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California Crop Improvement Association
University of California
California Crop Improvement Association

Certification Technical Committee (CTC)

The California Crop Improvement Board of Directors must approve varieties for certification in California.  One or more of the following favorable actions can admit a variety to the Board for approval: 

  1. AOSCA Variety Review Board recommendation
  2. Plant Variety Protection office or Breeder Rights statements with additional items A through I (as needed)*
  3. Varieties eligible for certification under the OECD Seed Scheme
  4. AOSCA Member Agency approval
  5. Certification Technical Committee recommendation.

The Certification Technical Committee (CTC) is an advisory committee charged with reviewing eligibility of varieties for certification, changing or developing new field and seed certification standards, and managing technical matters pertaining to seed certification.  This committee will review varieties for distinctiveness and genetic stability according to the guidelines established by the AOSCA.  The Certification Technical Committee shall be composed of representatives from the University of California, the California Department of Food and Agriculture, and the Executive Director and/or his or her designee(s).

The CTC only reviews varieties of those crops where there does not exist an AOSCA Variety Review Board.  For varieties of alfalfa, grass species, small grain, corn, soybean and sunflower, find the appropriate review board on the AOSCA website: http://www.aosca.org/.  The CTC will review all varieties intended for certification that are released by the University of California, as the CTC is a part of the university’s variety release process.

* Issuance of a PVP certificate cannot be the only factor for determining eligibility of the variety for certification.  Submission of the additional eligibility requirements unique to certification (especially items E-J) through the Certification Technical Committee will be necessary.

CTC Meetings

The CTC meetings are usually in the first week of January, April, and August (approximately one month prior to the winter, spring, and fall CCIA Board of Directors meetings). “Applications for Variety Certification” for new varieties to be reviewed by CTC are due 2 weeks before the CTC meetings.  Please check the CCIA calendar for exact meeting dates.

Application for Variety Certification

Download the “Application for Variety Certification” Word form. Applications require the following information to be provided about a variety

  1. The name of the variety.
  2. A statement concerning the varieties origin and breeding history.
  3. Botanical and Objective description of the variety.**
  4. Evidence supporting identity of the variety and any statements or claims made concerning its performance characteristics.
  5. Area of adaptation and primary use of the variety.
  6. Procedure for maintaining stock seed classes, and number of generations variety may be multiplied.
  7. Description of how variety is to be constituted if a particular cycle of reproduction or multiplication is required.
  8. Restrictions with respect to geographic area of seed production, age of stand or other factors affecting genetic purity.
  9. Sample of the seed.
  10. Information to assist field inspectors, including expected variability (kind and frequency) and prominent identifying characteristics of both plants and seed. 

Variety Amendments: CCIA requires that the certification agency or review board that originally approved the variety accept the amendment before CCIA will recognize the amendment.

**Other forms such as the PVP Exhibit C Form or the UPOV Test Guidelines may be used to fulfill this requirement. Exhibit C may be found on the USDA web site at: https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/plant-variety-protection/pvpo-c-forms. UPOV Test Guidelines may be found here: http://www.upov.int/test_guidelines/en/.

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