Grade change process – Western Standards Committee

Grain specifications and grades, as defined in the Official Grain Grading Guide, reflect the interests and concerns of all parts of Canada's grain sector. The Canadian Grain Commission adjusts them only if a comprehensive review shows need.

A comprehensive review includes:

  • Consulting with the sub-committees of the Western Standards Committee
  • Consulting with the Western Standards Committee
  • Conducting scientific research at the Canadian Grain Commission


1. Concern brought forward

Anyone can bring forward a concern about grading, a quality issue or any specification in the Official Grain Grading Guide by contacting a standards committee member, a sub-committee member, or the Canadian Grain Commission. The committee or sub-committee member brings the item forward for discussion at the appropriate sub-committee's meeting.

2. Sub-committee discussion and scientific study

The sub-committee discusses the potential impact a change would have on the grain industry or the customers of Canada's grain. The sub-committee decides if further study is required. If so, the sub-committee seeks input from stakeholders and arranges for scientific research where necessary.

3. Sub-committee decision

Once consultation and research are complete, results are brought back to the sub-committee for further discussion and consideration. At this point, the sub-committee may:

  • Ask for more evaluation
  • Choose not so support the proposed change, or
  • Recommend that the Western Standards Committee support the proposed change

4. Western Standards Committee discussion and decision

The Western Standards Committee discusses the recommendation and:

  • Requests more evaluation
  • Decides not to support the recommendation, or
  • Decides to support the recommendation

If the Western Standards Committee supports a recommendation to change a particular grade or specification, the Canadian Grain Commission makes the change in the Official Grain Grading Guide.

5. Grading change announced

Any change made to current grading specifications is announced well in advance of the new crop year in order to give the grain industry, including producers, time to adjust to any change.