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Train-the-Trainer Course

Who Should Attend

Produce safety educators and others who work with fruit and vegetable growers who are interested in becoming PSA Trainers or PSA Lead Trainers. Those who become a PSA Trainer or PSA Lead Trainer are able to offer the PSA standardized curriculum to train fresh produce growers to meet the regulatory requirements in the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule. This curriculum was developed through a nationwide collaboration including produce growers, extension educators, researchers, produce industry representatives, and government personnel.

Expected Qualifications Prior to Attending

Prior to attending the PSA Train-the-Trainer (TTT) Course, individuals must have attended at least one PSA Grower Training (GT) and are expected to have basic knowledge in four competency areas including:

  1. Produce Safety Scientific Knowledge and Experience
  2. Fruit and Vegetable Production Knowledge
  3. Effective Training Delivery, and
  4. Knowledge of the FSMA Produce Safety Rule.

Lack of knowledge in any of these areas may impact the effectiveness of the trainer and lead to questions not being answered correctly or effectively.  Effective trainers and training courses will afford participants, including growers and regulatory personnel, the opportunity to learn how to assess risks, effectively implement produce safety practices on the farm, and understand the regulatory requirements outlined in the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule. 

NOTICE: Effective October 1, 2021, all individuals interested in enrolling in a PSA TTT Course must have attended at least one registered PSA GT Course. Successfully completing an in-person, online, or remote PSA Grower Training Course meets this requirement. During the PSA TTT, Trainers-of-Trainers (ToTs) emphasize how to teach the PSA GT Course curriculum, effectively engage participants, and navigate training challenges to ensure a high-quality training, so there is an expectation that attendees already know the curriculum content. PSA team experience, as well as that of other PSA ToTs, indicates that those who have not attended a PSA GT Course prior to attending a PSA TTT Course are not as familiar with the content as they need to be and this may negatively impact their experience in the PSA TTT Course. Participants that have not attended a PSA GT Course prior to the PSA TTT Course will not be eligible for a certificate of completion and will not be PSA Trainers, therefore it is critical that all participants are aware of this prerequisite requirement prior to registering for the course.

What to expect at the PSA Train-the-Trainer Course

This course will provide detailed information about Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), co-management of natural resources and food safety, FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirements, and a review of the seven module PSA Grower Training curriculum. The course will also cover principles of adult education, how to incorporate the PSA curriculum into other extension trainings, developing working partnerships, expectations for trainers, and how to register a PSA Grower Training Course with the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO).

What does successfully completing the PSA Train-the-Trainer (TTT) Course mean for me?

Upon successful completion of the PSA TTT, you will be a PSA Trainer and will receive a certificate from the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) that verifies you have completed the training course. This certificate satisfies the same training requirement outlined in § 112.22(c) because the entire PSA Grower Training Course content is covered at the PSA Train-the-Trainer Course, but in greater detail. Completing this training allows you to deliver curriculum modules as a trainer in a PSA Grower Training, under the direction of a PSA Lead Trainer. Every PSA Grower Training must have at least one PSA Lead Trainer present. Anyone presenting at a PSA Grower Training must be, at minimum, a PSA Trainer.
For further clarification about how to become a PSA Trainer or PSA Lead Trainer, please read the PSA Trainer Flow Diagram.

What is a PSA Lead Trainer and how do I become one?

A PSA Lead Trainer is an individual who has attended the PSA Train-the-Trainer Course and successfully completed the PSA Lead Trainer Supplemental Application and Evaluation. A PSA Lead Trainer can train solo, or as part of a team, as long as all trainers on the team have attended the PSA Train-the-Trainer Course. The process of becoming a PSA Lead Trainer is intended to ensure PSA Lead Trainers meet the minimum qualifications in each of the four competency areas as well as the educational and teaching background necessary to lead a PSA Grower Training Course. Upon completion of the PSA Train-the-Trainer Course, trainers will be sent an e-mail notification and web link to access the PSA Lead Trainer Supplemental Application. The supplemental application questions (4 randomly assigned short answer questions) will help evaluate trainers’ knowledge and their preparedness to conduct PSA Grower Training Courses and address participant needs. A committee will then evaluate the trainer’s supplemental application against a standardized rubric to determine whether they are qualified to become a PSA Lead Trainer. More information about the PSA Lead Trainer Supplemental Application will be reviewed during the PSA Train-the-Trainer Course.

Costs to Attend

Total costs to attend a PSA Train-the-Trainer Course will vary. Set costs include PSA educational materials for trainers ($75) and a Certificate of Course Attendance issued by AFDO ($50). Those that want to become a PSA Lead Trainer will incur an additional cost to cover the additional PSA Lead Trainer certificate and supplemental application process. All other training costs (such as venue and meals) will vary depending on location and availability of funding.

If you choose to become a PSA Lead Trainer, the PSA Lead Trainer Supplemental Application will cost $325 for non-profit organizations and $500 for for-profit organizations. This fee covers the cost of the PSA Lead Trainer Review Committee member’s time reviewing and approving applications, as well as any time spent conducting follow-up interviews with applicants. The PSA Lead Trainer Supplemental Application fee is in addition to the cost of attending the PSA Train-the-Trainer Course. 

Opportunities to Attend PSA Train-the-Trainer Courses

Check back on this site for an updated schedule of training dates and locations and sign up for the PSA listserv to receive the latest updates.

Hosting a PSA Grower Training Course

After attending a Train-the-Trainer Course, you may host your own PSA Grower Training Course, provided that all trainers delivering PSA Curriculum modules have attended the PSA Train-the-Trainer Course and at least one PSA Lead Trainer will be present through the entire duration of the course. All PSA Grower Training Courses must be registered through AFDO. Register a PSA Grower training course.