SWI 132.1.1 Seed Program
Specific Work Instruction
Official Seed Sampling

Appendix XX: Approval Process for Automatic Samplers

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This approval process is to be used for automatic samplers that are used to obtain samples for the issuance of an Orange International Seed Lot Certificate by SSTS or by a laboratory participating in the AEP.


If the automatic sampling device will be used for sampling for the issuance of Orange International Seed Lot Certificates, the company or applicant must send an application for accreditation to the SSTS.

The application must be accompanied with the section of the company's quality manual dealing with automatic sampling. The section of the manual must include the following information:

  1. the type of automatic seed sampler;
  2. the procedures the company intends to use;
  3. the name of the person responsible for the correct application of the conditions;
  4. data indicating that the results obtained by this device are similar to other ISTA-approved manual sampling methods;
  5. the data should include test results for percent purity, other seeds by number and percent germination tests of 10 seed lots. The same ten seed lots must be sampled by the automatic sampler and an ISTA-approved manual sampling method by an official seed sampler.

For approval, it is required that the results for each of the three quality traits of the composite samples should be within tolerances as provided in the ISTA rules in at least 70% of the 10 seed lots tested (7/10). If less than 70% of the seed lots results are not in tolerance, further seed lot sampling and testing must be conducted by the company to achieve at least 70%.

If the application is acceptable, then the CFIA must inspect the automatic seed sampling device at the establishment. Once SSTS provides a recommendation based on test data, approval of authorization is granted by the National Manager, Seed Section.

Authorization Requirements:

If all conditions are fulfilled, the automatic seed sampler can be accredited/authorized. The approval, as well as the conditions of the approval, will be communicated in writing.

  1. The automatic seed sampler must have an uninterrupted duct with the sampler container. The connection between the automatic seed sampler itself and the sample container must be constructed so that the seed cannot remain in the funnel or duct and seed cannot remain in the funnel or duct and seed be added or withdrawn;
  2. All sections and parts of the automatic seed sampler must be constructed in such a way that they can be cleaned easily and thoroughly;
  3. The minimum number of primary samples, as prescribed by the ISTA rules (sampling intensity), must be taken;
  4. The proper adjustment and operation of the automatic seed sampler must be checked prior to operation;
  5. The adjustment on the automatic seed sampler must be indicated and accessible to the seed sampler;
  6. During the sampling of the same seed lot, the adjustment of the automatic seed sampler may not be altered;
  7. The sample container must be identified in such a way that a direct link with the seed lot can be made;
  8. Records of the use and maintenance of automatic seed samplers must be kept. These records should be maintained in a log book with at least the following information:
    1. serial number of the composite sample container;
    2. adjustments to the automatic seed sampler;
    3. seed lot data (species, lot number and lot size);
    4. size of the composite sample;
    5. maintenance activities and date;
  9. There must be clear operation instructions for the automatic seed sampler;
  10. Any changes to the installation of the automatic seed sampling device must be documented.

Post Authorization Requirements:

After approval of the automatic seed sampler to support the issuance of ISTA Orange International Seed Lot Certificates or for sampling under the AEP, it must be checked at least once a year. The monitoring must be performed by the approved CFIA-accredited laboratory or the official seed sampler. A comparison of test results from samples taken by the automatic seed sampler and those obtained from the samples taken by the ISTA-approved manual sampling method must be conducted by an official seed sampler and the SSTS which is an ISTA member laboratory.

The inspector retrieves samples from the automatic sampler and probed samples and submits them to the SSTS for verification that the two sets of samples are in tolerance with each other.

In addition to taking samples, official seed samplers should inspect the company's records/books on the automatic sampler, at least annually, to verify that the company is:

  1. documenting any changes to the installation of the automatic sampler, and
  2. checking the functionality of the automatic sampler.
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