Producing and distributing food – guidance

Plant Health Propagation Scheme

How commercial plant growers can get PHPS-certified stock and guidance on husbandry and hygiene standards, and grading system.


This guidance is for commercial growers of soft fruit, top fruit, hops and cobnuts.

The Plant Health Propagation Scheme (PHPS) is a voluntary scheme run by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) and certifies planting stock as being healthy and vigorous.

PHPS-certified plants are grown under conditions which promote plant health and freedom from pests and diseases.

Plant Health Propagation Scheme

For general information on how the PHPS works and the conditions for entering plant material, see general information for all crops (PDF, 108KB, 6 pages)

Applications for PHPS and obtaining certified stocks

The PHPS operates in association with the Nuclear Stock Association (NSA).

Application forms are available on the NSA website with a record of stocks certified in 2015.

Dispensations for 2016

If there is a genuine supply problem for a variety and there are no problems, such as pests or diseases, then APHA can grant a dispensation from the Scheme rules.

The integrity of the PHPS depends on maintaining all the certification procedures and standards. Sometimes, due to the lack of available material, the propagation industry submits requests for a dispensation from the current eligibility rules. If we consider that there is a genuine supply problem and there are no problems, such as pests or diseases, then dispensations can be granted.

There are no dispensations in place for 2016.

Explanatory leaflets

See the following leaflets for further information on the various crops.

New EU fruit certification scheme

The existing voluntary PHPS is to be replaced in 2017 with a statutory scheme run by APHA to operate in England and Wales. The new explanatory leaflets will be available in February 2016.