Train-the-Trainer Course

Who Should Attend

Produce safety educators and others who work with fruit and vegetable growers who are interested in becoming PSA Trainers or PSA Lead Trainers. Those who become a PSA Trainer or PSA Lead Trainer may offer the PSA standardized curriculum to train fresh produce growers to meet the regulatory requirements in the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule. This curriculum was developed through a nationwide collaboration including produce growers, extension educators, researchers, produce industry representatives, and government personnel.

Expected Qualifications Prior to Attending

Prior to attending the PSA Train-the-Trainer (TTT) Course, individuals must have attended at least one PSA Grower Training (GT) Course and are expected to have basic knowledge in four competency areas including: 

  1. Produce Safety Scientific Knowledge and Experience 
  2. Fruit and Vegetable Production Knowledge 
  3. Effective Training Delivery, and 
  4. Knowledge of the FSMA Produce Safety Rule. 

Knowledge in these areas is required to be able to fully understand and answer participant questions correctly or effectively.  Effective trainers and training courses will afford participants, including growers and regulatory personnel, the opportunity to learn how to assess risks, effectively implement produce safety practices on the farm, and understand the regulatory requirements outlined in the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule.

NOTICE: Effective October 1, 2021, all individuals interested in enrolling in a PSA TTT Course must have attended at least one registered PSA GT Course. Successfully completing an in-person, online, or remote PSA Grower Training Course meets this requirement. During the PSA TTT, Trainers-of-Trainers (ToTs) emphasize how to teach the PSA GT Course curriculum, effectively engage participants, and navigate training challenges to ensure a high-quality training, so there is an expectation that attendees already know the curriculum content. The PSA Team and external PSA ToTs noticed that those who had not attended a PSA GT Course prior to attending a PSA TTT Course were not as familiar with the content as they need to be and this was negatively impacting their experience in the PSA TTT Course. Participants that have not attended a PSA GT Course prior to the PSA TTT Course will not be eligible for a certificate of completion and will not be PSA Trainers. It is critical that all participants are aware of this prerequisite requirement prior to registering for the course. 

What to expect at the PSA Train-the-Trainer Course

This course will provide detailed information on how trainers can effectively deliver the PSA Grower Training Course including content that includes Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), co-management of natural resources and food safety, FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirements as well as a review of the seven module PSA Grower Training curriculum. The course will also cover principles of adult education, how to incorporate the PSA curriculum into other extension trainings, developing working partnerships, expectations for trainers, and how to register a PSA Grower Training Course with the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO). 

What does successfully completing the PSA Train-the-Trainer (TTT) Course mean for me?

Upon successful completion of the PSA TTT, you will be a PSA Trainer and will receive a certificate from the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) that verifies you have completed the training course. Completing this training allows you to deliver curriculum modules as a trainer in a PSA Grower Training Course, under the direction of a PSA Lead Trainer. Every PSA Grower Training Course must have at least one PSA Lead Trainer present. Anyone presenting at a PSA Grower Training Course must be, at minimum, a PSA Trainer.

For further clarification about how to become a PSA Trainer or PSA Lead Trainer, please read the PSA Trainer Flow Diagram.

What is a PSA Lead Trainer and how do I become one?

A PSA Lead Trainer is an individual who has attended the PSA Train-the-Trainer Course and successfully completed the application process to become a PSA Lead Trainer. A PSA Lead Trainer can train solo, or as part of a team, as long as all trainers on the team have attended the PSA Train-the-Trainer Course. The process of becoming a PSA Lead Trainer is intended to ensure PSA Lead Trainers meet the minimum qualifications in each of the four competency areas necessary to lead a PSA Grower Training Course. Upon completion of the PSA Train-the-Trainer Course, trainers will be sent an e-mail notification and web link to access the PSA Lead Trainer Application. The application requests information about your educational background and previous experience in teaching, training, and produce production and handling. The application also includes four short answer questions relevant to produce safety. A PSA Lead Trainer Review Committee will evaluate the Lead Trainer Application against a standardized rubric to determine whether the applicant is qualified to become a PSA Lead Trainer. 

Costs to Attend

Total costs to attend a PSA Train-the-Trainer Course will vary. Costs can include PSA educational materials for trainers, a Certificate of Course Attendance issued by AFDO ($50), venue rental, and meals.  

Those who choose to apply to become a PSA Lead Trainer will incur an additional cost, separate from the cost of attending the PSA Train-the-Trainer Course, to cover the application process. The PSA Lead Trainer Application fee is $325 for non-profit organizations and $500 for for-profit organizations. This fee covers the cost of the PSA Lead Trainer Review Committee members’ time reviewing the application, any additional time spent conducting follow-up interviews with applicants (if needed), and the PSA Lead Trainer certificate (if approved). 

Opportunities to Attend PSA Train-the-Trainer Courses

Visit our list of upcoming Train-the-Trainer courses for an updated schedule of training dates and locations. Sign up to receive the PSA newsletter to receive the latest updates.

Course Delivery Language

When possible, we recommend that PSA Trainers take a PSA Train-the-Trainer Course in the language that they plan to teach. For example, if you plan to teach the PSA Grower Training Course in Spanish, we recommend taking the PSA Train-the-Trainer Course in Spanish. The TTT course in Spanish offers the same quality and content of its English counterpart while allowing participants to become familiar with produce safety terminology and resources in Spanish. At minimum, every trainer should use a Grower Training Manual in the language they are using for delivery so they are consistent with the language and terminology used.

Hosting a PSA Grower Training Course

After attending a Train-the-Trainer Course, you may host your own PSA Grower Training Course, provided that all trainers delivering PSA Curriculum modules have attended a PSA Train-the-Trainer Course and at least one PSA Lead Trainer will be present through the entire duration of the course. All PSA Grower Training Courses must be registered through AFDO. Register a PSA Grower training course.