Plant Breeders’ Rights for food security and economic development

This course aims at implementation of the Plant Variety Protection System, based on UPOV principles. During this 8 week program, participants share their ideas, experiences and network with colleagues round the world.

Starting date: 
On request

Target group

Applicants should have a position in the variety registration system or have a position that will give them such responsibilities in the near future. Countries that have recently developed a plant variety protection law, or those that are currently in the process of developing such legislation, will be given priority. We also welcome employees of the legal departments in the agricultural industry.

Applicants should have an agricultural or horticultural education at a minimum of BSc level or a legal education supplemented with practical experience in agriculture and horticulture. Participants are expected to be proficient in English. 

Participants that register timely and have been accepted are invited to take part, free of charge, in the UPOV Distance Learning Course (DL-205) 'Introduction to the UPOV System of Plant Variety Protection under the UPOV Convention'. 

Date and location

This course will be provided online:

  • 2023 starting date has to be determined 
  • Duration: Part-time, 9 weeks with one or two breaks in between
  • Total hours: 80 hours
  • Venue: Facilitated online sessions

Internet connection is important for the completion of the course. 

This training course takes place in general over a 9 week period to make the workload and time you spend online manageable. A new topic is covered every week.  

Our online learning system is Naktuinbouw Academy. Everything you need — our course program, social space, assignments, background information are in this system. The Naktuinbouw Academy is easy to operate, can also be accessed by your phone. We even organise a technical check-in before the course starts, to test your facilities and get familiar with the tools.


The course is currently online and we follow this format:

Interactive plenary sessions where we share content, review assignments and facilitate exchanging experiences. 

Group work either online or offline where you with other participants address a specific question or do an assignment. Results of these assignments are also shared and discussed during online sessions;

Individual assignments where you will read literature, watch videos, and do exercises on your own. These assignments are an essential part of the learning and most of them count for getting the certificate. They are meant to introduce or deepen knowledge and make the link between theory and your own situation. 

Course subjects:

  • Legal aspects: legal framework, requirements of the international Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV), other systems, patents, regulations relating to genetic resource use
  • Institutional aspects: procedures and administration, organisational setup, variety registration systems, collaboration and testing
  • Technical aspects: the principle of Distinctness, Uniformity and Stability (DUS), practical DUS-testing, UPOV guidelines, field testing, biochemical/ molecular techniques, statistics, data analysis, reporting, variety denomination
  • Exploitation of plant breeders rights: enforcing rights, royalty collection, farm saved seed



The course fee for 2023 has to be determined.