Seed Program Quality System Procedure (QSP 142.2) - Licensing of Authorized Seed Crop Inspection Services and Licensed Seed Crop Inspectors

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Table of Contents

Date

Version 4.1 of this Quality System Procedure (QSP) was issued on May 10, 2017.

Contact

The contact person for this document is the National Manager, Seed Section. Comments regarding the content of this document should be addressed to the National Manager at SeedSemence@inspection.gc.ca

Review

This Seed Program QSP is subject to periodic review. Amendments will be issued from time to time so that the procedure continues to meet current needs.

Endorsement

This Seed Program Quality System Procedure is hereby approved.

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Director, Plant Production Division
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Date

Distribution

This document will be available on the CFIA Website. The National Manager, Seed Section will maintain the signed original. A copy of the latest version is available upon request to SeedSemence@inspection.gc.ca.

0.0 Introduction

This QSP outlines the principles for licensing of Authorized Seed Crop Inspection Services (ASCIS) and Licensed Seed Crop Inspectors (LSCI) under subsection 4.2 (1) of the Seeds Act to provide pedigreed seed crop inspection in Canada. ASCIS are private entities licensed and overseen by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to provide inspections of pedigreed seed crops to seed growers. ASCIS administer the activities of LSCI, who conduct seed crop inspections and issue Reports of Seed Crop Inspection to support certification of the seed crop by the Canadian Seed Growers' Association (CSGA).

1.0 Scope

This QSP describes the quality system procedures for the licensing and oversight of ASCIS and LSCI by the CFIA to verify that their activities meet the standards for the delivery of pedigreed seed crop inspection services as set by the Canadian Seed Growers' Association (CSGA), the CFIA, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Seed Schemes for the Varietal Certification of Seed Moving in International Trade (OECD Seed Schemes).

2.0 Definitions, Acronyms and References

The definitions, abbreviations and acronyms given in Seed Program Regulatory Authority (SPRA) 101 Definitions, Acronyms, and References for the Seed Program apply.

3.0 Overview of the Alternative Service Delivery of Seed Crop Inspection

In order to facilitate the transfer of seed crop inspection activities to ASCIS and to ensure an offer of service for each grower, a model for the alternative service delivery of seed crop inspection was developed that divides the country geographically into nine Regions. The establishment of Regions allows an ASCIS to become licensed for one or more regions without having to commit to providing service for the entire country. To ensure that each grower receives an offer of service, each ASCIS is required to complete a minimum number of seed crop inspections before they may refuse a seed grower's request for inspection.

3.1 Seed Crop Regions

For the purposes of licensing under the Seeds Act subsection 4.2(1), pedigreed seed production fields within Canada are divided into the regions described below.

  • Region 1 (R1) – Atlantic Canada
    The provinces of Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick
  • Region 2 (R2) – Eastern Quebec
    Generally east of the St-François River, including Regional County Municipality (RCM) Shawinigan and Trois-Rivières and Saguenay-Lac St-Jean
  • Region 3 (R3) – Western Quebec
    Generally west of the St-François River, including RCM Maskinongé
  • Region 4 (R4) – Eastern and northeastern Ontario
    The area of Ontario east of Regional Road 12 (Whitby) including the parts of northern Ontario east of Sault Ste. Marie plus the Abitibi Témiscamingue region of north western Quebec
  • Region 5 (R5) – Southwestern Ontario
    The area of Ontario west and south of Regional Road 12 (Whitby)
  • Region 6 (R6) – Manitoba
    The province of Manitoba, plus the area of Ontario west of Sault Ste. Marie.
  • Region 7 (R7) – Saskatchewan
    The province of Saskatchewan
  • Region 8 (R8) – Southern Alberta and southern British Columbia
    The province of Alberta south of Highway 27, plus the province of British Columbia south of Highway 27
  • Region 9 (R9) – Northern Alberta and northern British Columbia
    The province of Alberta north of Highway 27 plus the province of British Columbia north of Highway 27.

If an ASCIS wishes to conduct seed crop inspections for a seed grower who has a home address in one region but fields in an adjacent region for which the ASCIS is not licensed to operate, the ASCIS may apply for an exemption to conduct seed crop inspections in the adjacent region for that seed grower. These seed crop inspections would not contribute towards the ASCIS minimums in any region.

3.2 Minimum Number of Inspections

In each region for which an ASCIS is licensed, the ASCIS will be assigned a minimum number of seed crop inspections that represents the average number of inspections of seed crops within the region of crop kinds listed in Sections 2 and 3 of the CSGA's Canadian Regulations and Procedures for Pedigreed Seed Crop Production (Circular 6), divided by the number of licensed ASCIS. An ASCIS can only refuse a seed grower's request for seed crop inspection if the ASCIS has achieved its minimum number of inspections or for the following documented reasons:

  • seed grower history of non-payment for services;
  • ASCIS inability to provide an LSCI without a conflict of interest with the seed grower; or
  • the ASCIS lacks the competence or capability to conduct the inspection of crop types. This reason is only applicable for crop types not listed in Sections 2 or 3 of Circular 6.

It is important to note that the minimum number of seed crop inspections is not a quota. There is no penalty to the ASCIS for not achieving its minimum number of inspections. However, it is a condition of the ASCIS licence that an ASCIS may not refuse a request for inspection of a seed crop of a crop type in Section 2 or 3 of Circular 6 until it has conducted its assigned minimum number of inspections for that Region. Alternatively, an ASCIS may conduct as many inspections as they have the capacity to complete.

As the minimum number of inspections is based on the number of inspections in each region of crop kinds listed in Sections 2 and 3, inspections of crop kinds and generations not contained in Sections 2 and 3 do not count towards the minimums. Land use inspections do not count towards the minimum number of inspections.

These minimums are calculated and set each year, depending on the number of ASCIS that have been licensed for each region. If one or more ASCIS withdraw during the year, the minimums will not change.

3.3 CFIA Availability in 2017 for Seed Crop Inspection

Although, under normal circumstances, the CFIA will not be providing seed crop inspections of crop types contained in Sections 2 and 3 of Circular 6, CFIA seed crop inspectors will be available to conduct seed crop inspections in the following situations:

  • Seed growers may select the CFIA to inspect seed crops of crop kinds not listed in Sections 2 and 3 of the CSGA's Circular 6 and plots of crop kinds listed in Sections 2 and 3.
  • In the event that a grower has been refused by all ASCIS in his or her region, then the CFIA may, as resources permit, conduct seed crop inspections for Foundation, Registered and Certified status fields of crop kinds listed in Sections 2 and 3.
  • Growers are encouraged by the CSGA to have legal contracts and/or agreements in place with their ASCIS service provider. If for some reason the ASCIS service provider is not able to meet the terms of the contract or agreement and is not able to inspect a seed crop, then the CFIA will conduct seed crop inspections for Foundation, Registered and Certified status fields of crop kinds listed in Sections 2 and 3 of Circular 6 as resources permit. However, the grower must have attempted to get service from all other ASCIS in his or her Region before requesting that the CFIA conduct the inspection.
  • If a grower has an issue with their LSCI or with a Report of Seed Crop Inspection they must first attempt to resolve the situation with their ASCIS. ASCIS are required to have a procedure in place for re-inspections. If a grower is still not in agreement with the re-inspection from their ASCIS, and the crop has not been altered since their last inspection, the grower may request a complaint inspection be performed by an official CFIA inspector who may conduct such an inspection if resources permit. The CSGA may collect an assessment to cover the costs of the complaint inspection.
  • Seed growers must select the CFIA to inspect seed crops destined for marketing in the EU as Basic or Pre-Basic seed
  • Seed growers must select the CFIA to inspect seed crops of Hybrid Cereals e.g. Hybrid Rye.

In all of the scenarios described above, growers will access CFIA seed crop inspection by designating the CFIA as the inspection service on an application for CSGA seed crop certification. The CFIA will not accept requests for crop inspection directly from seed growers.

The CFIA will only accept requests for seed crop inspection made by the CSGA directly to the CFIA, and only if a field map is present in the CSGA's SeedCert data management system.

3.4 CFIA Availability in 2017 for Hybrid Seed Corn Inspection

Beginning in 2017 the CFIA will not offer direct delivery inspections on hybrid corn seed crops, for Certified status. CFIA will continue to offer direct delivery inspections on higher generation seed corn crops.

In future, seed corn companies will either:

  1. choose to use a 3rd party ASCIS to provide inspections or
  2. apply to become a non-3rd party ASCIS.

In order to be licenced as a non-3rd party ASCIS, seed corn companies are required to apply to CFIA prior to September 15, 2017 for licensing in 2018.

3.5 Definition of Third Party for Determining Conflicts of Interest

In order to apply as either an ASCIS or an LSCI, an applicant must agree that it will only offer to perform or carry out inspections in relation to seed crops for which it is not the seed grower or the crop certificate assignee and only for persons or entities with which it has an arm's length relationship. "Arm's length" in this context has the same meaning attributed to the term under section 251 of the Income Tax Act. Applicants should refer to that definition for an accurate interpretation of arm's length, but a rough summary is provided below.

Arm's length criteria:

Related persons do not deal with each other at arm's length. This is the case regardless of how they actually conduct their mutual business transactions.

