The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), a coalition of the Consumer Goods Forum, has launched the first-ever set of benchmarking requirements for food safety auditor professional recognition bodies. By raising the profile of the profession of auditing and focusing entry requirements on competence, the aim is to attract and retain talents into this profession.
Over the years, the industry has faced mounting difficulties in recruiting and retaining auditors, putting a strain on the certification bodies’ ability to cater to the increasing demand in food safety audits. GFSI says situation has worsened due to increasingly complex and duplicated requirements applying to new and existing auditors, including the increasing GFSI benchmarking requirements for certification program owners on auditors.
To combat this, GFSI has now developed a new recognition program for professional recognition bodies in the food safety sector, setting them up as responsible for validating common competencies in a food safety auditor for all GFSI-recognized certification program owners. The move also means that the food industry can rely on this registration and validation to verify the competency of the auditor.
“The current qualifications and industry experience required for a food safety auditing career are stringent and specific, which narrows the field of potential recruits dramatically,” says Erica Sheward, director of GFSI. “By harmonizing training and professional development across the industry, we can make food safety auditing an accessible, attainable, and desirable profession for many more people, helping to safeguard the future of an essential component of the food safety ecosystem.”
GFSI says that this initiative forms part of the larger GFSI Race to the Top framework, which works to improve trust, transparency, and confidence in GFSI-recognized certification and audit outcomes. For more information, access the benchmarking requirements on the GFSI website.