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Learn more about biosecurity with our free training modules

Reporting of new tree pests and diseases in the UK has increased markedly in the last few years, with a widening variety of threats to the UK’s native and non-native tree populations.

It’s important that people working in the outdoors are able to recognise symptoms of pests and diseases, are aware of where and how to report suspected affected trees, and know how to minimise any spread of pests and diseases through the effective application of biosecurity measures.

This e-learning package was developed with input from the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), the Arboriculture Association and the British Association for Landscape Industries (BALI). Our aim is to provide background information on biosecurity issues, and clear guidance on the most effective and appropriate biosecurity measures to use in different situations.

The course is divided into five modules. At the end of each is a short test to establish your understanding of the subject. The pass mark for each test is 80%, with the option to re-take the test if required.

Biosecurity Awareness - Module 1

  • explains the definition and principles of biosecurity
  • explains why biosecurity is important from an environmental, social and financial perspective
  • provides examples of current and potential tree pests and diseases

Biosecurity - Dispersal Pathways - Module 2

  • provides historical data on pest and disease introductions to the UK
  • outlines the various ways in which pests and diseases can be dispersed geographically
  • explains the means of dispersal in the forestry, horticulture and arboriculture sectors

Biosecurity Measures - Module 3

  • provides an overview of plant health law
  • gives recommendations for responsible sourcing of planting stock 
  • sets out best practice for planning a site visit
  • details the correct methods of disposing of infected waste

Biosecurity - Personal Controls - Module 4

  • identifies the contents of a biosecurity kit
  • gives examples of disinfectants and their preparation and use
  • increases your understanding of your responsibilities in preventing the spread of pests and diseases by undertaking biosecurity good practice for  low-risk or high-risk situations
  • details when and how to report pests and diseases

Biosecurity - import and export requirements for wood packaging materials (WPM) - Module 5

  • explains European Union and United Kingdom phyto-sanitary requirements for importing wood packaging material
  • defines the various forms of WPM and dunnage
  • explains WPM marking for ISPM-15 compliance
  • explains the WPM inspection process
  • presents some of the tree health issues which non-compliant WPM can cause.

If you have problems finding anything, or have questions or comments about the course modules or e-learning site, please contact us

Last updated: 13th February 2018

Using the portal

Before first using the portal you will be asked to register to create an account. Within minutes your account will be verified, after which you can enrol in our on-line electronic courses.