Corporations can be considered 'related persons'. A corporation can be related to another person if that person is in control of the corporation. Corporations can be related to each other if two corporations are controlled by the same person (or group of persons) or the persons (or individuals in a group of persons) controlling the corporations are related.

Individual shareholders who do not control the corporation, or are not otherwise related to the corporation can deal with that corporation at arm's length. However, if a sufficient number of minority shareholders act together to direct the affairs of a corporation they may be considered to not be at arm's length with that corporation.

For instance, a corporation will not be considered to operate at arm's length to another person (including another corporation) if:

  1. the other person controls the corporation;
  2. the other person is a member of a related group that controls the corporation; or
  3. the other person is related to a person described in (a) or (b).

Seed Sector Interpretations:

  • Seed Grower
    A seed grower who acts as an ASCIS or LSCI cannot inspect their own seed crops. This is considered to be a "first party" relationship and the business transaction is not at arm's length. A "seed grower" is defined as an applicant for the inspection of a seed crop offered for pedigreed status and the person who grows the crop in accordance with Circular 6 of the CSGA and the person accepting full responsibility for the production and management of the seed crop and all related financial obligations.
  • Seed Company
    A company that acts as an ASCIS cannot inspect seed crops assigned to it. This is considered to be a "second party" relationship and the business transaction is not at arm's length.
  • Unrelated Persons
    An ASCIS or LSCI that inspects seed crops for a seed grower or seed company to whom the service provider is not related (as a corporation or as an individual) is considered to be in a "third party" relationship and the transaction is at arm's length.

It is recommended that independent legal advice be sought to ensure that any particular situation or relationship is consistent with this obligation.

3.6 CFIA Oversight

In order to maintain the integrity of the seed certification system in Canada, the CFIA will conduct official oversight of the activities of the ASCIS and the LSCI as described in QSP 142.3 CFIA Oversight of Authorized Seed Crop Inspection and Specific Work Instructions (SWI) 142.3.1 CFIA Oversight of Authorized Seed Crop Inspection.

The CFIA is obligated by its participation in the OECD Seed Schemes to maintain official oversight of the activities of alternative service providers of seed crop inspection.

4.0 Roles and Responsibilities

4.1 CFIA Responsibilities

The CFIA is the authority for seed certification in Canada.

CFIA Operations Branch staff are responsible for:

  • maintaining CFIA competence in the delivery of pedigreed seed crop inspection;
  • providing initial and ongoing classroom and practical field training to LSCI, as CFIA resources permit, on a fee-for-service basis;
  • administering written and practical evaluations for candidate LSCI;
  • reviewing Quality Management Systems (QMS) manuals of ASCIS candidates and making recommendations to the National Manager of the Seed Section for licensing of the ASCIS candidates;
  • overseeing the activities of LSCI, including check inspections of fields inspected by the LSCI as outlined in QSP 142.3 and SWI 142.3.1;
  • overseeing the activities of ASCIS, including audits of the implementation of the QMS of the ASCIS as outlined in QSP 142.3 and SWI 142.3.1;
  • maintaining records of the activities of the ASCIS and LSCI, including records of check inspections, results of oversight activities, and records of invoicing for check inspections;
  • reporting on the results of audits and check inspections to the Seed Section, the ASCIS and the LSCI involved;
  • maintaining communications with the CFIA, CSGA, ASCIS, LSCI, seed growers and their assignees; and
  • identifying and reporting any potential conflicts of interest evident in the LSCI or ASCIS.

The CFIA Seed Section is responsible for:

  • assigning licence numbers and issuing licences to LSCI and ASCIS;
  • setting any conditions on the licences of LSCI and ASCIS;
  • maintaining and providing a list of licensed ASCIS and LSCI to the CFIA Operations Branch and to the CSGA on a regular basis;
  • revoking licences where warranted;
  • advising the CFIA Operations Branch of all changes or modifications to seed crop inspection procedures, and related documents;
  • advising the CFIA Operations Branch of all changes or modifications to CFIA oversight of the LSCI and ASCIS; and
  • providing the official descriptions of varieties (DoV) of varieties registered in Canada (Variety Registration Office).

4.2 CSGA Responsibilities

The CSGA is responsible for:

  • establishing and maintaining reporting requirements for pedigreed seed crop inspection;
  • providing training to LSCI, ASCIS and CFIA staff on the use of the CSGA SeedCert software suite;
  • maintaining a registry, available to seed growers, of ASCIS eligible to submit Reports of Seed Crop Inspection to the CSGA;
  • receiving applications for pedigreed seed crop inspection from seed growers or their assignees;
  • informing seed growers of the responsibility to provide field maps to CSGA SeedCert;
  • distributing requests for seed crop inspection to ASCIS as directed by seed growers or their assignees;
  • communicating to the CFIA any observed or suspected non-conformances or non-compliances on the part of the LSCI or ASCIS;
  • maintaining and providing ASCIS, LSCI and the CFIA with access to information on seed crop growers, seed crop inspections, submitted Reports of Seed Crop Inspection and other required information as appropriate;
  • producing reports and other information for the use of the ASCIS, LSCI, and the CFIA on the activities of the ASCIS and LSCI and the implementation of authorized seed crop inspection;
  • providing to the Seed Section an annual report on the activities of each LSCI and ASCIS including, but not limited to the number of fields inspected and the crop kinds inspected by each LSCI and ASCIS; and
  • issuing crop certificates based on the Reports of Seed Crop Inspection submitted by LSCI.

4.3 ASCIS Responsibilities

An ASCIS must:

  • comply with the conditions of the licence issued by the CFIA;
  • implement its documented QMS as approved by the CFIA;
  • notify the CFIA of any significant changes made to its QMS prior to their implementation;
  • train the LSCI who report to the ASCIS on the QMS of the ASCIS;
  • afford CFIA representatives such reasonable cooperation as necessary for the CFIA's oversight of the ASCIS and LSCI under its supervision;
  • oversee the activities of LSCI reporting to the ASCIS;
  • notify the CFIA before an LSCI inspects a new crop kind for the first time, and also notify the CFIA when the LSCI is inspecting plots for the first time in each crop kind;
  • provide the LSCI and other staff under its supervision with access to up-to-date versions of the required documents and references;
  • operate in conformance with the procedures described in the relevant CFIA QSPs and SWIs;
  • ensure that seed crop inspections are planned such that the crops are inspected within the time frame defined by the SWI for the crop type;
  • notify their LSCI, based on information provided by the seed grower, of the pest control product spray schedule of fields to be inspected by the LSCI;
  • provide planned inspection dates before the inspection begins;
  • notify the CSGA and CFIA when a seed crop inspection is conducted by the end of the day on which the inspection is conducted using CSGA SeedCert;
  • Approve the report of seed crop inspection within two business days;
  • notify the CFIA of the pest control product spray schedule of fields when requested and in an appropriate time frame;
  • provide the CFIA with field location maps and directions for check inspections;
  • maintain the confidentiality of the Reports of Seed Crop Inspection and other related confidential information;
  • maintain complete and accurate records and retain the records for a minimum of seven years;
  • take appropriate action if any of its staff, including LSCI, have commercial, financial or other pressures or conflicts that might cause the staff to act in an other than impartial manner;
  • annually, before June 15, inform the CFIA, using the ASCIS Roster form in SeedCert, of the names of the LSCI who will be submitting reports through the ASCIS; and the names of the Lead Inspector and alternate Lead Inspector for each Region in which the ASCIS operates;
  • notify the CFIA and CSGA immediately of any changes to its list of LSCI;
  • provide information and conduct other activities required by the CFIA from time to time;
  • maintain communications with the CFIA and the CSGA as necessary; and
  • pay fees to the CFIA for check inspections.

ASCIS should:

  • notify the CSGA and CFIA of any upcoming seed crop inspections two days preceding the inspections in CSGA's SeedCert;
  • conform to the requirements of the CSGA for reporting, communications and other activities specified by the CSGA;
  • cooperate with the CSGA in receiving and acknowledging requests for seed crop inspections, submitting Reports of Seed Crop Inspection, providing information and conducting other activities as required by the CSGA from time to time;
  • pay fees to the CSGA as determined by the CSGA; and
  • not accept an inspection application for a crop kind unless they have LSCI reporting through them who have the appropriate licence scope and competence to inspect that crop kind.

The Quality Manager of the ASCIS is responsible for:

  • maintaining familiarity with all CFIA and CSGA reference documents, ASCIS documents and procedures related to seed crop inspection, and ASCIS and LSCI licence conditions;
  • ensuring the ASCIS complies with the check inspection and audit process outlined in QSP 142.3 and SWI 142.3.1;
  • documenting and maintaining the QMS and QMS manual as approved by the CFIA;
  • amending the QMS manual during the initial review by the CFIA and thereafter as necessary based on revisions to reference documents; and
  • removing and disposing of obsolete portions of the QMS manual from all points of use.

