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Disappointed with SQF Practitioner Training


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#1 ksteele

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Posted 21 March 2016 - 05:23 PM

Last week I attended a SQF practitioner training. I was disappointed,  it went through each clause of Module 2 and 11 and summarized what it meant- but really, didn't dig into any of the implementation of the standard. Not only that, while our teacher mentioned his extensive audit experience multiple times, he was not familiar with the SQF standard at all! In the end, I strongly feel I have learned more from this forum and my searches than I did from the training. My interpretation of the practitioner training was simply someone reading the requirements out loud. I know nobody in this forum has the ability to make a change to the training, but if I had any control, I would make reading the standard a prerequisite for the program, then have groups discuss the requirements and how they interpret them. Just wondering if those who have attended the training feel the same or am I missing something?



#2 ncorliss

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Posted 21 March 2016 - 05:36 PM

Interesting idea you have. All I could recommend there is be sure whoever performed the training receives the feedback so they can adjust their program accordingly. Fair point, auditing to a standard doesn't necessarily provide you the value of someone who actually implemented the standard. However, this is something you might want to consider a consultant for. The training is to prepare you for the Practioner exam, the exam itself doesn't go in to implementation. Really, implementation is up to your unique business and facility. Your HACCP plan and training might be better suited to get your implementation feedback you are looking for. Just my opinion.



#3 ksteele

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Posted 21 March 2016 - 05:59 PM

We do plan on having a consultant here- next week actually! I wish I had known how 'by the book' the training was going to be- I would have liked to take the test before the training, just to see how I would have fared. Having a trainer who was not familiar with the standard didn't help either. Very nice man, but not a subject matter expert by any means



#4 ncorliss

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Posted 21 March 2016 - 06:02 PM

I highly recommend reading the guidance documents for the standards. They'll provide more insight in what an auditor may be looking for. I've had auditors refer to the guidance document when discussing audit results.



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#5 ChristinaG

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Posted 21 March 2016 - 06:16 PM

I attended an SQF Auditor Training 3-day session last fall, and I feel like it prepared me very well for the SQF Audit, since I learned what auditors were looking for, and how they judge whether or not a company/plant is following the standard. However, I don't think it would have prepared me very well to become a practitioner, if I were to set up an SQF system for my facility from scratch.

But if you're trying to implement an SQF system at your facility for the first time, I highly recommend an SQF Consultant.

 

Another tip is to create a spreadsheet that lists every piece of the SQF code (whether it's level 2 or 3), and then what your company has in place to follow those guidelines (ie, your SOP's, Pest Control service, checksheets, training programs, etc). Even though my company has had SQF in place before my time, I created a reference spreadsheet to use before our re-certification audit to double-check that we were following each piece of the code, as well as examples of what we could show as that proof during the desk audit (our mock recall test, quality checksheets, etc.). But I imagine you can use this method to help determine what gaps you may need to fill while creating your SQF system.


-Christina

 

"Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution."- Albert Einstein 


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#6 JenBurnside

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Posted 21 March 2016 - 08:05 PM

Another tip is to create a spreadsheet that lists every piece of the SQF code (whether it's level 2 or 3), and then what your company has in place to follow those guidelines (ie, your SOP's, Pest Control service, checksheets, training programs, etc). 

This is one of the first things we did and it helped immensely. We were able to align our existing policies/programs with the corresponding clause and it gave a great visual representation of where we were lacking. 

We've also relied greatly on the SQF guidance documents and found them very helpful when making sure we're actually meeting the requirements of the code while giving us ideas if we were confused on how to make sure we're implementing something correctly. 

 






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