Food safety qualifications to fast track training

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

CEIH's new qualification will help address the shortage of food safety officers across the UK
CEIH's new qualification will help address the shortage of food safety officers across the UK

Related tags Training & recruitment Food safety

A food hygiene and standards qualification launched by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) – in collaboration with the Food Standards Agency (FSA) – could help boost the number of trained food safety personnel fast.

Available to study from September this year, the Advanced Professional Certificate (APC) in Food Hygiene and Standards Control will help address the shortage of food safety officers across the UK.

This new qualification will be recognized by the FSA, combining knowledge acquired through an accredited degree or standalone module and work-based experience.

CIEH and the FSA hoped it would support a more holistic approach to applying food law interventions and help make better use of resources to target high-risk and non-complaint businesses.

‘Flagship qualification’

Debbie Wood, executive director of membership and external affairs at CIEH, said: “We are delighted to see the result of real partnership working with the FSA and are proud to have been at the forefront of creating and shaping this flagship qualification.

“Considering the political and financial landscape our profession exists in, I am delighted that we have been able to work so closely with the FSA on a recognised pathway that reflects the move towards holistic inspections encompassing both food hygiene and food standards. This is a positive step that will secure our future.”

CIEH’s APC is the result of efforts to smooth out the route to food enforcement qualification, authorizing practitioners for work related to the Official Controls Regulation.

The right people

FSA chief executive Emily Miles added: “I welcome CIEH’s work on the APC and am delighted the FSA could support it. The new qualification will help ensure that local authorities have the right people with the right qualifications to do this vital work, and that they can deploy them flexibly.”

The meat industry could see a huge benefit from the new qualification’s aim of fast tracking the training of new food safety officials. In 2018, CIEH identified a shortage of meat inspectors, a warning it claimed had been largely ignored by the Government.

Meanwhile, the FSA has outlined a strengthened system for tackling food safety risks​ in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and Brexit.

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