The Subcommittee on Plant Health Diagnostics (SPHD) aims to sustain and improve the quality and reliability of plant pest diagnostics in Australia. SPHD achieves this by:
SPHD is a subcommittee of Plant Health Committee (PHC) and includes representation from the Australian, state and territory governments, Plant Health Australia, CSIRO and the New Zealand Ministry of Primary Industries.
The full list of SPHD members can be found on the Discover our Work page.
To view the operating guidelines for SPHD you need to be a member of the network and logged in.
There are four working groups that contribute to SPHD, together with an Executive Group. The working groups include the Diagnostic Protocols Working Group (DPWG), the Network Implementation Working Group (NIWG), the Reference Collections Implementation Plan Working Group (RCIPWG) and the Surge Capacity Working Group (SCWG).
The Executive Group is the governing body of SPHD and includes the Chair, Deputy Chair, the Executive Officer and may draw on specific expertise within the subcommittee as required. It is responsible for ensuring the effective operation of the subcommittee and its working groups.
The DPWG is responsible for the review and update of the SPHD Reference Standards for the development of diagnostic protocols. It oversees the development of National Diagnostic Protocols (NDP), monitor advances in technology and ensure reference standards remain current allowing new methodologies to be incorporated.
NIWG is tasked with progressing the National Plant Biosecurity Diagnostic Network (NPBDN) to strengthen diagnostic capacity and capability across Australia. It is responsible for the driving national plant health diagnostic professional development initiatives, improving communication and connections between network members, and increasing nationally consistent arrangements through the implementation of the NPBDN.
The RCIPWG is responsible for the delivery of the National Reference Collections Strategy Implementation Plan
The SCWG is responsible for determining how diagnostic capability and capacity can be effectively utilised across the NPBDN to deliver a surge capacity in the event of an emergency response.
Achievements of SPHD include:
Current projects include:
Lists terms, definitions and abbreviations with specific meaning for Australian plant health systems.
Provides guidelines and instructions to authors for the development of a diagnostic protocol.
Provides guidelines for the approval process that diagnostic protocols undergo.
Provides guidelines and instructions for conducting a verification process and undertaking a peer review of diagnostic protocols.
SPHD Communique 26 (3-5 May 2018)
SPHD Communique 25 (10-11 October 2017)
SPHD Communique 24 (6-7 April 2017)
SPHD Communique 23 (11-13 October 2016)
SPHD Communique 22 (3-4 May 2016)
SPHD Communique 21 (17-18 September 2015)
SPHDS* Communique 20 (13-14 May 2015)
SPHDS* Communique 19 (7-9 October 2014)
SPHDS* Communique 18 (12-14 May 2014)
SPHDS* Communique 17 (16-17 October 2013)
Note: SPHD did not release a communiqué for meetings 27 to 32
SPHD Communique 33 (12 October 2021 – Virtual)
*the name was formerly the Subcommittee on Plant Health Diagnostic Standards
SPHD can be contacted through the Executive Officer, Subcommittee on Plant Health Diagnostics (SPHD)
National Engagement | Plant Health Policy | Australian Chief Plant Protection Office
Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment
GPO Box 858 Canberra ACT 2601 Australia
Ph: +61 02 6272 5367