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Minimum qualification to be qualified as a food safety manager?


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#26 cazyncymru

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Posted 07 February 2015 - 12:47 AM

In an ideal world , then maybe yes, we'd all have qualifications . I've been a food safety manager without a degree, and I've managed to do alright thank you very much! But I'd still say best TM's i've worked for and with have come up through the shop floor and whilst they have done all the relevant courses (HACCP, Food Hygiene, Lead Auditor) the fact that they don't have a degree hasn't diluted their skill. I've yet to see anyone who's been taught to do a food safety risk assessment. And before you ask, yes I do now have a degree ( in fact 2 and in relevant subjects!)

Maybe the graduates need to aim a little lower; most of the TM/QM jobs I see advertised ask for 5 years experience (at least). Students believe that they can walk into a QM job on £30K a year, that ain't going to happen! 

And I'll let you into a secret. Every time I get a fresh faced graduate auditor or TM I tell them a blatant lie about our process. Let's just say I have a 100% success rate; the old timer see right through it!! 



#27 trubertq

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Posted 07 February 2015 - 06:10 PM

 

 

 

It is rather shame that now a days there is flux of mature people who has overcrowded the food industry and graduates with decent qualification can't get even their first role. 

 

 

and at what age would you like us ..."mature" people to fade away and leave it for the young ones?

 

I have a degree and worked my way through analytical laboratories I and food businesses gathering experience from the 'mature' people I worked with. This has left me able to work for myself and look after my children at the same time. I have trained more graduates than i could count and I wouldn't like to let any of them near a Quality manager position until they have had at least 3 years experience, and furthermore I would be an advocate of making them spend 6 months working in production before they would take up their position!! 


I'm entitled to my opinion, even a stopped clock is right twice a day

#28 aimfood2002

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Posted 07 February 2015 - 06:25 PM

you didn't get my point completely I believe. firstly, i did not say that mature people should fade away. I certainly believe that there are field within food industry where qualifications would not necessarily always attract right candidate and there are field where there is need for graduate. I too have started in quality control role and spent lots of time in other roles and now working in senior position in technical. but during this I certainly observed there was lots of resistance of people with shop floor experience.  And on many occasion I was forced to believe that qualification does not have much value in the industry.  

 

Unfortunately, for many of in this part of world it is natural to spend 25 years in the same role or carry on doing what you have always done. Not the case for me or my other colleague who wants get valuable experience  before they it is too late in the suitable management role. 

 

There are certainly plenty of roles we went for , where overall feedback was regarding the actual team working there who were there in their role for donkey's year and made impossible to enter suitable supervisor or manager to stay there. And this was experience for most of the managers who work there. The bitter truth was that no one apart from someone who stayed locally and have worked there number of years could work there !!

 

Are you saying that after spending number of hard years of education which equates  to more than 7 years if you consider graduates and post graduation ,who spend this time , they deserve this sort of resistance. 



#29 cazyncymru

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Posted 07 February 2015 - 07:25 PM

And what "fields" within the food industry do you think us uneducated food safety managers should strive for, to make room for you oh superior educated graduates????

I'm totally with Trubertq, I've done my fair share of mentoring graduates, and some think that because they've spent 3 years doing a degree then their better that those who are mentoring them. 
Unfortunately you've just confirmed those suspicions and probably upset a number of food safety people who use this forum who have worked hard to go get to the position their in now. Hard work, tenacity, knowledge and a little bit of humility! And not necessarily a degree ; I only achieved my degree after working in the industry for more than 20 years, and it's not changed anything for me. The only people that it's made any difference to are the snobs like yourself!! It's not made any difference to how I do my job. My CV speaks for itself, you can't work at the top in food industry, with or without a degree if you aren't good enough! You get found our pretty quickly! 

I know that a number of the posters here are well respected in their field, and by are well thought of by their peers on here, and they don't necessarily have degrees !!



#30 trubertq

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 04:25 PM

I understand you point perfectly. You'd like the people who have been 25 years in their job to move over and let you have it!! Dream on.

