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GFSI is seeking food safety training and education professionals to participate in a new Working Group (WG) on Auditor Training and Professional Development.

One of the biggest challenges facing the certification industry is the increasing decline in the field of qualified food safety auditors, who play a crucial role in assuring safe food food for consumers worldwide. Becoming – and remaining – a qualified auditor can be a challenge and the role is often taxing, while professionals who fit the profile typically have attractive alternatives.

Further exacerbating this shortage in the marketplace is a need to create parity of esteem with other auditing professions, such as financial auditing, in order to boost entry into the profession and create a wider talent pool, which in turn will further drive the standards of food safety auditing.

GFSI is thus launching a programme to reduce the burden on food safety auditors and support the sustainability of the community. We are opening a Working Group to develop harmonisation and benchmarking requirements for providers of food safety auditor training and continuing professional development (CPD).

The Working Group will be mandated to create a professional framework, a competency framework, a code of practice, and a document defining what is expected of a food safety professional across all aspects of their activity, including professional development.

All providers of food safety training will be invited to apply for benchmarking against the GFSI Benchmarking Requirements for Training upon its release in early 2021. Going forward, GFSI will require that audits for GFSI-recognised certification programmes be delivered exclusively by auditors trained by a GFSI-recognised provider of training and continuing professional development. This will foster mutual recognition and reduce the training burden on auditors while increasing confidence and harmonising performance.

GFSI has a leading role to play here. By moving to deliver benchmarking requirements for auditor training and ongoing CPD, GFSI plays to its technical and professional strengths, having already created a harmonised approach to food safety worldwide through its globally recognised GFSI Benchmarking Requirements.

This work is part of a food safety revolution launched by GFSI in 2020, under the umbrella term Race To the Top (RTTT). This framework redefines GFSI’s place in the food safety system with the aim of staying true to our original genesis as a benchmarking and harmonisation organisation responsible for the food safety ‘what’ and not the food safety ‘how.’ To learn more, please take a look at our RTTT stakeholder consultation outcomes and subscribe to GFSI News.

If this new GFSI Working Group is a good fit for you, or for someone in your network, please consult the details below and ensure the application form is filled out by 25th September.

 

Mandate

  • Establish the governance rules that should be in place for all service providers interested in achieving recognition against the GFSI Benchmarking Requirements for Training.
  • Set the main content that should be included in the GFSI Benchmarking Requirements for Training.
  • Elaborate the path that would be necessary to implement CPD for the maintenance of auditor competency.
  • Create the basis to build up the image of auditing as an attractive career.
  • Length of mandate: 5 months
  • Meetings and commitments: Meetings will be conducted mainly via conference call, accompanied if possible by at least two in-person meetings. All meetings are held in English.

How to Apply

If you are interested in taking part in this Working Group, please fill in this online application. A maximum of 15 members will be chosen spread across retailers, manufacturers, accreditation bodies, certification bodies, service providers, academics, regulators and training organisations.

Selection Criteria & Eligibility

  1. Please consult the Assessment Criteria for Working Group Applicants..
  2. Members must represent one of the types of organisations listed in the “composition criteria”.
  3. Members must be an active member of the organisation they represent.
  4. Members must understand:
    – international standards, including ISO
    – food safety certifications
    – GFSI ways of working
    – training and continuous professional development, in general and / or specifically for food safety auditors
  5. Members should be an expert in at least one of the above, i.e. able to demonstrate in-depth knowledge recognised by their peers, with significant experience.
  6. Members should be selected to ensure balance of expertise as listed above.
  7. Members should commit to the behaviour and code of conduct stated in the GFSI Governance rules.
  8. Applicants must be employed by an organisation that agrees to sponsor their participation in the Working Group. All costs and expenses for participants’ participation in any or all activities of GFSI must be covered by the organisations that they represent. For further information on our rules and procedures, see our governance document.

Applications will be open until 25th September, 2020. Only candidates who have been selected will be contacted.

Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

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