Guide to the Evaluation of Candidate Seed Graders and Seed Import Conformity Assessors
11.0 Evaluation Sample Questions

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The format of the evaluations is outlined on the following pages.

A. Identification of Impurities

Practical Evaluation - GB Grader

Value: 25 marks

Pass mark: 80%

Sample Question:

  1. You are provided with 25 coin holders each containing a seed structure. Using the accompanying answer table, identify all 25 seed structures by common names. The seed structures may be weed seeds, crop seeds or disease bodies (ergot or sclerotia).
    Coin Holder No. Common Name
    1Bromegrass
    2Wild violet
    3
    etc.
    25
  2. During your examination of a one kg sample of Certified status durum wheat you find one seed of wild oats. What action do you take?

Notes:

  • The objective is to assess the candidate's ability to identify, on sight, seeds of those crop and weed species, and disease bodies which may be found during an examination of a seed sample.
  • The question consists of 25 individual seed structures or disease bodies for identification.
  • Only the species listed in Appendix A will be evaluated by this question. A reference collection containing 50 weed seeds, crop seeds and disease bodies and a booklet of illustrated drawings of the weed and crop seeds listed in Appendix A will be provided as reference material.
  • Appendix A lists common and scientific names. The candidate is only required to know and use common names.
  • Each specimen is in an individual coin holder contained within a coin holder pocket. The candidate can see the seed structure through the coin holder, but may also remove the coin holder from the coin holder pocket for closer examination.
  • In general, the seeds are typical of the species. All effort is made to avoid including non-typical specimens.
  • Dehulled seeds may be included if it is possible to find the seeds in this form in a sample of seed.
  • Seed Reference Collection binders, including weed seed or crop seed references (seed specimens, images or factsheets), are available for purchase from the CFIA's Seed Science and Technology Section. For purchase information or to obtain an order form, please contact us.

B. Retrieval of Impurities

Practical Evaluation – GB Grader

Value: 25 marks

Pass mark: 80% on B, C, D, and E combined

Sample Question:

You are provided with two mini-samples of 150 g each. For each of these samples:

  1. examine the sample;
  2. retrieve all contaminants; and
  3. place the contaminants in the envelopes provided.

No identification of the contaminants is required.

Notes:

  • The objective is to determine if the candidate can see and retrieve impurities in a sample of the crop kind under examination.
  • This question consists of two small samples of the crop kind under examination.
  • Samples are just large enough to act as a background for the impurities. For example, flax samples might be 6.25 g.
  • Samples could be of any species set out in Grade Tables I to VI and XVIII.
  • Impurities may be other crop seeds, weed seeds, ergot or sclerotia bodies.
  • It is not necessary to identify or classify the impurities, only to remove them from the sample.
  • In general, the impurities chosen present some challenge for retrieval. It is assumed that the candidate can see obvious contaminants (e.g., a soybean seed would probably not be added as an impurity in flax).
  • 25 contaminants are spread over the two samples.
  • There may be more than one seed of a contaminant species.
  • Marks are earned for each contaminant retrieved.

C. Classification of Impurities

Practical evaluation for GB Grader and SICA

Value: 10 marks

Pass mark: 80%(SICA)
Pass mark: 80% on B, C, D, and E combined (GB grader)

Sample Question:

The names of ten weed seeds, crop seeds or disease bodies are listed. Select the correct classification for each.

Table of Impurities
Common NameProhibited Noxious WeedsPrimary Noxious WeedsSecondary Noxious WeedsOther WeedsOther CropsDisease Organisms
Bromegrassx
Wild violetx
etc.

Note: The objective is to determine if the candidate can correctly classify contaminants in accordance with the Weed Seeds Order and the Grade Tables.

D. Reporting - Grade Tables I to VI and XVIII

Practical evaluation - GB Grader

Value: 20 marks

Pass mark: 80% on B, C, D, and E combined

Sample Question:

  1. Below is the data from a seed sample examination. Report this examination on the blank seed grading report or Pedigreed Seed Declaration provided.

Kind of seed under examination: Certified status, wheat, spring

Impurities found:

  • Species A - 1
  • Species B - 1
  • Species C - 2
  • Species D - 1

Notes:

  • The objective is to determine if the candidate knows how to report the findings of an examination of a seed sample.
  • There may be one or two reporting questions, and the form of the question may vary from the example given above.
  • The candidate should produce a report that looks similar to the one shown in Appendix B(1) or a Pedigreed Seed Declaration similar to the one shown in Appendix B(2).
  • Make sure the totals are added correctly.
  • Zeroes should be indicated in sections which are grading factors but for which no seeds were found (e.g. in a sample of wheat, if no ergot bodies were found, "0 ergot bodies" should be reported).
  • The totals must be correctly entered in the "per 25 g" or "per g or kg" column (e.g. if a total of 5 kg was examined for primary noxious weed seeds and one seed was found, then the correct number to report would be "0.2 per kg").

