According to the Food & Drug Administration, every food processing facility is required to have a Preventive Controls Qualified Individual (PCQI) on staff to manage their food safety preventive controls program. Although not required, advanced training is encouraged to provide individuals with the skills needed to successfully navigate the complicated process of developing, writing and maintaining a Food Safety Plan.
Is PCQI training worth it?
Most of the time, yes. While you may understand general food safety and be able to identify and control hazards, you may not know or fully understand all the latest regulations, recordkeeping needs and recall plan requirements that go along with maintaining your company’s Food Safety Plan. In other words, for most manufacturers, relying on experience is not always good enough. Gaining additional training develops stronger skills and allows for a competitive edge in the marketplace.
What are the benefits of PCQI training?
Formal PCQI training provides a variety of benefits including:
- Understanding the significance and details of Federal Regulations. Fully comprehending the significance of new food regulations is essential. This is a main topic covered in a PCQI course.
- Learning from specially trained instructors. PCQI courses are taught by lead instructors who have gone through unique training to provide the most efficient transfer of knowledge possible. In order to become an instructor, they must attend the full PCQI course, meet training experience requirements and take additional lead instructor training designed specifically for teaching adult learners.
- Gaining in-depth knowledge about hazards and preventive controls. Training builds upon participants’ foundational knowledge of Current Good Manufacturing Practices through understanding what hazards are, where they can be found, their likelihood of occurring and their severity.
To gain the skills needed to confidently manage your company’s food safety preventive controls program, come to OMEP’s upcoming PCQI course on June 20 – 22, 2022
- Improving your recordkeeping abilities. Establishing effective recordkeeping procedures is just as important as understanding and establishing preventive controls.
- Gaining experience through different exercises and activities. Hands-on training is provided to best encompass the types of tasks the PCQI will have to complete on the job.
- Speeding up your auditing process. The curriculum taught in a PCQI course, which was developed by the Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance (FSPCA), is the same no matter where you are in the country. Since all food processors, consultants, auditors and inspectors learn the same curriculum, audits can be completed much more smoothly. Further, if the PCQI can present a certificate of course completion to the inspector at the beginning of an audit, the inspector will know they have learned all the information necessary to build a robust Food Safety Plan, without having to first go through a lengthy validation process.
- Receiving resources to help create your Food Safety Plan. Individuals are given several resources in training that can be used in the development of their Food Safety Plan. Sample worksheets, forms and templates are included, providing participants with the precise tools needed to outline their Food Safety Plan.
The benefits of investing in a PCQI course are clear. While it might be possible to develop, write and maintain your Food Safety Plan without taking the time to become formally trained, the process is made much easier and will be more effective for those who do.
Who Should Be Trained in PCQI?
It is recommended to have at least 1 trained PCQI per shift in your facility. The more you have, the easier it may be to manage your food safety programs. In complex operations, you may choose to have the leads of each department trained. This gives them autonomy and allows them to manage all the food safety oversight in their respective departments. It also gives your facility peace of mind when you have workforce turnover, illness, and vacation time.
- Director/VP Food Safety
- Maintenance Managers
- Production Supervisors
- Production Leads
- Sanitation Supervisors
- Packaging Supervisors & Managers
- Plant Managers
- Quality Assurance Coordinators & Managers
- Safety Managers
- Training Supervisors
- Lead Technicians
- Regulatory Personnel