NIAB - National Institute of Agricultural Botany

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Training & Events

NIAB has a long-established and successful reputation in delivering specialist training to government and commercial customers. These include variety and pest identification, crop inspection methods, seed sampling and testing specifically aimed at agricultural advisors and agronomists in support of crop quality assurance schemes.

Course dates and fees

Our training courses cover a wide range of crops and disciplines and are classroom, laboratory and field based. All courses are backed up by technical experts and all courses can be tailored to meet individual needs. We offer courses for anyone from single delegates up to seminars and conferences for up to 150 people. We can also offer a range of courses and events that attract BASIS and NRoSO Continuous Professional Development (CPD) points to help you enhance your professional portfolio. As a centre for scientific excellence we also organise seminars and symposia. 

ARTIS logoARTIS is a national training platform led by NIAB focused on the technical skills needed by farmers, growers, agronomists and the supply chain to improve crop production. ARTIS delivers the technical skills needed to do the job, rather than qualifications but at the same time provides access to the latest research and technologies that affect crop production. ARTIS utilises existing CPD schemes, and so the industry can easily use the platform in staff development programmes to underpin professionalism in our industry. The quality of the training products developed will be assured by commissioning the technical inputs from well placed technical partners.  ARTIS classroom, field and online course can be viewed and booked online at

NIAB's crop agronomy courses, including potato agronomy and the grass weed, pest and disease ID training, are now part of the ARTIS course schedule.

Varieties and seeds

Courses based around the seed certification schemes delivered on behalf of FERA provide the necessary level of skills for new entrants as well as refreshers for those needing to maintain their skills and appropriate certification. NIAB is also proficient in supplying courses on variety and seed regulation schemes for developing countries and others as needed in the UK or in-country.

Plant Breeding

The two week postgraduate level course on Quantitative Methods in Plant Breeding is a must for plant breeders, plant geneticists and post-graduate students who wish to practically apply knowledge of quantitative genetics and statistics in the context of modern plant science and plant breeding.


The BBSRC Advanced Training Partnership's (ATP) are vehicles for research-led training focused on responding to the needs of industry. Our goal is to increase the sustainability and efficiency of Pasture-Based Agriculture in the UK. Together with IBERS-Aberystwyth and Bangor Universtity, NIAB is providing an accessible training base to allow relevant businesses to meet the very real challenges of:

  • Living with the effects of climate change
  • Food security and securing the supply chain
  • Societal demands and meeting consumer expectations

Engaging with the future

NIAB is committed to promoting the next generation of agricultural advisors and crop scientists, by providing opportunities for them to engage and network with researchers and industry professionals and access up-to-date applied agronomy information and research.

A unique trials-based competition open to student teams, the NIAB Agronomy Cup launched in 2012 promotes the training of a new generation of agricultural advisors and crop scientists, and increases our engagement with colleges and universities. 

The Award offers training in effective communications, each year, to eight agriculturists for whom good communication skills are expected to be integral to their careers. The course takes place over three days in early January (usually the first week), and includes topics such as dealing with the press, interview techniques, photography, Powerpoint skills, and film-making. The course is run by Green Shoots Productions, hosted by NIAB and supported by The Felix Cobbold Trust and The Morley Agricultural Foundation.

Sharing our expertise internationally

Some of the characteristics of globalisation are reflected in the capability and experience of NIAB: driven by technology and the spread of ideas, management of change and uncertainty, assisting the proliferation of global agreements and treaties and wider dissemination of information.

Specific assignments are undertaken to provide staff and support, or to participate as a partner in, aid-funded technical assistance projects or training programmes.