HACCP, PCQI, FSVP, IAVA, Internal Auditor – Which Training Is Right For You?

Today’s food safety standards require number of certificate training for individuals involved in development, implementation, and maintenance of the food safety systems.

Often in our instructor and consulting work, we get asked. Which training is right for me, or which training applies to me?

There are a few certificate food safety training courses that are a must in food manufacturing / processing industry depending on food sector category.

Those are HACCP (Hazard analysis of critical control points), PCQI (Preventive Controls Qualified Individual), FSVP (Foreign Supplier Verification Program), IAVA (Intentional Adulteration Vulnerability Assessment) and Internal Auditor Certificate Course.

Taking closer look into each of those curricula, here is what we ca recommend:

  1. HACCP Certificate Course – taking this course is an absolute must for whoever (regardless of food sector category) is in a position (or thinks about obtaining one) to manage or supervise a food safety system. There are plenty of HACCP training out there and sometimes it might be challenging to pick the right one.

First thing you should pay attention to is if curriculum you are considering is accredited by credible organization. Widely acceptable within the industry is accreditation by the International HACCP Alliance. This is a statement that certificate training course you are about to take will have all necessary elements and will be accepted by governmental agencies (FDA, USDA) and 3rd party audits including GFSI audits such as SQF, BRC and others. Accredited HACCP course teaches about HACCP System elements including GMPs, PRPs and HACCP plans with 7 HACCP principles and includes hands on exercises on HACCP plan development. At BD Food Safety Consultants LLC, we offer IHA Accredited HACCP Training. More information and registration can be found at https://bdfoodsafety.com/haccp-training/

  1. PCQI Certificate Course – this course would be right for you if you work for facility that processes, manufactures, pack or hold any food under FDA jurisdiction. Just like with HACCP course, you need to make sure that curriculum you are about to pick will be accepted by FDA and 3rd party audits. There are several PCQI trainings out there with one major curriculum that is recognized by FDA as adequate to meet regulatory requirements. This is 2,5 Day (20 hours) FSPCA’s curriculum. FSPCA (Food Safety Preventive Control Alliance) was created as part of support system for the industry when FSMA was introduced into law. Course teaches about PCQI responsibilities including responsibility for development of Risk Based Food Safety Plan with Preventive Controls. Recognized course includes group exercises on development of Food Safety Plan that is compliant with requirements under Preventive Controls regulation – 21 CFR 117. At BD Food Safety Consultants LLC, we offer FSPCA’s PCQI course recognized by FDA. Dates and registration can be found at https://bdfoodsafety.com/pcqi-training/
  2. FSVP Course – Foreign Supplier Verification Program Regulation applies to human and animal food importing businesses. This training is also specific to foreign suppliers to better understand requirements for foreign made foods offered on the US market. This course teaches about new responsibilities for food safety assigned to food importers. This includes conducting hazard analysis, evaluating and approving foreign suppliers and determining, conducting and documenting supplier verification activities. FSPCA has a curriculum that is recognized by FDA. BD Food Safety Consultants LLC offer this course in online live format. More information, dates and registration are available at https://bdfoodsafety.com/fspca-fsvp-training/fsvp-training/
  3. IAVA Course – Intentional Adulteration Vulnerability Assessment. This is one of the courses required for individuals at food manufacturing, processing, packing and holding businesses to become Food Defense Qualified Individuals (FDQI). Under 21 CFR 121 (IA Rule) companies must develop, implement, and maintain risk-based Food Defense Plans. All activities associated with those tasks must be conducted or overseen by FDQI(s). This course teaches participants how to conduct vulnerability assessment and identify Actionable Process Steps (APS). This course is right not only for businesses covered by FDA under Preventive Controls but all other food businesses under FDA including HACCP food sector categories such as seafood and juice. BD Food Safety LLC offers FSPCA’s 1 Day curriculum recognized by FDA as adequate to become FDQI. More information and registration are available at https://bdfoodsafety.com/iava-training/
  4. Internal Auditor Certificate Course – This course is right for any facilities that maintain a 3rd party audit, especially GFSI audit such as SQF and BRC. Audit standards require that facilities train their internal auditors in auditing techniques. Course offered by BD Food Safety Consultants LLC is a 1 Day curriculum based on ISO 19011:2011 and is recognized during 3rd party audits including GFSI audits. More information and dates for registration are available at https://bdfoodsafety.com/internal-audit-training/

Other smaller courses that might be useful to a food safety professional include Root Cause Analysis, Corrective Actions or audit specific training. As a food safety professional you should continually expand your knowledge. Training courses listed above come without expiration date but science changes from time to time and approach to the same food safety principles may shift. As a food safety professional you should consider periodically re-taking certificate courses to stay up to date with food safety standards.