specific instructions during the week of the course.

All candidates will receive a message prior to the exam with full examination instructions. Examinations that are received after the deadline may not be considered. The final examination should be all your own work, candidate’s papers that appear to have discrepancies may be contacted for further assessment. Course notes and literature can be utilized during the exam. 

If there are any queries or concerns regarding the exam, please contact the certification training team before or during the exam.

Please note the forum, mid course test and interactive material test will not be accessible between 1pm - 4pm on the 2/2/24. 


Need to contact us?

You may contact us at any time throughout the course for guidance and advice:

email: cert.training@niab.com