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The Plant Health Professional Register provides independent recognition and validation of your plant health and biosecurity competencies, professional standing and achievements. It is suitable for everyone working with plants from sectors including: horticulture and crop industries, forestry, land management, the natural environment, plant science and research.

Plant health registration is based on a competency framework that aligns with the current Plant Biosecurity Strategy for Great Britain as well as industry-led standards and assurance schemes. There are three levels within the register – Associate, Registered and Senior Plant Health Professional – providing a clear pathway for competency development and career progression.


Benefits of Plant Health Professional registration:

  • Hold a recognised award that demonstrates your professional competencies, on‐the‐job experience, commitment to good biosecurity practice and regulatory compliance.
  • Eligibility to use post-nominal letters: APHP, RPHP or SPHP for Associate, Registered or Senior Plant Health Professional, respectively.
  • Appear on the public Plant Health Register, boosting your career opportunities by highlighting your experience to potential employers and wider stakeholders.
  • Access to the RSB’s continuing professional development (CPD) scheme and discounts on RSB training courses to:
    - expand your skill set
    - gain support for appraisals, your CV and job applications
    - demonstrate your commitment to continual learning
    - provide evidence of your training and development
  • Receive tailored invitations to free plant health events and talks, joining a network of like-minded professionals to share knowledge, expertise and up-to-date information.

For more information, watch this introductory video, or contact the team at

In addition to the register, the RSB is delivering a suite of initiatives in plant health, including a Plant Health event series, fully-funded Plant Health Undergraduate Summer Studentships, and a Plant Health Professionals networking group on LinkedIn. You can find out more about these events and projects on our Plant Health Activity page


Plant Health Register - Costs

  • Registration application fee - £30
  • Annual renewal fee - £30

Registrants are also required to join and maintain membership of the RSB as an Affiliate, Associate, Member or Fellow. Details on how to join and associated costs* are found on our membership page

*RSB membership discounts are available to those who recently completed an undergraduate degree, are studying full-time, retired, not in paid employment or on a career break. We also offer a 50% discount for two years if you are a member of one of our member organisations or HUBS.


Plant Health Professional Register online training course

We have developed a new online training course to support applicants to the Plant Health Professional Register. It covers topics from plant health principles and governance, to identifying and controling pests and pathogens, good biosecurity practices, and raising awareness in the community. The course is available on the RSB online training portal, myLearning. The first video introduces the register and is free to everybody, and the remaining modules are free to RSB members at any level.


Guidance for applicants

To start your application visit our members area mySociety.

Download our full guidance document for support on your application, and answers to frequently asked questions. This guidance was updated in May 2023, so if you began preparing your application prior to this, please check your application against the new guidance before you submit. 

View our online leaflet for key facts. If you would like a physical copy of this leaflet for your workplace to encourage colleagues to join the register, please contact 

If you have questions about how to apply of the application process, please contact us at .

The Royal Society of Biology is committed to ensuring equal opportunities in the life sciences, and supports diversity throughout the pipeline; at school and higher education, in the workplace and training.


Plant Health Professional Register Committee

Registration standards are overseen by a committee comprising representatives of plant health agencies from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the Forestry Commission, the horticulture sector and the Royal Society of Biology:

Nicola Spence (Defra Chief Plant Health Officer)
Charles Lane (Fera Science Ltd)
Nicola Cummings (DAERA – Northern Ireland)
Nia Meddins (Welsh Government)
Alan MacLeod (Defra)
Denise A’Hara (SASA)
Gerry Saddler (SASA Chief Plant Health Officer - Scotland)
Katie Parker (Forestry Commission)
David Skydmore (Tyfu Cymru/Farming Connect)