The Online PSA Grower Training Course is now available. The online experience is not the same as the in-person experience, so it is important that anyone considering this course be aware of how they differ. This page describes the online course experience so potential participants can make an informed decision.
- The Online PSA Grower Training course is the same curriculum as the in-person training that was accepted by the FDA as meeting the requirements of the FSMA Produce Safety Rule § 112.22(c) that requires ‘At least one supervisor or responsible party for your farm must have successfully completed food safety training at least equivalent to that received under standardized curriculum recognized as adequate by the Food and Drug Administration.’
- The online course uses a PDF of the PSA Grower Training Manual as a resource, or participants may opt to order a printed copy.
- Successful completion of the online course results in participants receiving a certificate of completion from the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) and the PSA.
What to Expect
Current registration requirements:
- The course is currently only in the English language. You must be fluent in English to register.
- The development team is working on a Spanish-language version.
Cost to attend:
- The standard enrollment cost is $450.
- USDA Farm Services Agency (FSA) has a Food Safety Certification for Specialty Crops program to provide assistance for growers who incur eligible on-farm food safety program expenses to obtain or renew a food safety certificate in calendar years 2022 or 2023. Specialty crop growers who obtain a food safety certificate may be eligible for financial assistance to offset costs such as the registration price for the Online PSA Grower Training Course. Visit the USDA Food Safety Certification for Specialty Crops Program webpage for more information
- This is a three-week course in which a set of requirements can be completed at your own pace; however participants must complete at least one Required Discussion within the first 14 days to avoid being dropped from the course. The online course is expected to take 15-30 hours total for successful completion. Benefits of this extended timeframe include allowing participants time to digest the content topic-by-topic.
- Participants must move through the course on their own, so this requires extensive reading. Each page in the course must be reviewed by participants to meet expectations for the training.
- Built-in self-check quizzes require participants to focus attention on key topics, with immediate feedback.
- Six Required Discussions must be submitted by participants to demonstrate they have worked through all the required material and are able to apply their FSMA Produce Safety Rule knowledge to farm scenarios. One benefit of the Required Discussions is they allow participants to develop a deeper understanding of the information they have read.
- Built in testimonials, case studies, short videos, and links to the full-text of the FSMA Produce Safety Rule subsections and relevant guidance documents help every participant expand their knowledge of Good Agricultural Practices and the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirements.
- The course is instructed by a PSA Lead Trainer. This instructor is dedicated to helping all participants meet the course requirements and answering questions as participants move through the material. Instructors also provide feedback to the submitted Required Discussions. One benefit is that this situation allows participants to ask a PSA Lead Trainer questions one-on-one (via email) during the course.
Requirements for Completion of the PSA Grower Training Online Course
To be eligible for a certificate of completion, participants must:
- Review each page in the course
- Complete self-check quizzes in each module that focus on important details of Good Agricultural Practices and the FSMA Produce Safety Rule
- Submit six (6) Required Discussions for instructor review and work with the instructor, as needed, to achieve a “complete” on the assignment
- IMPORTANT NOTE: There is a 14-day requirement to successfully complete AT LEAST ONE of the six Required Discussions. Failure to meet this requirement by the 14th day of the course means the instructor will not evaluate your Required Discussions and you will not be eligible for a certificate of completion for the course. All six Required Discussions must be completed by the end of the 21-day course session.
- Complete the PSA Grower Training course evaluation
Hardware and Connectivity Necessary to Take the Online PSA Grower Training Course
The online course requires a reliable internet connection and hardware such as a desktop computer, laptop computer, tablet or iPad. Although it may be possible to successfully complete the course on a smartphone, the size of the screen could be a limitation for this text-heavy course. Use of a larger screen is strongly encouraged for the best learning experience and comfort of participants. It is important that the internet connection have sufficient bandwidth and data plan to take the online course. For more information about technical requirements to successfully complete this course, please visit the eCornell resource page.
How to Enroll
To enroll in the Online PSA Grower Training course, visit the eCornell registration site and click Enroll Now.