The Lead Inspector/Alternate Lead Inspector of the ASCIS is responsible for:

  • having and maintaining a Group 1 LSCI licence;
  • acting as liaison between LSCI reporting to the ASCIS and the CFIA and the CSGA;
  • providing technical support and advice to the LSCI reporting to the ASCIS, as necessary;
  • supervising LSCI inspecting a crop kind for the first time;
  • assessing plant, plant disease, and weed samples taken by the LSCI reporting to the ASCIS and forwarding the samples to the local CFIA office for further assessment when necessary;
  • reviewing and approving all Reports of Seed Crop Inspection and verifying that the reports are in conformance with crop inspection and reporting standards prior to the Report's submission to the CSGA;
  • submitting the finalized Reports of Seed Crop Inspection to the CSGA within 2 business days of the inspection; and
  • providing LSCI with refresher training as required.

4.4 LSCI Responsibilities

LSCI must:

  • be under the supervision of an ASCIS licensed by the CFIA;
  • comply with the conditions of the licence issued to them by the CFIA; and
  • operate within the approved QMS procedures of the ASCIS to which they report.

Included in the above:

  • conform to the requirements of Circular 6, relevant QSPs and SWIs and technical bulletins issued by the CSGA or the CFIA from time to time;
  • maintain access to the most recent versions of the relevant documentation;
  • submit unbiased, accurate, and comprehensive Reports of Seed Crop Inspection in a timely manner to their Lead Inspector;
  • communicate any unusual findings, questions, or other information as appropriate to the Lead Inspector;
  • cooperate with the ASCIS to which they report in planning inspections, receiving requests for inspection, submitting Reports of Seed Crop Inspection, providing information and conducting other activities required by the ASCIS from time to time;
  • carry a copy of their seed crop inspection licence with them as proof of their competence to conduct seed crop inspections;
  • agree to re-training when check inspections or oversight activities indicate non-conformances that may be appropriately addressed by training; fees may be assessed for re-training;
  • Attend CFIA mandatory training when required;
  • report through SeedCert the finding of any prohibited noxious weed to the CFIA within two business days of the seed crop inspection during which the observation was made;
  • maintain the confidentiality of the Reports of Seed Crop Inspection and other related confidential information;
  • not inspect seed crops for which they do not have the required competence or training;
  • LSCI are required to have a Group 6 licence to do a re-inspection on Plots. Re-inspections are required for different reasons, most often to confirm isolation;
  • inform the CFIA using CSGA's SeedCert, before inspecting a new crop kind for the first time, and must also inform the CFIA when inspecting plots for the first time in each crop kind
  • notify the ASCIS to which they report if they have commercial, financial or other pressures or conflicts that might cause the LSCI to act in other than an impartial manner; and
  • inform any ASCIS through which it submits Reports of seed crop inspection to CSGA of any critical non-conformances assigned to the LSCI and of any licence revocation in process.

LSCI should:

  • conform to the requirements of the CSGA for reporting, communications and other activities specified by the CSGA; and
  • only access SeedCert with the unique log-in information assigned to them and maintain the confidentiality of their log-in information.

4.5 Seed Grower Responsibilities

The seed grower is responsible for:

  • contracting with an ASCIS for seed crop inspection and indicating the name of the ASCIS on their application for seed crop inspection submitted to the CSGA;
  • submitting field maps for each sequence number into CSGA SeedCert;
  • cooperating with the CFIA, LSCI, and ASCIS by providing any required information for inspection of their seed crops, including access to records, tags and fields;
  • cooperating with the CSGA in submitting applications for seed crop inspection, or other activities required by the CSGA;
  • where necessary, requesting re-inspection from the CSGA;
  • communicating with the ASCIS and CFIA when a pest control product with re-entry restrictions is applied to a seed crop within seventy-two (72) hours before the LSCI inspection and the CFIA check inspection; and
  • paying fees as appropriate to the CSGA, the ASCIS, and to the CFIA.

5.0 Licensed Seed Crop Inspector Requirements

Regardless of previous work experience, each person seeking licensing as an LSCI must submit a Licensed Seed Crop Inspector Application (Appendix D) to the CFIA's Seed Section. If the candidate worked for the CFIA previously, they will also be asked to complete and sign a declaration that indicates their last date of employment with the CFIA. LSCI applications may be submitted any time during the year but should be sent as early as possible in order to secure training.

Being licensed as an LSCI does not guarantee the acceptance of their Reports of Seed Crop Inspection by the CSGA. The CSGA has the authority to impose additional requirements on the LSCI.

In addition to the references listed in SPRA 101, the LSCI should be familiar with the following:

  • the conditions of the licence of the LSCI;
  • the QMS of the ASCIS to which they report;
  • how to complete a Report of Seed Crop Inspection; and
  • CSGA requirements for electronic Report submission to SeedCert;

It is recommended that LSCI meet the Class 1 Colour Vision standard (Colour Vision Normal (CVN); passes Ishihara test) of the Health Canada Occupational Health Assessment Guide (OHAG), Annex D Vision Standards.

Licence Applications should be sent to the CFIA at the following coordinates:

National Manager, Seed Section
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
59 Camelot Drive
Ottawa ON K1A 0Y9
Fax: 613-773-7261
Email: SeedSemence@inspection.gc.ca

5.1 LSCI Training and Evaluation

The crop kinds listed in CSGA's Circular 6 have been divided among six Groups. LSCI may be licensed for one or more Groups.

Group 1 – Cereals and Pulses

  • CSGA Circular 6 Sections 0 and 1 – Preparing for Seed Crop Inspection, Inspecting the Seed Crop, Completing a Report of Seed Crop Inspection, Land Use Inspections
  • Circular 6 Section 2 – Barley, Buckwheat, Canaryseed, Durum, Flax, Oat, Rye, Triticale, and Wheat
  • Circular 6 Section 3 – Bean, Fababean, Lentil, Lupin, Pea and Soybean

Group 2 – Hybrid Canola

  • Circular 6 Sections 0 and 1 – Preparing for Crop Inspection, Inspecting the Crop, Completing a Report of Seed Crop Inspection, Land Use Inspections (if not trained previously)
  • Circular 6 Section 5 – Hybrid Canola

Group 3 – Forages

  • Circular 6 Sections 0 and 1 – Preparing for Crop Inspection, Inspecting the Crop, Completing a Report of Seed Crop Inspection, Land Use Inspections (if not trained previously)
  • Circular 6 Section 6 – Grasses
  • Circular 6 Section 7 – Alfalfa, Bird'sfoot Trefoil, Clover, Crown Vetch, Milkvetch, Phacelia, and Sainfoin

Group 4 – Hybrid Corn

  • Circular 6 Sections 0 and 1 – Preparing for Crop Inspection, Inspecting the Crop, Completing a Report of Seed Crop Inspection, Land Use Inspections (if not trained previously)
  • Circular 6 Section 8 – Hybrid Field Corn

Group 5 – Special Crops

  • Circular 6 Sections 0 and 1 – Preparing for Crop Inspection, Inspecting the Crop, Completing a Report of Seed Crop Inspection, Land Use Inspections (if not trained previously)
  • Circular 6 Section 4 – Canola, Mustard, Oilseed Radish, Rapeseed (spring and winter)
  • Circular 6 Section 9 – Open Pollinated Corn
  • Circular 6 Section 10 – Industrial Hemp
  • Circular 6 Sections 14 to 19 – Other Crops

Group 6 – Plots

  • Circular 6 Sections 11 to 13

In order to be licensed for a particular Group, LSCI candidates must complete the associated CFIA classroom and practical training. The candidate must first attend the classroom training before they will be permitted to attend practical training. Following the classroom training, the candidate must pass the classroom evaluation for each applicable Group by achieving a mark of 80% or higher. If the candidate is not successful on their classroom evaluation, they may still attend practical training.

After the practical training, if this is the first Group for which a candidate is seeking licensing, the candidate is required to undergo one practical evaluation to assess their ability to conduct a seed crop inspection. To pass the practical evaluation, the candidate must receive a mark of 80% or higher.

Candidates are required to complete/attend all required classroom and practical training sessions for each licence scope.

LSCI are granted a Group I licence once they have successfully passed the practical evaluation for any one crop type listed in either Section 2 or Section 3 of Circular 6. However, LSCI cannot submit Reports of Seed Crop Inspection to the CSGA for the second crop Group (either Section 2 or 3) until they have completed practical training on this second crop type Group. This practical training in the second crop Group should occur in the same season.

The addition of subsequent Groups to the scope of an LSCI licence may or may not require additional practical evaluations. The addition of a Group 2 (Hybrid Canola) and a Group 4 (Hybrid Corn) scope each require an additional practical evaluation.

If the candidate is not successful on their first attempt of either the classroom or practical evaluation, they may attempt the evaluation one additional time in the current year. If the candidate fails on their second attempt, they must retake the associated training portion. For instance, if a candidate fails their practical evaluation twice but passed the classroom evaluation, they are only required to retake the practical training portion before they may attempt the practical evaluation a third time.

If greater than two years has passed since the candidate completed the training (either classroom or practical) the candidate is required to re-take the corresponding training prior to writing the exam. Any portions (either classroom or practical) successfully passed by the candidate will also expire after two years and the candidate is then required to re-take the corresponding training and exam.

During any type of evaluation, candidates will be able to use their copies of the reference documents that are required for seed crop inspection. These references may be in hard copy or electronic format. Before the evaluation, the candidate will be asked to not communicate with anyone other than the evaluator(s) by any means during the exam.

