The International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) Secretariat, at the request of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), along with the Fit for Market SPS Programme joined forces and shared expertise to develop this new e-learning course on pest risk analysis (PRA). The course content was developed by plant health experts selected from all over the world, under the auspices of the Secretariat of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) and with the oversight of the IPPC Implementation and Capacity Development Committee.

Fit For Market SPS is a COLEACP programme funded by the 11th European Development Fund within the framework of Development Cooperation between the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) and the European Union. 


Course Image Pest Risk Analysis (Intermediate level)

Pest Risk Analysis (Intermediate level)

The intermediate level of this course consists of three modules. Each module contains summary text along with some simple questions to measure your mastery of the subject. At the end of the intermediate level, a short test will be offered to you. Your results will determine your access to the advanced level.

 First, we will review the international context of plant protection and the rights and responsibilities of importing and exporting countries. We highlight the roles of the International Plant Protection Convention, national and regional plant protection organisations, the WTO Agreement on SPS Measures, and international standard-setting.

 Next, we focus on pest risk analysis (PRA) in more detail: its role and purpose; the concepts of risk, probability and impacts; information gathering and how to deal with uncertainty; and the importance of risk communication and transparency.

Finally, we will look at two specific illustrations: a pathway-initiated PRA and a pest-initiated PRA.

Course Image Pest Risk Analysis (Advanced level)

Pest Risk Analysis (Advanced level)

The advanced level of this course consists of four modules. Each module contains summary text along with some simple questions to measure your mastery of the subject. At the end of the advanced level, a short test will be offered to you. Your results will determine your successful completion of the course.

 First, we will look at Stage 1 of the PRA process – initiation. We will consider how to identify a pathway, how to determine if an organism is a pest, and how to deal with other types such as biological control agents and living modified organisms. Then we will cover how to gather and evaluate the information for the PRA, and how to deal with information gaps and uncertainty.

 Next, we focus on Stage 2 – pest risk assessment. We will discover how to categorise the pests identified in Stage 1, and how to assess both the probability of a pest’s introduction and spread, and the potential economic consequences. We will look in more detail at how to identify, evaluate and document uncertainty, and how to present the results of risk assessments.

 Stage 3 of the PRA process is pest risk management and review. We will discover the specific terminology around pest risk management, how to select risk management options, and the processes of monitoring and revising a PRA. This module also contains practical guidance for achieving market access.

 Finally, through a detailed case study, we will gain hands-on experience by working through the three stages of a PRA.