Upcoming Courses

2023 Location Course Type (Full Descriptions Below)
March 14-15, 2023 Internet
Grower Training Blended Course Part 2 (Instructor-Led, Virtual)

Types of SSA Courses

SSA Sprout Grower Training Course

The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule establishes science-based minimum standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of certain produce grown for human consumption.  Unless specifically exempt or excluded, sprout growing operations are subject to the Produce Safety Rule including the sprout-specific requirements in subpart M. The 2-day SSA Sprout Grower Training Course developed by the Sprout Safety Alliance is the “standardized curriculum” recognized by FDA. Successfully completing this course will be helpful in understanding and implementing the Produce Safety Rule requirements and best practices for enhancing sprout safety. Upon successful completion of the FULL 2-day course, you will receive email notification with instructions on how to download SSA Sprout Grower Training Course certificate.

SSA Sprout Grower Training Blended Course

The SSA Sprout Grower Training Blended Course was developed to provide an alternative way for individuals to complete the SSA Sprout Grower Training course. The Blended course consists of two parts. Part 1 is online and Part 2 is a one-day in-person or a two-session virtual course.

Note: You will register for Part 1: Online Course here. Once you register for Part 1, you have up to six months to complete Part 1: Online. Upon completion, you have six months to complete a Part 2: Instructor-Led course (in-person or virtual). Both parts must be completed in order to obtain the certificate. We recommend you have a Part 2: Instructor-Led course identified before enrolling in Part 1: Online.

Before you enroll for Part 1: Online course, please read the Blended Course information to help you understand how the course is structured. You should plan 8-12 hours to take the online course, but you can start and stop at the end of each module along the way – it does not have to be continuous.  There is a 4-hour inactivity time-out so make sure you complete an individual module before closing out or you will have to start at the beginning of that module again. Any completed modules will remain saved.  We recommended you to refer to the course manual: SSA Training Curriculum 2nd Edition “Safer Sprout Production for Produce Safety Rule Compliance” when taking Part 1.  It is available for free download by clicking the hyperlink.  A hardcopy is also available for purchase from the FSPCA bookstore website.

The Part 2 course is offered as a one-day in-person or two-session virtual course. During the Part 2 course, instructors will review the material from the Part 1, focusing on five key modules. 

Prerequisite for the Part 2 course: (you must meet one of the following) 

Option 1

You must complete Part 1 of the Sprout Grower Training Blended Course 

Option 2

You have completed a 2-day SSA Sprout Grower Classroom Training Course.

SSA Lead Instructor Training in Conjunction With the Blended Course
Part 2

This 1.5-hour course provides the participant the knowledge and tools needed to perform the duties of a Lead Instructor (LI) for the FDA-recognized Sprout Safety Alliance (SSA) training curriculum. The course is in conjunction with the SSA Sprout Grower Training Blended Course Part 2 which is focused on the requirements outlined in the FDA Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption (i.e., the Produce Safety Rule) specifically applicable to sprout operations, and best practices to enhance sprout safety. This LI Training covers Learning Management System (LMS) usage, administrative tasks for the sprout growers’ SSA training course and a refresher on effective presentation for the adult learner.


  1. SSA LI Application must be filled out, submitted and be approved prior to signing up for the Lead Instructor Training. Submit your Lead Instructor application form online at: https://fspca.force.com/FSPCA/s/sprouts?language=en_US
  2. Successful completion of the SSA Sprout Grower Training Blended Course (both Part 1 and Part 2)
    • The SSA Sprout Grower Training Blended Course consists of 2 parts.  Part 1 is online, and Part 2 is instructor-led. Both parts must be completed in order to obtain the Sprout Grower Training Course certificate.
    • Part 1 must be successfully completed before you can register for Part 2.

Upon successful completion of this course, you will receive your certificates of SSA Sprout Growers Training AND SSA Lead Instructor Training.  Please contact SSA at sproutalliance@iit.edu if you have any questions.

  • Who should attend?
    Extension Specialists of Land-Grand Universities, State Training Directors/Managers, consultants or anyone who is interested in becoming a SSA Lead Instructor are invited to participate in SSA Lead Instructor Training.
  • What does successfully completing the SSA Lead Instructor Training Course mean for me?
    Upon approval by the SSA Lead Instructor Selection Committee and successful completion of the SSA Lead Instructor Training Course, you will be qualified to be an SSA Lead Instructor. Completing this training allows you to deliver the Sprout Safety Alliance training course as a Lead Instructor.

SSA Lead Instructor Information

Who are SSA Lead Instructors?
SSA Lead Instructors will conduct SSA training course using SSA approved training materials and protocols.

Why participate as a SSA Lead Instructor?

  • Provide sprout industry with information and best practices in the safe production of sprouts;
  • Networking with your peers;
  • Expand visibility of extension bulletins/research;
  • More contact with FDA and industry experts;
  • Potential for involvement in Industry funded projects;
  • Build up reputation

How to become a SSA Lead Instructor?

  • Applicants are expected to have basic knowledge and experience in the five competency areas:
    • Knowledge of biological sciences; food science /technology; microbiology; or other scientific fields directly related to food production and food safety;
    • Work experience in food safety, e.g., corporate food safety function; food safety consulting or laboratory; food testing; food safety auditing; food safety training and education; food safety regulatory work (inspections, policy development, compliance work); food processing, packaging, handling facilities; or other related experience;
    • Knowledge of sprouting operations and understand sprout production and food safety risks that could exist in sprout production environment;
    • Knowledge of the FSMA Produce Safety Rule; and
    • Teaching experience in adult learning, e.g., training employees, teaching at colleges or universities.
  • Alternatively, you may use the following manual submission if the online application doesn’t work:
    • Download the SSA Lead Instructor Application
    • The application will be reviewed and scored by the SSA Trainer Qualification Committee
    • Applicants will be informed of the application result by email
  • Applicants must complete the SSA LI Training course to ensure familiarity with SSA curriculum, tools, and resources.

Contact SSA at sproutalliance@iit.edu with any questions regarding the application process.

What are the responsibilities of an SSA Lead Instructor?

  • Notifying SSA of a scheduled course;
  • Set up a course registration link and collect registration fees;
  • Obtaining all necessary course material for each participant from SSA or LMS;
  • Submitting a list of participants to IFPTI/AFDO through LMS for issuing certificates;
  • Compiling and submitting SSA course evaluation forms to SSA;
  • Submitting the list of participants who receive Certificates of Course Completion;
  • Maintaining a current certification status approved and recognized by SSA;
  • Attending mandatory training held by SSA

Please contact SSA at sproutalliance@iit.edu with any questions.

Agenda link:

Course Information link: