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SPOTLIGHT: IPPC e-learning courses

Posted on Fri, 27 Jan 2023, 08:38

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©FAO/Mutya Frio

With a sea of training courses available online, it can be daunting to find one that specifically suits the needs of plant health professionals. The International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) Secretariat and partners developed e-learning courses designed to enhance the capacity of national plant protection organizations (NPPO) staff. Upon completing a course, learners earn a digital certificate which they can add to their resume or to boost their LinkedIn profile.

IPPC e-learning courses are free of charge and provide up to date and online/remote training tools. Courses are self-paced but can also be tutor-led. Whether for recently hired staff or as an update for experienced plant health officers, these courses aim to improve competency and consistency in carrying out NPPO work as courses give an overview of all activities where plant health officers are regularly involved. NPPO staff will find accurate, practical, and easy to understand guidance to help them improve their phytosanitary systems and effectively implement the Convention and the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPMs).

As a result, NPPO staff’s enhanced capacity can lead to strengthening national procedures and phytosanitary legislation that will help promote safe agricultural trade and ultimately prevent the introduction and spread of pests that threaten agriculture and the environment. Industry professionals also stand to gain as they can further enhance cooperation with national stakeholders by completing the IPPC Export Certification Course.

IPPC e-learning courses were developed by internationally recognized experts under the auspices of the IPPC Secretariat and with oversight of the IPPC Implementation and Capacity Development Committee (IC). Course contents are based on IPPC adopted standards, guides and relevant scientific and technical documents. Courses on pest risk analysis (PRA) and phytosanitary inspection were developed in partnership with the Committee Linking Entrepreneurship Agriculture Development (COLEAD, formerly COLEACP) while courses on surveillance and reporting obligations, and export certification were developed in collaboration with the e-learning Academy of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Course design

IPPC e-learning courses are available in English and can be completed online or downloaded for completion offline. Self-paced courses range from 8-32 hours and come with additional references and links to relevan IPPC guides and training materials. Learners can choose to enroll in any of the courses according to their staff level, personal learning plans and career development goals. All courses, detailed below, offer a digital badge certification upon completion:

  1. Introduction to IPPC – self-paced, 2 hours, 4 modules, 1,100+ learners enrolled. Learn more about the only international Convention that protects the world’s plants, what ISPMs are and why they are important, the role of national and regional plant protection organizations (NPPOs and RPPOs), the IPPC governing bodies and the IPPC Secretariat.

  2. Surveillance and national reporting obligations – self-paced, 4.5 hours, 443+ learners enrolled. Funded by the European Union and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the course provides NPPOs with practical guidance on pest surveillance, pest status determination and on developing a national pest reporting system. The course consists of seven lessons that can be downloaded or completed online for approximately 30-40 minutes per lesson.

  3. National Reporting Obligations – self-paced, 4.5 hours. The course covers the provisions of the IPPC regarding National Reporting Obligations (NROs). Learners will understand the value and purpose of official phytosanitary information for safe trade, food security and protecting the environment from plant pests.

  4. Pest risk analysis (PRA) – self-paced and tutored training, 160+ learners enrolled. Developed in collaboration with COLEAD, the course is available in intermediate and advanced levels. Beginners will learn about the basics of PRA, its role and purpose, the concept of risk, probability and impacts and the international context of plant protection. The intermediate level course offers the three stages of the PRA process and a hands-on exercise to simulate these three stages.

  5. Phytosanitary Export Certification System – self-paced, 10-16 hours per role, 466+ learners enrolled. Developed in collaboration with the FAO e-learning Academy, the course offers lessons on the phytosanitary export certification process targeted at the four key roles of export certification – plant and plant product producer, exporter, export inspector and export supervisor.

  6. Phytosanitary Inspection – self-paced, eight modules, 144+ learners enrolled. Developed together with COLEAD, the course covers key concepts on phytosanitary inspection and plant pests, import verification systems, and practical guidance on conducting safe inspection of specific commodities.

For more information, please contact [email protected] or Sarah Brunel at [email protected]. Sign up for any of these courses now!

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