E. Applying a Canada pedigreed grade name to species in Grade Tables I to VI and XVIII

Practical Evaluation - GB Grader

Value: 15 marks

Pass mark: 80% on B, C, D, and E combined

Sample Questions:

  1. Review the attached seed grading report form.
    1. Place the appropriate grade name in the Grade section of each form.
    2. If the sample is downgraded, give the reason.
  2. Review the attached example of a ROA.
    1. Fully complete a Checklist for Assessment of Conformity with Minimum Standards.
    2. Assign the grade.
    3. State the reasons for your decision.
  3. A sample of Certified status wheat is found to contain 2 ergot bodies.
    1. What is the highest grade for which the lot is eligible?

Notes:

  • The objectives are to determine if the candidate can:
    • read a seed grading report and relate this to the grade standards in the Grade Tables;
    • review a ROA and verify if the required information is present;
    • interpret a ROA and relate this to the grade standards in the Grade Tables; and
    • interpret the Grade Tables to correctly assign a Canada pedigreed grade name.
  • There may be up to five seed grading reports and/or ROAs for the assignment of grade.
  • There may be three or more scenario questions.
  • Copies of the Grade Tables are not provided. Candidates must have their own copies of the Grade Tables for the evaluation.
  • See Appendix B(1) for an example of a seed grading report.
  • See Appendix C(1) for an example of a Canadian ROA.
  • All ROAs used are facsimiles.

F. Document Review, Interpretation and Grading

Practical Evaluation - GD Grader

Value:

2 to 5 marks for each documentation review

1 to 10 marks for each scenario question

Pass mark: 80%

Sample Questions:

  1. You are provided with five examples of ROAs for the assignment of grade of five different kinds. Review the information presented on the ROAs and for each report:
    1. fully complete a Standard Conformity Assessment Checklist; and
    2. assign the grade.
  2. Given the following grading scenarios, assign the grade.
    1. The examination of a sample of Certified wheat is found to contain 2 ergot bodies. What is the highest grade for which the lot is eligible?
    2. The working sample of a Foundation status bromegrass contains 1 primary noxious weed seed. What is the highest grade for which this lot is eligible?

Notes:

  • The objectives are to determine if the candidate can:
    • review the ROA and verify if the required information is present;
    • review a ROA and relate this to the grade standards; and
    • interpret the Grade Tables to correctly assign a Canada pedigreed grade name.
  • The number of documents for review will be based on the scope of the accreditation sought. There may be up to five documents.
  • The number of scenario questions will be based on the scope of the accreditation sought. There may be five or more scenario questions.
  • See Appendix C(1) for an example of a Canadian ROA and Appendix C(2) for an example of a Minimum Standard Conformity Assessment Checklist/Grading Report.
  • All ROAs used are facsimiles.

G. Document Review and Verification of Conformity with Minimum Import Release Standards

Practical Evaluation - SICA

Value:

2 to 5 marks for each documentation review

1 to 10 marks for each scenario question

Pass mark: 80%

Sample Questions:

  1. The following ROAs have been presented for assessment of whether the seed lot conforms to the minimum import standards for Canada. Review the information presented on the example ROAs and for each:
    1. fully complete a Checklist for Assessment of Conformity with Minimum Standards;
    2. clearly indicate whether the lot meets or does not meet minimum import standards; and
    3. indicate the reason for the decision.
  2. A ROA presented for import conformity assessment on a lot of bromegrass states that 25 grams have been examined for Canadian noxious weed seeds. Does this meet the minimum requirements for import into Canada?

Notes:

  • The objectives are to determine if the candidate can:
    • review Canadian and foreign ROAs to determine whether the report/certificate provides adequate information for an import conformity assessment;
    • assess whether the lot conforms to the minimum import standards by reviewing a ROA and relating this to the minimum standards in the Grade Tables; and
    • interpret the grade standard for an import conformity assessment.
  • The number of documents for review will be based on the scope of the accreditation sought. There may be up to five documents.
  • There may be five or more scenario questions.
  • See Appendix D(1) for an example of a foreign ROA and Appendix D(3) for a Checklist for Assessment of Conformity with Minimum Standards.
  • The foreign ROA in Appendix D(1) is an example only. There may be several presentations used. All reports used are facsimiles including facsimiles of International Seed Testing Association Certificates.
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