Seed crop inspectors who worked for the CFIA in the past but who have not inspected any seed crops for the previous two years may take the written and practical evaluations without attending the training. It is recommended, however, that they attend the classroom and practical training as a refresher prior to attempting the evaluations.

Candidates who wish to be licensed for Group 6 (plots) must:

  • already hold a Group 1 licence;
  • be licensed to inspect Foundation, Registered and Certified status crops of the crop Group(s) of interest;
  • be at reduced or normal check inspection rates (5 % or 10%) in 2017,
  • have been licensed and conducted inspections for at least 2 years;
  • have inspected a minimum of 60 fields over their years of being licensed; and
  • complete Group 6 training;

The CFIA will charge a fee for training of LSCI and ASCIS personnel as per section 9 of Table 1 of Part 14 – Seeds Fees the Canadian Food Inspection Agency Fees Notice.

5.2 LSCI Licensing

Where a candidate LSCI has passed both the written and practical evaluations, the National Manager of the Seed Section will issue them an LSCI licence. LSCI will be licensed to inspect only crop kinds listed in those Groups for which they have successfully completed a written theory and a practical evaluation, where necessary. Once the LSCI receives their licence they request an account in CSGA SeedCert.

The CSGA may require additional training or authorization of an LSCI in order for the LSCI to be eligible to submit Reports of Seed Crop Inspection to the CSGA through an ASCIS.

Once the LSCI is licensed, they may conduct seed crop inspections in any of the nine seed crop Regions and for one or more ASCIS.

An individual who is an employee of the CFIA may not hold an LSCI licence.

5.3 CFIA Oversight of LSCI

The CFIA will conduct check inspections of fields inspected by LSCI in order to oversee their activities. During the first year of licensing, an LSCI will be check inspected at a normal frequency (10%). The LSCI will be issued Corrective Action Requests (CARs) during or following the crop inspection season to address any non-conformances identified by the check inspector.

In subsequent years, the frequency of check inspections may be reduced to 5% or increased to 15% based on the number and type of non-conformances noted against the LSCI in the previous year.

In the event the LSCI disagrees with the details of a non-conformance or CAR, a formal written request may be made to the CFIA auditor using the Request for Appeal of Non-Conformance Form (Appendix G) requesting a review of the CAR or non-conformance. Requests for review must identify the rationale for the request and be submitted to the attention of the auditor within 5 working days of issuance of the non-conformance or CAR. Non-conformances and CARs will not be withdrawn on the basis that the ASCIS or LSCI does not agree with the current requirements of the program. It is also important to note that the submission of a request to appeal a CAR does not stop or interrupt the established CAR process. The CAR with CAP process must continue even if a dispute is initiated.

Inspections completed on Group 6 Plots are check inspected at 20% regardless of the LSCI check inspection rate on Group 1 to 5 crop types.

The CFIA will charge the associated check inspection fees directly to the ASCIS to which the LSCI reports.

5.4 Revocation of an LSCI Licence

The licence of an LSCI may be revoked at any time by the National Manager of the Seed Section. The following are general criteria which may lead to the revocation of an LSCI licence:

  • the LSCI has accrued three or more Critical non-conformances;
  • the LSCI does not resolve outstanding critical non-conformances within the time period set for their resolution;
  • the LSCI fails to comply with the conditions specified in their licence;
  • the LSCI provides false or misleading information in the application for licensing or renewing the licence;
  • the LSCI provides false or misleading information in a Report of Seed Crop Inspection; or
  • at the request of the LSCI.

In all circumstances of revocation of the licence of an LSCI, the National Manager of the Seed Section will inform the LSCI, ASCIS, and CSGA.

5.5 Renewal of an LSCI Licence

The licence of an LSCI is renewed annually by the National Manager of the Seed Section unless:

  • revocation is recommended following an ASCIS audit or by the check inspector;
  • the LSCI has a critical CAR that was not closed by the resolution date;
  • the LSCI has not completed a total of 20 inspections in the previous two seasons; or
  • the LSCI requests not to be renewed.

LSCI must re-take and pass written and practical evaluations if they have inspected fewer than twenty fields combined in the previous two seasons. If an LSCI is unable to complete 20 fields in two seasons for health or family reasons, they must inform the CFIA at seedsemence@inspection.gc.ca.

6.0 Authorized Seed Crop Inspection Service Requirements

6.1 Application for licensing an ASCIS

The representative of the candidate ASCIS must complete and submit an ASCIS application (Appendix B) to the CFIA's Seed Section by September 15th of the year before the year they intend to begin operation. The representative of the candidate ASCIS must also submit a Quality Management System (QMS) manual that contains the procedures and template records by which the ASCIS will administer seed crop inspection activities. Appendix F provides guidelines for the development of a QMS manual.

The CFIA will assess the ASCIS QMS manual against the checklist criteria provided in Appendix I of SWI 142.3.1, noting items that are satisfactory and not satisfactory. The CFIA will provide the completed checklist to the Quality Manager of the ASCIS. The Quality Manager may then submit a revised QMS manual to the CFIA which will reassess the criteria that were marked as not satisfactory. The QMS manual may be revised as many times as required to satisfactorily address all of the checklist criteria.

The QMS manual must meet all of the checklist criteria by December 15th or the ASCIS may not be licensed for the following year.

Licence applications should be sent to the CFIA at the following coordinates:

National Manager, Seed Section
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
59 Camelot Drive
Ottawa ON K1A 0Y9
Fax: 613-773-7261
Email: SeedSemence@inspection.gc.ca

6.2 CFIA Oversight of ASCIS

Every year after licensing, the ASCIS is subject to an annual audit to evaluate the ASCIS implementation of the QMS manual approved by the CFIA. At the end of the first year of licensing, the CFIA conducts a full audit prior to the annual renewal of the ASCIS licence.

Depending on the results of the audit and the performance of the LSCI reporting to the ASCIS, the ASCIS may be issued Corrective Action Requests (CARs) by the CFIA to amend any non-conformances that are found.

In subsequent years, based on the number of non-conformances that are noted in the previous year's audit, the CFIA auditor may recommend to the Seed Section that the ASCIS be subject to only partial audits covering specific sections of the QMS. Where partial audits are conducted, each portion of the QMS manual must be examined at least once every two years.

In the event the ASCIS disagrees with the details of a non-conformance or CAR, a formal written request may be made to the CFIA auditor using the Request for Appeal of Non-Conformance Form (Appendix G) requesting a review of the CAR or non-conformance. Requests for review must identify the rationale for the request and be submitted to the attention of the auditor within 5 working days of issuance. Non-conformances and CARs will not be withdrawn on the basis that the ASCIS or LSCI does not agree with the current requirements of the program.

There are no CFIA fees for the ASCIS audit.

ASCIS are invoiced for LSCI monitoring (check inspections) and for training of candidate LSCI. ASCIS will require an account with the CFIA. An account can be obtained by completing the Application for Credit form (CFIA0015).

Payment terms are as follows:

  • no account privileges: payment required at time of service; and
  • with account privileges: payment is required within 21 days from statement date.

Accepted payment options are: cash, cheque, VISA, MasterCard, Amex and Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). Note that EFT payments are only acceptable for those who have credit privileges and are looking to pay charges previously billed to their account. To pay by EFT, please send an e-mail to arcentre@inspection.gc.ca requesting the CFIA's banking information.

Questions regarding setting up an account with the CFIA can be sent to:

CFIA National Accounts Receivable Service Centre:
Toll Free: 1-888-677-2342
Fax: 1-506-777-3777
E-mail: arcentre@inspection.gc.ca

6.3 Revocation of an ASCIS Licence

The licence of an ASCIS may be revoked at any time by the National Manager of the Seed Section. The following are general criteria for revoking an ASCIS licence:

  • the ASCIS does not resolve outstanding critical non-conformances within the time period set for their resolution;
  • false or misleading information was supplied in the application for licensing or renewing the licence;
  • the ASCIS fails to provide access to premises, documents, reports, information and/or reasonable assistance as required by the CFIA;
  • the revocation is requested by the ASCIS; or
  • the ASCIS fails to pay fees owing to the CFIA.

The Reports of Seed Crop Inspection completed by the LSCI under the supervision of an ASCIS whose licence has been revoked will not be accepted by the CSGA.

If an ASCIS is requesting for their licence to be revoked, they must notify their CFIA Auditor by email and copy the National Manager of the Seed Section at SeedSemence@inspection.gc.ca.

In all circumstances of revocation of the licence of an ASCIS, the National Manager, Seed Section will inform the ASCIS, CSGA, and the affected LSCI.

6.4 Renewal of an ASCIS Licence

The licence of an ASCIS is renewed annually by the National Manager of the Seed Section unless:

  • revocation has been requested by the ASCIS;
  • the ASCIS has critical CARs that were not closed by their resolution date;
  • revocation has been recommended following a CFIA audit of the ASCIS;
  • the ASCIS fails to submit the appropriate fees to the CFIA; and/or
  • the ASCIS does not complete a renewal form and/or accept their minimum number of inspections for the coming seed crop inspection season.

