Plant Health Propagation Scheme
How commercial plant growers can grow PHPS-certified stock, and find out the benefits of using it in commercial plantations.
The Plant Health Propagation Scheme (PHPS) encourages the production and use of healthy planting stock. It’s a voluntary scheme run by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) certifying plants that meet all the scheme conditions.
You can apply to join the PHPS to grow provenly healthy stock if you’re a commercial grower (‘propagator’) of:
- soft fruit - strawberries, berry fruit, currants
- top fruit - apples, pears, cherries, plums
- rootstocks and ornamental varieties associated with top fruit
- micropropagated material (of any crop)
Apply for PHPS certification
Any grower in England and Wales can apply to have their crops PHPS-certified. Your crops must be of known lineage unless you’re entering it at the lowest grade.
All material must be grown under specific conditions relating to their site and isolation from other crops as explained in these guides:
Hops (PDF, 106KB, 8 pages)
Micropropagation (PDF, 86.4KB, 2 pages)
Raspberries (PDF, 51.8KB, 11 pages)
Blackcurrants, redcurrants, whitecurrants and gooseberries (ribes) (PDF, 175KB, 10 pages)
Strawberries (PDF, 198KB, 13 pages)
Top fruit (PDF, 183KB, 16 pages)
Summary of field isolation distances in metres (PDF, 5.39KB, 1 page)
Use the Nuclear Stock Association’s application forms to enter stocks into PHPS.
If you’re entering planting material only for the CAC grade you must register with APHA to issue plant passports.
Crops are inspected at least once a year by APHA Plant Health and Seeds Inspector to check they meet the standards set out in the guides.
Assessments are normally made on the basis of visual examinations, but samples may be taken for laboratory analysis to get a definitive diagnosis.
If a stock fails an inspection, APHA may tell the the propagator they can take remedial action (eg by removing plants that don’t meet the scheme standards) and request an additional inspection.
You enter your crop to meet one of these grades:
- Super Elite
The Approved-Health (A-H) grade is available for crops which are inspected for health and vigour only. Crops which can’t meet the entry requirements for any PHPS grades are designated CAC Grade which means that they meet basic plant passport standards.
APHA will set up a contract if you grow PHPS-certified stock and will charge you for any certification visits. Any samples submitted to support inspections will be handled by the FERA (Food and Environment Research Agency) Plant Clinic who will invoice you.
Fruit plant certification scheme
There will be a statutory certification scheme for fruit plants from 1 January 2017. PHPS certificates issued in 2016 will display both the current PHPS grade and the equivalent grade in the new statutory scheme.
Read the following for draft guidance on:
General information on all crops (PDF, 144KB, 5 pages)
Registering suppliers (PDF, 9.35KB, 1 page)
Varietal identity requirements (PDF, 90.8KB, 3 pages)
Labelling and sealing (PDF, 71.5KB, 2 pages)
Strawberries (PDF, 184KB, 10 pages)
Raspberries (PDF, 178KB, 11 pages)
Blackcurrants, redcurrants, whitecurrants and gooseberries (ribes) (PDF, 173KB, 10 pages)
Vaccinium (PDF, 152KB, 8 pages)
Top fruit complete trees (PDF, 95.1KB, 5 pages)
Top fruit motherstocks (PDF, 42.6KB, 8 pages)
Top fruit rootstocks (PDF, 43.7KB, 8 pages)
Micropropagation (PDF, 148KB, 5 pages)
Published: 7 September 2012
Updated: 4 October 2016
- Changed "There will be a new EU fruit certification scheme from 1 January 2017. PHPS certificates issued in 2016 will have both the current PHPS grade displayed and the equivalent grade from the new EU scheme" to: "There will be a statutory certification scheme for fruit plants from 1 January 2017. PHPS certificates issued in 2016 will display both the current PHPS grade and the equivalent grade in the new statutory scheme."
- The documents 'New EU fruit certification scheme' section is only draft guidance.
- Updated documents for raspberries and ribes.
- Added new EU fruit certification scheme documents relevant from 1 January 2017. Added fees information.
- Guidance and documents updates for 2016.
- Guidance notes and page updated for 2015 season
- First published.