Seed Testing Lab

CSI Laboratory Accreditation Program Background

Information for businesses that conduct seed analysis

The process for new laboratories seeking accreditation includes completing an accreditation application followed by a quality assurance manual review, sample proficiency testing and premise inspections conducted by the CFIA Laboratory Services Division. Once all the accreditation conditions are met, the Chief, Purity, Germination and Accreditation Program will issue a letter of accreditation. If you wish to inquire about becoming CFIA Accredited Seed Testing Laboratory, contact:

Section Head
CFIA Saskatoon Laboratory Seed Science & Technology Section (SSTS)
Suite 310, 421 Downey Road
Saskatoon, SK
S7N 4L8
or email SSTS / SSTS (CFIA/ACIA) at (

The Canadian Seed Institute (CSI) has been recognized by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to undertake the on-going audits in year one of a three year Seed Laboratory Proficiency Monitoring Program.

Outline of CFIA Laboratory Accreditation Program

Audit and Split Sample Monitoring – Year 1

The first year of the cycle is considered the year of initial audit by CFIA to accredit the lab and thereafter every third year in which an audit will be conducted by CSI. During the audit the lab technical expert and auditor will confirm compliance with: the Seed Laboratory Accreditation and Audit Protocol, the Methods and Procedures for Testing Seed, the Seeds Act and Regulations and the clients own quality system manual and associated procedures and work instructions.

As part of conducting an on-site laboratory audit, the auditor will require the laboratory to provide 10 randomly selected monitoring samples that will be submitted to the CFIA Saskatoon Laboratory. The auditor will also request copies of the corresponding work sheets and certificates of analysis.

Interval Proficiency Monitoring – Year 2

During the first non-assessment year, the laboratory must conduct internal monitoring to verify the proficiency of each analyst performing seed tests related to the lab’s purity and germination scope of accreditation. Records of the monitoring and any corrective action taken to improve analyst proficiency must be maintained on file and made available to the auditor during an audit.

Additional CSI Lab Accreditation Programs

Registered Seed Establishment: Monitoring Lab Program

Samples of seed and/or documentation representing lots graded or stored by establishments are obtained by CSI accredited auditors during the facilities audit. These samples are then submitted to CSI laboratories that have been identified as CSI monitoring laboratories.

Authorized Importer Monitoring Laboratory Program

During audits of Authorized Importer clients a CSI auditor will obtain samples and/ or documentation representing lots of seed imported. The auditor will then forward the monitoring samples and documentation to a CSI monitoring laboratory for confirmation of release by the lab's Seed Import Release Agent (SIRA) or Accredited Grader.