 

When I graduated in the late '80s in Ireland, 90% of my graduation class had to emigrate , much worse than the situation now ( not that you'd think so from all the whinging that goes on). I stayed put, took junior lab technician roles and worked my way through to lab manager, then set up an Independant analytical laboratory when I was in my early 30's. I did have an expectation that I would obviously have a managerial position because I had a degree, I worked hard gaining experience and knowledge, to be honest my degree wasn't much of an asset to me, the practical Lab Technician education I got from my local Institute of Technology has carried me much further.I have continuously upgraded my training year on year ( paid for by myself I might add) so that I am up to date with what's happening in the world.

 

If you want to be a manager, work at it , start in a lower position and get the experience and the skills that mean you can earn respect,don't demand it just because you have letters after your name.

 

Of course your education has value,I would never say otherwise but it's not the be all and end all, and it certainly doesn't entitle you to a job above someone with 25 years or more experience.


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#31 Jeffrey Ort

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 10:16 PM

I agree there is no specific certification or way to the top, but work experience with continuing education and training is a great path to the position. Even if you take all the classes available, real life experience is a key to the position.



#32 MWidra

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Posted 09 February 2015 - 02:43 PM

you didn't get my point completely I believe. firstly, i did not say that mature people should fade away.

 

Unfortunately, for many of in this part of world it is natural to spend 25 years in the same role or carry on doing what you have always done. Not the case for me or my other colleague who wants get valuable experience  before they it is too late in the suitable management role. 

I do get your point completely.  But you appear to be bringing an emotional component to the discussion.

 And on many occasion I was forced to believe that qualification does not have much value in the industry.  

 

Unfortunately, for many of in this part of world it is natural to spend 25 years in the same role or carry on doing what you have always done. Not the case for me or my other colleague who wants get valuable experience  before they it is too late in the suitable management role. 

 

There are certainly plenty of roles we went for , where overall feedback was regarding the actual team working there who were there in their role for donkey's year and made impossible to enter suitable supervisor or manager to stay there. And this was experience for most of the managers who work there. The bitter truth was that no one apart from someone who stayed locally and have worked there number of years could work there !!

 

The term "qualification" is the rub.  Someone who has taken 7 years of school has some qualifications that some who have not taken ALL of that schooling do not.  Remember, though, that some of those who do not have a degree have taken the courses, over the years, so their level of education is not what it was when they first entered the job market.  But some of the information and skills that are needed CAN be learned hands on, so some who have not had the formal training could be just as qualified as some who have. 

 

Are you saying that after spending number of hard years of education which equates  to more than 7 years if you consider graduates and post graduation ,who spend this time , they deserve this sort of resistance. 

But just having the "classroom" learning is not enough for someone to walk into a job where they are the only food safety person on site and have to do everything on their own.  And there is a period of learning the process which can only be gained on the job.  But food safety is not a topic that should be totally learned on the job unless you have a lot of other types of safety/legal/mechanical/regulatory experience in your background.  They just don't teach that in school.

 

For someone who has just graduated, I would suggest that they need to gain some experience under one of the "old guard" who understand how things work and how best to work with the system within a plant.  They can't move into the senior levels of work, but they can move into a subordinate position for a time.  Then once they know the nuances, have been through a few audits with guidance, they can move into a more senior position, either there or at another company.  How long they stay in a junior position would depend on how fast they pick up the nuances:  some people never get there, some get there fast.  But it is a recipe (pun intended) for disaster to have someone with the ink still wet on their degree jump into a senior level food safety position.  If they are found to be in over their head, not only do they drown, but people get sick and could die.

 

Bottom line, it's a balance.  People can be qualified who don't have those 7 years of school, but learned the information in other ways.  And the skills that the old fogeys have should be passed on to the young pups through mentoring.  And the young pups need to value the wisdom (different from knowledge) of those who have years of experience because they will not be around forever.

 

*Martha getting off soap box*

 

Martha


Edited by MWidra, 09 February 2015 - 02:49 PM.

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