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ISTA as an international organisation has a goal of uniformity in seed testing. The need for seed testing methods that are reliable and reproducible among member laboratories is therefore a basic need for ISTA; this is achieved through The International Rules for Seed Testing (ISTA Rules).

Before being accepted into the ISTA Rules, most test methods have gone through collaborative study among laboratories to ensure that the test procedure gives reliable and reproducible results in accordance with the given specifications of the test method.

However, in the past, ISTA has not always had a consistent system for the introduction of seed test methods into the ISTA Rules, the process varying depending on which of ISTA's Technical Committees put forward the Rules Proposal. This issue was first addressed by the ISTA Seed Health Committee, who in 2000 produced their 'Handbook of Method Validation for the Detection of Seed-Borne Pathogens'.

In 2002 the ISTA Executive Committee decided that method validation should apply to all seed quality testing, not just tests for seed health.

Guidelines for ISTA Rules proposals can be found in the ISTA Rules Introduction.

ISTA Method Validation for Seed Testing

ISTA Method Validation Process

Validating Methods and Organization and Analysis of Results of CTs

Forms for Download in Word format:

APPENDIX 4 Test Method Validation Application Form

APPENDIX 5 Instructions for Reviewers - Draft Test Plan

APPENDIX 6 Instructions to Authors: Preparation of Validation Reports for New Test Methods or Revision to Existing Test Methods

APPENDIX 7 Instructions for Reviewers - The Validation Report

Glossary of Terms used in ISTA Method Validation Studies

PDF Form to be completed electronically:

Proposal for the inclusion of new species in the ISTA Rules

Method Validation Project Tracking:
Method Validations projects are the responsibility of the ISTA Technical Committees. Each project is different and progress is dependent on a number of factors such as: type of study; complexity of the design; and the availability of resources. Whereas some studies may be completed in less than 6 months, others may take more than two years.



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