Appendix A: Authorized Seed Crop Inspection Service – Application Information

1.1 Legal Capacity and Eligibility of the Applicant

An application for licensing as an Authorized Seed Crop Inspection Service (ASCIS) can only be submitted by an organization with the legal capacity to contract and that is in good standing.

The applicant must provide, if requested by the CFIA, any relevant supporting documentation confirming the legal status of the applicant (that may include documentation confirming the laws under which it is registered or incorporated, its registered or corporate name and place of business).

For the purpose of this document, an applicant will NOT be considered to be in good standing if at any time within a period of two (2) years prior to the date of the submission of the application it has been in contravention of the Seeds Act and/or the Seeds Regulations, as applicable.

For the purpose of this document, an applicant will NOT be considered to be in good standing when outstanding fees are owed to the CFIA.

1.2 Responsibility of the Applicant

It is the applicant's responsibility to obtain clarification of the applicable requirements, if necessary, before submitting an application to the CFIA. Enquiries and other communications must be directed only to the CFIA at:

National Manager, Seed Section
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
59 Camelot Drive
Ottawa ON K1A 0Y9
Fax: 613-773-7261

Or by email to: SeedSemence@inspection.gc.ca

In order for the CFIA to perform a complete review and evaluation of the application, it is the applicant's responsibility to prepare its application and all supporting documents (referred to as the "application package") in accordance with all applicable requirements, as further detailed in this document, and to comply with any request or instructions of the CFIA that may be made or issued with respect to this document.

1.3 Application Criteria

Applicants wishing to be licensed as an ASCIS must:

  • commit to a minimum number of seed crop inspections for each Region for which it is applying for licensing;
  • be prepared to provide seed crop inspection services throughout each Region for which it is applying for licensing in the case where no other ASCIS obtains a licence in that Region;
  • agree to not refuse a seed crop inspection within the Region(s) for which the applicant is applying (other than for reasons listed within the licence), prior to accepting a minimum number of inspections; after the minimum number of inspections has been accepted, an ASCIS may refuse an inspection on the basis that it does not have the capacity to conduct the inspection;
  • review, and agree to comply with, the terms and conditions of the application and the resulting Licence for Authorized Seed Crop Inspection Services (ASCIS);
  • in the case of a non-individual, ensure that the Application is signed by a representative of the applicant that has the legal authority to bind the applicant; the signature will be presumed to have such binding effect; and
  • submit its Quality Management System (QMS) manual.

The application package for licensing as an ASCIS shall be submitted to the CFIA.

1.4 Application Evaluation

The CFIA will review the application package to determine if the applicant meets all the applicable requirements. The application must be completed in full and the applicant's QMS manual must demonstrate that the applicant meets the minimum requirements. The CFIA shall review the application package against the prescribed requirements and shall prepare a record of evaluation indicating the extent of fulfillment of the requirements and provide this to the applicant upon completion of the review.

Where this evaluation indicates fulfillment of the requirements, the CFIA will issue a licence to the applicant.

In conducting its evaluation of the application and all supporting documents, the CFIA may:

  • seek clarification or verification from the applicant regarding any or all information provided by the applicant; and
  • take any other appropriate action to validate any information submitted by the applicant.

In the event that the CFIA issues a request to an applicant related to any of the items listed above, the applicant will have a number of days specified in the request to comply with the request. Failure to comply with the request of the CFIA may delay the processing of the application and may result in the closure of the applicant's file.

In the event that an applicant's file is closed, the CFIA will inform the applicant and provide an explanation. There could be cases where the CFIA intends to close an applicant's file but is prepared to provide to the applicant an opportunity to make corrections to its original application package or to make representations before making a final decision.

An applicant may contact the CFIA to review or verify the status of its application.

1.5 Granting of a Licence

The CFIA will license the applicant as an ASCIS pursuant to subsection 4.2(1) of the Seeds Act once it has determined that the licencing requirements have been met.

1.6 Rights of the CFIA

By submitting an application package, the applicant acknowledges that it is within the CFIA's sole discretion to make final determination on the licensing of the applicant as an ASCIS.

The application may be rejected and the resulting licence revoked if it is determined that the applicant has provided any false or misleading information.

2.0 Specific Requirements

2.1 Technical Requirement

The applicant's QMS manual must be presented in a clear and concise manner and in sufficient detail to permit the CFIA to assess and evaluate the ability of the applicant's QMS to fulfill the minimum technical requirements.

Appendix B: Authorized Seed Crop Inspection Service (ASCIS) Application

Pursuant to subsection 4.2(1) of the Seeds Act

Please submit the completed application to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). Please type or print clearly in ink. The initial of the applicant's representative is required in the first line of Section B and their signature in Section C.

A. To be completed by the Applicant

Company Name: space

Mailing Address: space

City: space

Province: space

Postal Code: space

Tel: space

Email address: space

Incorporated under the laws of (if applicable): space

Quality Manager Name: space

Email Address: space

Application for the following geographic area(s):
(check off this box) Seed Crop Region (check off this box) Seed Crop Region
R1- Atlantic Canada R5- Ontario West
R2- Quebec East R6- Manitoba
R3- Quebec West R7- Saskatchewan
R4- Ontario East R8- Alberta and British Columbia South
R9- Alberta and British Columbia North

Note 1: Failure to provide complete information on this application may delay the processing of your application and may result in a closure of your file. Furthermore, a licence will only be issued once the CFIA has approved the applicant's quality management system (QMS) manual, and the applicant has confirmed that it agrees to provide seed crop inspection services for a minimum number of fields (CSGA sequence numbers) as determined by the CFIA.

Note 2: The CFIA, in consultation with ASCIS and seed growers, reserves the right to adjust the Regions and the corresponding estimated number of total inspections based on feedback received.

The information you provide on this document is collected by (for) the CFIA under the authority of the Seeds Act for the purpose of licensing under the Authorized Seed Crop Inspection Program. Personal information will be dealt with under the provisions of the Privacy Act and will be stored in Personal Information Bank CFIA PPU 100. Information may be accessible or protected as required under the provisions of the Access to Information Act.

B. Terms and Conditions

Publication of Applicant Information

The applicant hereby authorizes the CFIA and the Canadian Seed Growers' Association (CSGA) to publish, or otherwise communicate its name, address, email address and telephone number for the purposes of making the information publicly available and informing interested persons of the filing of its application and any resulting licence, its affiliation with a Licensed Seed Crop Inspector (LSCI), and the geographic scope of its licence.

Applicant Initials

Conflict of Interest

The applicant understands and acknowledges that should a licence be issued to it, it will only be permitted to offer to perform and carry out inspections in relation to seed crops for which it is not the seed grower or the crop certificate assignee and for persons or entities with which it has an arm's length relationship.

The applicant understands that it will have an ongoing obligation under any resulting licence to ensure that it carries out the activities under a licence without any conflict of interest.

The applicant represents and warrants that no bribe, gift, benefit, nor other inducement has been nor shall be paid, given, promised or offered directly or indirectly to any official or employee of the government of Canada or to a member of the family of such a person, with a view to influencing the granting of this licence or in the administration of this licence.

The applicant understands and acknowledges that individuals who are subject to the provisions of the Conflict of Interest Act, the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons, the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Service or any other codes of values and ethics applicable within specific organizations cannot derive any direct benefit resulting from the licence.

Practical training and evaluation

If required by the CFIA, the applicant will arrange for access to seed crop fields for the practical training and evaluation by the CFIA of the LSCI under their supervision and any associated costs or related requirements.

Theory training and evaluation

If required by the CFIA, the applicant will arrange for a location for the theory training and evaluation by the CFIA of the LSCI under their supervision and any associated costs or related requirements.

C. Acceptance and Declaration

I, space,
[Name in print of the applicant's representative]

declare and certify that the information provided in (and that accompanies) this Application Form is true, accurate and complete.

Further, I, on behalf of the applicant, have read and agree to the terms and conditions or representations and warrantees set out in section B above. I have also read and initialed the first condition listed in section B.

Signature of the Applicant's Representative: space

Title: space
Date: space

Appendix C: Sample 2017 Licence for Authorized Seed Crop Inspection Services (ASCIS)

Pursuant to subsection 4.2(1) of the Seeds Act

ASCIS Licence Number A####

Granted by: The Canadian Food Inspection Agency, a body corporate established pursuant to section 3 of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency Act (Canada), with its headquarters located at 1400 Merivale Road, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A 0Y9; hereinafter referred to as the "CFIA".

Granted to:

Applicant Information

Company Name: space

Mailing Address: space

Tel: space

Email: space

Incorporated under the laws of: (if applicable) space

Quality Manager Name: space

Licence for: [Insert seed crop inspection Regions]

Referred to as the "Authorized Seed Crop Inspection Service" or "ASCIS".

The CFIA hereby licenses the above-mentioned entity to provide seed crop inspection services for official seed certification purposes in accordance with the conditions of this licence.

To maintain this licence, the licensee is obliged to comply with the conditions of this licence outlined on the following pages.

This licence comes into force on the date of signature of the National Manager of the Seed Section of the CFIA and remains in force, unless otherwise terminated, until March 31, 2018.

