Becoming a professional food safety auditor – the journey starts here

Becoming a professional food safety auditor – the journey starts here

And so, our birthday celebrations continue, fear fellow Food-Biters,

We have indeed been spoilt!  In fact, the biggest gift came in the form of an e-mail just yesterday – CQI and IRCA review and approval of our FSSC 22000 Version 5.1 Lead Auditor Course.  This is wonderful news for us and anyone else who is interested in embarking on the journey of becoming a professional food safety auditor.

Yes, it is a journey marked with a few milestones and one that technically never ends.  In fact, it has been said that if you wanted to qualify to audit ALL the food scopes, you would probably be 80 years old!  Today we would like to show you what these “milestones” look like so that you can plot your career as a professional auditor and, if you are still young and have only entered the food industry recently, maybe we can help you make some wise decisions from the start

All food safety auditors must:

  • Have a food-related university degree.
  • At least 5 years’ post-qualification experience in the food processing industry is required. This experience must include involvement in aspects such as quality assurance or food safety functions within manufacturing, retailing, inspection, or enforcement.
  • Attend and successfully complete a 40-hour Management system Lead Auditor course.
  • Attend and successfully complete a 2-day HACCP training course.
  • Observe a minimum number of audits (usually determined by the standard owner or certification body)
  • Successfully complete a full witness audit and in some cases an interview or oral examination.

Quite simple, right?  But fish is not meat, and meat is not dairy, and this means that as a food auditor, your qualification is linked to a specific field, category or scope based on your working experience.  These categories or scopes are defined differently for various food standards such as BRCGS, IFS and FSSC but the secret here is to strategically move around between different food sectors to gain as much experience as possible in different scopes.  To qualify for a specific product scope, you will need at least 2 years’ working experience per product scope.  So, contrary to popular belief, you are not aiming for a 25-year long service award!

Do not be disheartened by the process.  You can work towards many of these milestones at the same timeClick here and register to attend our 5-day CQI and IRCA approved FSSC version 5.1 Lead Auditor Course and mark this milestone as “done”.  Our next workshops are scheduled as follows:

  • Paarl: 3 – 7 May 2021
  • Johannesburg: 17 – 21 May

Our CQI and IRCA certification limits the number of delegates to a maximum of 10 per session so register today to avoid disappointment!

Remember, your qualification is also not a “once-off” process but needs to be maintained by completing a minimum number of audits per year, participating in on-going training programmes, examinations, and regular witness audits.  This is certainly a career where the learning never stops, and each day presents a new adventure!

How can we help?

From the Food Bites Team