join the network

Professional development for plant diagnosticians is important for building diagnostic capacity and capability.

The NPBDN works closely with the Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Australian state and territory governments, the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries, the CSIRO, universities, museums, Plant Health Australia and international institutions to identify professional development opportunities for NPBDN members.

Each year the state of the biosecurity system and the coverage of diagnostic technologies for current, new and emerging plant pests is assessed and priorities set for training and professional development activities for NPBDN members.

The National Plant Biosecurity Diagnostic Professional Development and Protocols Projects are coordinated and delivered by Plant Health Australia and are funded by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. The objectives of the Projects are to enhance and strengthen Australia’s diagnostic and surveillance capacity and capability to identify priority plant pests that impact on plant industries, environment and the community.

The NPBDN Professional Development Program includes:

1.       Diagnostic Residential Program

The Diagnostic Residential Program (referred to as Diagnostic Residentials) provides funding for plant biosecurity diagnosticians to visit external laboratories to gain essential skills and knowledge relevant to their role and allow the sharing of ideas and practices. The underpinning purpose of the Diagnostic Residentials is to improve the national plant biosecurity diagnostic capability and capacity by improving the capability of individuals.

Refer to the Diagnostic Residential page for more information.

2.       Training workshops

Skills-based training workshops are delivered each year for NPBDN members. One species specific identification workshop and one focused on developing skills for a specific technique or technology.

Training workshops are advertised through the Development Events page of the members portal.

3.       The Annual Diagnosticians’ Workshop

The Annual Diagnosticians’ Workshops (ADW) provide the opportunity for NPBDN members to come together to exchange tips and techniques, share knowledge and find out what other diagnosticians are doing and experiencing in their jobs.

Refer to the Annual Diagnosticians’ Workshop page for more information.

4.       Diagnostic Proficiency Testing

Regular proficiency testing provides regulatory bodies with confidence in the results of diagnostic tests, which is vital when dealing with international or interstate trade issues. Refer to the Proficiency Testing page for more information.