Signed MONTH space (insert numeric day) space, 2017

For the Canadian Food Inspection Agency:

space
National Manager, Seed Section
59 Camelot Drive
Ottawa ON K1A 0Y9
Email: SeedSemence@inspection.gc.ca

A. Conditions

Licensee and LSCI relationship

The licensee is required to notify the CFIA immediately of a change to the list of the Licensed Seed Crop Inspectors (LSCI) submitting Reports of Seed Crop Inspection to the Canadian Seed Growers' Association (CSGA) under its supervision.

The licensee shall assign specific fields (CSGA sequence numbers) for inspection to a specific LSCI and inform CSGA of this assignment.

Notice of planned inspection schedules

The licensee must provide notice to the CFIA of the inspection schedules of its LSCI prior to the inspection date.

When possible, LSCI inspection schedules should be provided two (2) days prior to inspections, unless unforeseen circumstances occur which necessitate inspections to occur unexpectedly, in which case the intention to inspect a crop should be notified before the inspection begins.

When an inspection is conducted, the licensee must report the actual date of inspection by the end of the day on which the inspection is conducted.

Obligations

The licensee shall comply and is responsible for ensuring that any LSCI submitting Reports of Seed Crop Inspection to the CSGA on its behalf complies with all the requirements of the following documents:

  1. this licence;
  2. QSP 142.1;
  3. SWI 142.1.1;
  4. SWI 142.1.2-1 to SWI 142.1.2-8;
  5. QSP 142.2;
  6. QSP 142.3;
  7. SWI 142.3.1;
  8. the OECD Seed Schemes, where applicable; and
  9. CSGA Circular 6;

each as amended from time to time.

The licensee has an on-going obligation to ensure that its quality management system (QMS) manual, which was evaluated by the CFIA as meeting the requirements of this licence and the above-mentioned documents, continues to meet these requirements. The licensee shall comply and is responsible for ensuring that any LSCI submitting Reports of Seed Crop Inspection to the CSGA on its behalf complies with its QMS manual. Except where the licensee has otherwise been provided written approval of the CFIA, the licensee shall only accept applications for seed crop inspection from growers with home addresses in the geographic region for which this licence has been granted. The licensee shall not refuse an application for seed crop inspection, unless it has accepted the minimum number of applications for inspection assigned to it by the CFIA in each geographic region for which this licence has been granted. Permitted exceptions to this requirement are:
  • seed grower history of non-payment for services;
  • licensee inability to provide an LSCI without a conflict of interest with the seed grower; or
  • licensee lacks the competence or capability to conduct the inspection of the crop types (other than crop types listed in Section 2 or Section 3 of Circular 6).
Conflict of Interest

The licensee must only offer to perform and carry out inspections in relation to seed crops for which they are not the seed grower or the crop certificate assignee and for persons or entities with which they have an arm's length relationship.

The licensee shall have a written Conflict of Interest policy and procedures for assessing and ensuring that their employees who are LSCI are and remain free from any pressures, influences or relationships that may affect the honest, diligent, ethical, impartial performance of the obligations of their licence from the CFIA.

The licensee acknowledges that the LSCI is acting in the public interest and is required to conduct themself with personal integrity, ethics, honesty and diligence in performing the duties of the licence. The licensee shall not place the LSCI in situations where the interests of the licensee may conflict with their duties as a LSCI.

The licensee and its personnel are prohibited from attempting to improperly influence or interfere, either directly or indirectly, financially, or otherwise with an LSCI performing their duties. The licensee will not offer or provide any benefit or reward or threaten or impose any disciplinary measure, disincentive or adverse consequence that has the potential to improperly influence the conduct of the LSCI.

The licensee acknowledges that it is an offence under s. 425.1, Criminal Code (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-46) for an employer or person acting on behalf of an employer or in a position of authority in respect of an employee of the employer to take a disciplinary measure against, demote, terminate or otherwise adversely affect the employment of such an employee, or threaten to do so, (a) with the intent to compel the employee to abstain from providing information to a person whose duties include the enforcement of federal or provincial law, respecting an offence that the employee believes has been or is being committed contrary to this or any other federal or provincial Act or regulation by the employer or an officer or employee of the employer or, if the employer is a corporation, by one or more of its directors; or (b) with the intent to retaliate against the employee because the employee has provided information referred to in paragraph (a) to a person whose duties include the enforcement of federal or provincial law.

The licensee has an ongoing obligation to ensure that they carry out the activities under this licence without any conflict of interest.

Amending the QMS Manual

The licensee must notify the CFIA of amendments to its QMS manual.

Performance of seed crop inspection

Only LSCI may perform seed crop inspections under this licence. The licensee will ensure the LSCIs are properly trained, licensed and maintain their competency.

Format of Reporting

The licensee shall report the results of crop inspection in accordance with the relevant QSP and SWI and on a form or in a format approved by the CSGA.

Notification of Prohibited Noxious Weeds

Within two (2) days of having completed a seed crop inspection in which a finding has been made of any prohibited noxious weed, the licensee shall notify the CFIA.

Change of Status

This licence is issued on the basis of information provided by the licensee to the CFIA. The licensee must immediately notify the CFIA if the status of the licensee changes throughout the period of the licence, such as in the event of changes in respect of ownership or majority control, technical or financial competence, location of the workplace or in any other way.

The licensee shall immediately notify CFIA if proceedings for bankruptcy or insolvency are brought by or against the licensee under applicable bankruptcy or insolvency laws.

The licensee's notice shall include a detailed description of the change and its implications for this licence.

Audits and Check Inspections

The licensee will provide the CFIA access to the premises of the licensee and/or to any location, property or premises where any part of activities under this licence are being carried out to verify compliance with the conditions of this licence and the licensee shall provide all reasonable assistance in this regard.

Reporting the Application of Pest Control Products

To protect the health and safety of the LSCI and the check inspectors, the licensee will contact the seed grower to obtain information on the application schedule for pest control products in advance of crop inspection by an LSCI or check inspection by the CFIA, or its representative, and report this information to the LSCI and the CFIA as appropriate.

When a pest control product with a Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) re-entry period has been applied to a seed crop in the seventy two (72) hours before or after the seed crop inspection, where the licensee is aware of such application, the licensee shall determine from the seed grower and shall communicate to the LSCI and the CFIA the chemical name or commercial name of the product applied, the location where the product was applied, the date where the product was applied, the date when the field can safely be re-entered and any other pertinent information. It is acknowledged that the information supplied under this condition will only be as accurate as the information obtained from the seed grower.

Record-keeping

The licensee shall maintain a documented QMS, approved by the CFIA, which results in accurate and complete records and supporting documentation relating to its activities and obligations under this licence, including, but not limited to, proof of training, and proof of inspections performed under this licence, in particular the Reports of Seed Crop Inspection submitted to the CSGA by LSCI under its supervision.

The licensee shall not, without the prior written consent of the CFIA, dispose of any such accounts, records, and documentation until the expiration of seven (7) years after expiration or the revocation of this licence, or until the settlement of all outstanding claims and disputes, whichever is later.

All such accounts, records, documents and the QMS manual shall at all times during the retention period referred to above be made available to audit, inspection and examination by an authorized representative of the CFIA, who may make copies and take extracts thereof. The licensee shall provide all facilities and equipment for such audits and inspections and shall furnish all such information as the representatives of the CFIA may from time to time require with respect to such accounts, records, and documents.

The licensee shall provide its QMS manual and all such records, accounts and documents or any copies thereof, including the Reports of Seed Crop Inspection submitted to the CSGA by LSCI under its supervision, where a request is made by the CFIA in order to verify compliance with the conditions of this licence.

Fees

The licensee is required to pay for check inspections by the CFIA in accordance with the fee set out in the CFIA Fees Notice.

Confidentiality

The licensee shall use confidential information obtained under this licence only for the purposes outlined in this licence. Except as required by law, the licensee shall not disclose any confidential information without first obtaining the prior written approval for the disclosure from the relevant party.

Communication with Seed Grower

The licensee shall not provide a Report of Seed Crop Inspection to a seed grower until the report has been reviewed by a lead inspector for this ASCIS licence.

The licensee shall not communicate to the seed grower an opinion as to the decision of the CSGA with respect to the results of an inspection.

Indemnity

The licensee shall indemnify and save harmless Canada, the CFIA and their servants and agents from and against any claim, action, suit or other proceeding or any loss or damage for which they or any of them may be liable to another person arising out of the licensee's fault, or the fault of any LSCI operating under their supervision and submitting reports of seed crop inspection to the CSGA on their behalf, in carrying out its obligations under this licence or any failure of the licensee or their LSCI to comply with the terms of this licence, except that Canada and the CFIA shall not claim such indemnity to the extent that the loss or damage has been caused by Canada.

Insurance

The licensee must maintain insurance coverage for the duration of the licence and for 24 months after the end or revocation of this licence. The licensee is responsible for deciding the level of insurance coverage that is necessary to fulfill their obligations under the licence.

Relationship

The licensee or their personnel shall at no time portray or otherwise represent themselves as employees or agents of the CFIA. Neither the licensee nor any of their personnel are engaged as employees or agents of the CFIA. Nothing contained in this licence and the parties' relationships or actions is intended to create, or shall be considered or construed as creating, a partnership or the relationship of principal and agent, lessor and lessee, or of employer and employee between the parties.

Assignment
This licence shall not be assigned, in whole or in part.

B. Important Notices:

  1. CSGA Additional Requirements: The granting of this licence and/or the fulfillment of the conditions of this licence does not guarantee the acceptance of the Reports of Seed Crop Inspection by the CSGA. The CSGA has the authority at its sole and unfettered discretion to impose additional requirements on the licensee.
  2. Providing Notices: Any notice, or request made under or required by this licence, should be in writing and personally served on, sent by confirmed facsimile transmission, sent by registered mail or courier or sent by any electronic means, including facsimile and email to:

    National Manager, Seed Section
    Canadian Food Inspection Agency
    59 Camelot Drive, Ottawa, ON K1A 0Y9
    Email: SeedSemence@inspection.gc.ca
    Fax: 613-773-7261

  3. Audit and Check Inspection: The CFIA, or its representatives, may audit the licensee and/or check inspect the inspected seed crops covered by this licence to verify, among other things, the performance of the licensee of its obligations under this licence, the results obtained by the licensee, the accuracy of the licensee's reportings, and that the licensee has and can continue to comply with the conditions of this licence.
  4. Amending the Conditions of the Licence: The CFIA may amend the conditions of the licence, including the regional scope of the licence, at any time by notice in writing to the licensee. The amendment becomes effective as of the date indicated on such notice.
  5. Revocation: The CFIA may, upon giving written notice to the licensee, immediately revoke this licence where:
    1. the licensee fails to comply with any condition of this licence, or
    2. the licensee has provided false or misleading information in the application for the licence or in their performance under this licence.
  6. Regulatory Action: Nothing in this licence affects the authority of the CFIA to take regulatory action under any or all of the Acts it administers and/or enforces or under any other applicable law on the basis of any information which the CFIA or its employees may receive or obtain by any means and that such action may be taken by or on behalf of the CFIA.
  7. Unpaid Fees: The CFIA is not liable for fees unpaid by seed growers to the licensee.
  8. Insurance: Compliance with the insurance requirements does not release the licensee from or reduce their liability under the licence.
  9. Survival: It is intended that all obligations of confidentiality and all of the provisions concerning indemnity against third party claims, insurance requirements, and accounts and audits will continue after the expiration or revocation of this licence, as shall any other conditions of the licence, which by the nature of the rights or obligations set out therein, might reasonably be expected to be intended to so survive.

Appendix D: Licensed Seed Crop Inspector (LSCI) Application

This form CFIA/ACIA 5767 can be found in the Forms Catalogue on CFIA's website.

Appendix E: Sample 2017 Licence for Seed Crop Inspector

Pursuant to subsection 4.2 (1) of the Seeds Act

Licensed Seed Crop Inspector Number = XXXX

Granted by:

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency, a body corporate established pursuant to section 3 of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency Act (Canada), with its headquarters located at 1400 Merivale Road, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A 0Y9; hereinafter referred to as the "CFIA".

Granted to:

Full Given Name: space to put name

Surname: space to put surname

Mailing Address: space to put mailing address

City: space to put city

Province: space to put province

Postal code: space to put postal code

Tel: space to put telephone number

Email address: space to put email address

Is hereby licensed for:

Insert scope

Referred to as the "Licensed Seed Crop Inspector" or "LSCI".

The CFIA hereby licenses the above-mentioned individual to inspect pedigreed seed crops for official seed certification purposes in accordance with the conditions of this licence.

To maintain this licence, the licensee is obliged to comply with the conditions outlined in the following pages.

This licence comes into force on the date of signature of the National Manager of the Seed Section of the CFIA and remains in force, unless otherwise terminated, until March 31, 2018.

Signed MONTH space (insert numeric day) space, 2017

For the Canadian Food Inspection Agency:

space
National Manager, Seed Section
59 Camelot Drive
Ottawa ON K1A 0Y9
Email: SeedSemence@inspection.gc.ca

A. Conditions

Competency

The licensee has successfully completed CFIA training and evaluation for this licence and is required to maintain competency throughout the period of this licence.

The licensee will only inspect seed crops within the scope of this licence and will not conduct inspections outside of its competencies.

The licensee is required to attend any mandatory training that may be made available by the CFIA.

Duties and Obligations

The licensee will submit Reports of Seed Crop Inspection, in a format and manner prescribed by the CSGA, through an Authorized Seed Crop Inspection Service (ASCIS) to the CSGA and shall comply with all of the requirements of the following documents:

  1. this licence;
  2. QSP 142.1;
  3. SWI 142.1.1;
  4. SWI 142.1.2-1 to SWI 142.1.2-8;
  5. QSP 142.2;
  6. QSP 142.3;
  7. SWI 142.3.1;
  8. the OECD Seed Schemes, where applicable; and
  9. CSGA Circular 6;

each as amended from time to time.

The licensee shall conduct seed crop inspections in an un-biased manner, following the quality management system (QMS) manual of the ASCIS, through which Reports of Seed Crop Inspection are submitted to the CSGA.

The licensee shall provide a Report of Seed Crop Inspection to a seed grower but not until the report has been reviewed by the lead inspector at the ASCIS.

The licensee shall not communicate to the seed grower an opinion as to the decision of the CSGA with respect to the results of an inspection.

The licensee must provide notice to the CFIA of its inspection schedules prior to the inspection.

When possible, LSCI inspection schedules should be provided two (2) days prior to inspections, unless unforeseen circumstances occur which necessitate inspections to occur unexpectedly, in which case the intention to inspect a crop should be notified before the inspection begins.

When an inspection is conducted the licensee must report the actual date of inspection by the end of the day on which the inspection is conducted.

The licensee shall inspect the specific fields (CSGA sequence numbers) assigned to them by their ASCIS.

The licensee shall inform any ASCIS through which it submits reports of seed crop inspection to CSGA of any critical non conformances assigned and of any revocation that may flow therefrom.

Conflict of Interest

The licensee has an ongoing obligation to ensure that it carries out the activities under this licence without any conflict of interest.

The licensee is acting in the public interest and is required to conduct his/her self with personal integrity, ethics, honesty and diligence in performing the duties of this licence.

Notification of Prohibited Noxious Weeds

Within two (2) days of having completed a seed crop inspection in which a finding has been made of any prohibited noxious weed, the licensee shall notify the CFIA.

Format of Reporting

The licensee shall report the results of seed crop inspection in accordance with the relevant QSP and SWI and on a form or in a format approved by the CSGA.

Confidential Information

The licensee shall use confidential information obtained under this licence only for the purposes outlined in this licence. Except as required by law, the licensee shall not disclose any confidential information without first obtaining the prior written approval for the disclosure from the relevant party

Relationship

The licensee shall at no time portray or otherwise represent themselves as an employee or agent of the CFIA. The licensee is not engaged as an employee or agent of the CFIA. Nothing contained in this licence is intended to create, or shall be considered or construed as creating, a partnership or the relationship of principal and agent, lessor and lessee, or of employer and employee between the parties.

Change of Status

This licence is issued on the basis of the information provided by the licensee to the CFIA. The licensee must notify the CFIA immediately if the status of the licensee changes throughout the period of the licence, such as in the event of bankruptcy, change of address, technical competence, location of the work place or any other way which prejudices this licence.

The licensee notice shall include a detailed description of the change and its implications for this licence.

No Assignment or Subcontracting

This licence shall not be transferred or assigned, in whole or in part.

The licensee must not subcontract out any of the crop inspection duties outlined in this licence.

B. Important Notices:

  1. CSGA Additional Requirements: The granting of this licence and/or the fulfillment of the conditions of this licence does not guarantee the acceptance of Reports of Seed Crop Inspection by the CSGA. The CSGA has the authority at its sole and unfettered discretion to impose additional requirements on the licensee.
  2. Providing Notices: Where any notice, reporting, or request is made under or required by this licence to the CFIA, it shall be in writing and personally served on, sent by confirmed facsimile transmission, sent by registered mail or courier or sent by any electronic means, including facsimile and email to:

    National Manager, Seed Section
    Canadian Food Inspection Agency
    59 Camelot Drive, Ottawa, ON K1A 0Y9
    Email: SeedSemence@inspection.gc.ca
    Fax: 613-773-7261

    Any such notice, reporting or request is deemed effective at the time it is sent provided the sender receives confirmation of delivery of the email or facsimile.

  3. Audit and Check Inspection: The CFIA, or its representatives, may complete check inspections of a seed crop before or after the licensee carries out the crop inspection of the same field (CSGA sequence number) to verify the results obtained by the licensee, the accuracy of the licensee reports, and that the licensee has and can continue to comply with the conditions of this licence.

    The licensee shall, upon request by the CFIA, provide any records or information or any copies thereof, to verify compliance with the conditions of this licence.

  4. The CFIA may amend the conditions of the licence, including the scope of the licence, at any time by notice in writing to the licensee. The amendment becomes effective as of the date indicated on such notice.
  5. The CFIA may inform any Authorized Seed Crop Inspection Service of the check inspection frequency rate assigned to the licensee.
  6. Revocation: The CFIA may, upon giving written notice to the licensee, immediately revoke this licence where:
    • the licensee fails to comply with any provision of this licence;
    • the CFIA determines that the Reports of Seed Crop Inspection of the licensee are not consistent with the observations made during the CFIA check inspections, except where the CFIA considers that there is a reasonable explanation for the difference, such as, the differences are the result of crop management by the seed grower during the interval between the licensee inspection and the CFIA check inspection; or
    • the licensee has provided false or misleading information in the application for the licence or in the performance of its duties under this licence.
  7. Regulatory Action: Nothing in this licence affects the authority of the CFIA to take regulatory action under any or all of the Acts it administers and/or enforces or under any other applicable law on the basis of any information which the CFIA or its employees may receive or obtain by any means and that such action may be taken by or on behalf of the CFIA.
  8. Unpaid Fees: The CFIA is not liable in any way for fees unpaid to the licensee by the seed growers.
  9. Survival: It is intended that all obligations of confidentiality and all of the provisions concerning indemnity against third party claims shall survive the expiration or cancellation of this licence, as shall any other conditions of the licence, which by the nature of the rights or obligations set out therein, might reasonably be expected to be intended to so survive.

Appendix F: Guidelines for ASCIS Quality Management System and QMS Manual

The following are guidelines for the development of a quality management system (QMS) manual. The QMS of the Authorized Seed Crop Inspection Service (ASCIS) applies to employees of the ASCIS and to Licensed Seed Crop Inspectors (LSCI) under the supervision of the ASCIS.

Please note that these guidelines do not represent a comprehensive list of the requirements that a QMS manual must meet. For a full list of QMS manual requirements, please see Appendix I of SWI 142.3.1.

Table of Contents

  1. Key Components
  2. Management Responsibilities
  3. Documented Quality Management System
  4. Procedures
  5. Corrective Action Requests (CARs) – Issued by the CFIA
  6. Records
  7. Procedures Check Methods
  8. Employee and LSCI Training and Qualifications

1. Key Components

Key components of the QMS of an ASCIS include:

  • referenced use of CSGA and CFIA crop inspection procedures as described in CSGA Circular 6, QSP 142.1, QSP 142.2 and the related SWIs;
  • clear identification of the roles and responsibilities of company personnel; and
  • procedures for receiving and resolving Corrective Action Requests (CARs) issued by the CFIA.

2. Management Responsibilities

  • The roles and responsibilities of employees and LSCI are defined and their reporting structure is shown on an organizational chart. The name of the manager or owner with the ultimate responsibility for decisions at the ASCIS is given.
  • Management ensures that CFIA staff are provided with information and assistance during audits and check inspections when requested. The employees and LSCI are encouraged to provide input which contributes to the continual improvement of the QMS.

3. Documented Quality Management System

  • The company appoints a QMS manager to design, administer, maintain, and approve the operation and documentation of the QMS.
  • The QMS is documented to provide consistent guidance and control to achieve the quality objectives.
  • The QMS documentation consists of a quality manual which contains every internal report, form and procedure referenced in the manual.
  • Documentation must be complete, unambiguous and consistent.
  • The documented QMS includes provisions for regular and systematic review of the QMS.
  • The employees and LSCI are encouraged to provide input to improvements and amendments to the QMS to contribute to continual improvement of the QMS.
  • Amendments to the QMS documentation follow a procedure that maintains a record of changes.
  • Management informs employees and LSCI, the CFIA and the CSGA of any changes and improvements to the QMS.
  • Changes to documentation receive the same level of approval as the originals. A record of changes to the documentation is maintained. Changes are notified as soon as possible to the affected personnel. Written notes on, or temporary changes to, the documentation is acceptable provided that they are made according to established procedures.
  • Obsolete documentation is promptly removed from all points of use and retained in archive files.
  • Staff and LSCI must have access to up-to-date versions of any documents referenced in the QMS manual and/or otherwise essential for the proper execution of their responsibilities, including, but not limited to:
    • Relevant CFIA QSPs and SWIs;
    • CFIA crop-specific SWI series SWI 142.1.2-2 to SWI 142.1.2-8;
    • Seeds Act;
    • Seeds Regulations;
    • CSGA Circular 6;
    • LSCI Training materials;
    • ASCIS QMS manual;
    • ASCIS procedures documents: and
    • Licences issues by the CFIA.

4. Procedures

  • Procedures are reviewed by the Quality Manager for adequacy and conformance with:
    • CSGA Circular 6;
    • CFIA QSP 142.1 Pedigreed Seed Crop Inspection Procedures;
    • QSP 142.2 Authorized Seed Crop Inspection; and
    • the related SWIs.
  • Each procedure clearly indicates any forms to be completed and maintained for that procedure.
  • Reports of Seed Crop Inspection are reviewed by the Lead Inspector before being made available to the CSGA.
  • Seed crop inspections are scheduled such that each seed crop is inspected at the optimal crop stage to determine varietal impurities.
  • Seed crop inspections are notified to the CFIA and CSGA at least 48 hours before the inspection occurs and also notified at the end of the day on the day on which the inspection took place.
  • A procedure exists to respond to re-inspection requests from growers.
  • A procedure exists for issuing a "Verification of Isolation May be Required' notice to seed growers when required.

5. Corrective Action Requests (CARs)

  • CARs are reviewed and resulting corrective action plans are created according to the time standards in SWI 142.3.1.
  • Corrective action plans must address the immediate non-conformance but must also address the root cause and, as necessary, lead to an amendment to the QMS to prevent similar non-conformances from occurring in the future.
  • The details of the issue(s) encountered and the required corrective action(s) are identified and recorded.
  • A time period is agreed on for problem resolution and verification that the corrective action has been taken.

6. Records

Records are maintained as objective evidence that:

  • the QMS meets the objectives of the ASCIS;
  • the service and documentation meet the requirements of the seed grower as well as the CFIA and CSGA;
  • personnel are trained and qualified where required;
  • documentation is created, maintained and updated as necessary;
  • corrective actions, improvement initiatives and preventive actions are being taken and are effective; and
  • the results of QMS audits have been reviewed and appropriate responses implemented.

Records include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • the QMS manual;
  • procedures documents;
  • forms;
  • training records for all employees and LSCI;
  • a list of LSCI reporting through the ASCIS;
  • communications between ASCIS, LSCI, the seed grower, CSGA, CFIA;
  • corrective action requests and follow-up actions;
  • the licence issued to the ASCIS;
  • copies of the licences issued to the LSCI under the supervision of the ASCIS; and
  • any other documents directly referenced in the QMS manual.

In addition, the QMS should specify that:

  • records are stored in a manner that provides for their safekeeping and physical protection;
  • a method for easy retrieval of records is coordinated with the methods used to index and receive records for storage;
  • records are retained for seven years;
  • Reports of Seed Crop Inspection are completed in conformance with the requirements of the CFIA and the CSGA;
  • Reports of Seed Crop Inspection are reviewed by the lead inspector before being made available to the CSGA;
  • corrections, updates or changes to records including Reports of Seed Crop Inspection are made in a controlled manner; and
  • records are disposed of by authorized persons.

7. Internal Procedures Check Methods

Internal controls on procedures should include check methods whereby a specific process is checked regularly to verify conformance with the documented procedure, and to provide confidence that the documented procedure meets the quality objectives. An example of a check method is the review of the records of the fields assigned to each inspector on a weekly basis to verify whether all fields were assigned and whether they were assigned to an inspector with the right licence scope for the crop kind.

Each critical procedure should have a check method established for the procedure with an indication of the frequency of the check and actions to be taken if the check identifies a problem with the procedure or the implementation of the procedure. Where a problem is identified, a root cause analysis should be conducted and appropriate follow-up actions taken such as re-training or amending the procedure.

8. Employee and LSCI Training and Qualifications

  • LSCI must be licensed by the CFIA.
  • LSCI in their first year, or inspecting a new crop kind for the first time, are supervised by an experienced Lead Inspector.
  • The CFIA was informed when LSCI inspected crop types for the first time (including a new crop kind in a plot).
  • Training is provided on an ongoing basis as required, including refresher training at the beginning of a new seed crop production season.
  • If procedures or processes are changed significantly, staff and LSCI are trained on the new procedures.

Appendix G: Request for Appeal of Non-Conformance Form

This form must be submitted to the Auditor for the ASCIS within 5 business days of the issuance of the non-conformance or CAR

Picture - Request for Appeal of Non-Conformance Form. Description follows.
Description for photo - Request for Appeal of Non-Conformance Form

The Request for Appeal of Non-Conformance Form contains fields to collect the following information:

General Information

  • Date non-conformance or CAR was Issued
  • Name of check inspector (if applicable)
  • Sequence number(s) (if applicable)
  • Audit or check inspection checklist item
  • Name of the LSCI (if applicable)
  • LSCI Number
  • ASCIS Affiliation

Reasons for appeal and new information for consideration

  • Provide rationale for appeal. Non-conformances and CARs will not be withdrawn on the basis that the ASCIS or LSCI does not agree with the current requirements of the program.
  • Signature of Quality Manager/Lead Inspector
  • Date

CFIA Section (response to be provided to ASCIS Lead or Quality Manager)

  • Non-conformance Revoked (Yes/No)
  • Name of Auditor
  • Signature
  • Date
  • Rationale
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