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Can a employee covering a maternity leave be the SQF Practitioner?

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joanna777

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Posted 22 July 2016 - 02:21 PM

Hello IFSQN Members!

I have a question regarding the requirements of the SQF practitioner. I am currently employed at a small company as a QA Technician on a 1 year contract to cover someone who is on maternity leave . Recently the company has been interested in obtaining SQF Level 2 certification and has asked me whether I would be interested in taking on the role of SQF Practitioner. I have HACCP and SQF level 2 experience from my previous company hence I was a natural choice. I have been pressuring my company to employ me permanently and they insist that they will hire me permanently when my contract ends. Obviously I am skeptical unless I get something in writing.

 

Am I able to use the SQF Practitioner title as leverage to gain a permanent position? The code states the practitioner must be a full-time employee. I am currently working full-time but my contract with the company ends at the end of this year. I did a google search and could not find any information about this. This site (http://www.22000-too...actitioner.html) states that the practitioner must not be a consultant or contract position.

 

My fear is that the company will assign me the SQF Practitioner role and the remainder of my time here will be spent implementing the code. Then when my contract ends, instead of granting me a permanent position they will let me go and give the role to the person that was on maternity leave. In this way they are really getting a good "deal" because currently I have no company benefits like extended health, pension or bonuses. 

 

Thank you community, I appreciate any insight you can give me! 



Watanka

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Posted 22 July 2016 - 05:07 PM

Joanna,

 

This post is a bit long because I am citing SQF code and information from their guidance documentation.  You are correct about the SQF requirement that the practitioner be a full time employee.  It appears that your company is meeting that requirement.  This is what the SQF code and guidance documents say about the SQF practitioner:

 

Code:

2.1.2.4 The senior management shall designate an SQF practitioner for each site with responsibility and authority to:

i. Oversee the development, implementation, review and maintenance of the SQF System, including food safety fundamentals;

ii. Take appropriate action to maintain the integrity of the SQF System; and

iii. Communicate to relevant personnel all information essential to ensure the effective implementation and maintenance of the SQF System.

2.1.2.5 The SQF practitioner shall:

i. Be employed by the supplier as a company employee on a full-time basis;

ii. Hold a position of responsibility in relation to the management of the supplier’s SQF System;

iii. Have completed a HACCP training course;

iv. Be competent to implement and maintain HACCP based food safety plans and food quality plans; and

v. Have an understanding of the SQF Code Level 3 and the requirements to implement and maintain SQF System relevant to the supplier scope of certification.

Implementation Guidance:

This element also includes the requirements for, and responsibilities of, the SQF practitioner. This is a key role within the supplier’s facility, being the person designated by senior management to manage the development, implementation, daily operation, validation and verification of the SQF System.

The SQF practitioner is the individual designated by senior management to develop, validate, verify and maintain the company’s Food Safety and Quality Plans, and assume control of the daily operation of the SQF System. The SQF practitioner may engage the services of an SQF consultant to assist with the development of the SQF System, or support its validation and verification, but overall responsibility remains with the supplier through the SQF practitioner.

The requirements of the SQF practitioner are clearly outlined in 2.1.2.5, and are further described in the SQFI guideline on SQF practitioners. Note that SQF practitioners are not required to complete an Implementing SQF Systems training course or Implementing SQF Systems examination, it is not compulsory although either or both is recommended. However the practitioner is required to understand and demonstrate knowledge of the SQF Code and its application within the site.

Auditing guidance:

There is a designated SQF practitioner who manages the implementation and maintenance of the SQF System on a daily basis.

• The designated practitioner has the qualifications necessary to be an SQF practitioner (identified in 2.1.2.4 and 2.1.2.5) and is capable and competent to carry out this function.

• The designated practitioner has the support of senior management and has the time and availability to monitor the effectiveness of the SQF System; is competent and has the authority take appropriate corrective actions when necessary; and communicates to relevant employees any information necessary to maintain or improve the System.

 

Note the language used.  It references a SQF consultant for the limited purposes of development of the SQF system and to support its verification and validation.  It does not mention "contract" employees.  IMO if you are contracted as a full-time employee then you should be good to go as the SQF practitioner.  The site you reference may be using the phrase "contract position" in the sense of a contract service provider as opposed to an employee whose relationship with the employer is regulated through a term contract.  A contract service provider will be issued a 1099 Misc and have no rights as an employee.  Presumably you have withholding and take direction as an employee which invalidates you as a "contractor".  Check with a SQF consultant to get a better understanding of this matter.

 

The question of what happens when the employee on maternity leave returns is another matter and would concern me as it does you.

 

Good luck!



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SQFconsultant

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Posted 22 July 2016 - 05:15 PM

They need to hire you on as an employee as you are designated to be the SQF Practitioner.

 

Tell them to read the code book.


Kind regards,
Glenn Oster
 
GOC BUSINESS GROUP | SQF System Development, Implementation & Certification Consultants
Internal Auditor Training - eConsultant Retainer Subscriptions - Pre & Post SQF-GAP Audits - Consultant Training
Visit us @ http://www.GlennOster.com  or call us @ 772.646.4115 US-EST 8am-4pm Anyday except Thursday
 
 

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joanna777

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Posted 22 July 2016 - 05:38 PM

They need to hire you on as an employee as you are designated to be the SQF Practitioner.

 

Tell them to read the code book.

 

Hi SQFconsultant,

So by this do you mean they need to hire me permanently in order to designate me as the SQF Practitioner? Thank you so much for your advice, much appreciated. 



esquef

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Posted 17 August 2016 - 07:19 PM

Based on the code language I'd have to disagree with SQFconsultant. It states that the SQFP "Be employed by the supplier as a company employee on a full-time basis". If you're a full time contracted employee with HACCP training, adequate knowledge of the SQF code, andhave a hand in managing the company's SQF system you're considered to be qualified to be a SQF Practitioner.

That said, if you're the primary individual putting your company's SQF system together, and if you achieve a good result after the certification audit I'd think that it would be wise for the company management to make you a permanent employee. Maybe you can discuss with your upper management with the intention of using "goal setting" as a means to be hired on permanently.



Jcchaser

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Posted 19 August 2016 - 11:58 AM

If you are in contract, you are not a full time employee.  You are a sub contractor with a one year contract.  The company is not meet the code.  Did you signed a contract.



SQFconsultant

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Posted 24 August 2016 - 12:27 PM

Based on the code language I'd have to disagree with SQFconsultant. It states that the SQFP "Be employed by the supplier as a company employee on a full-time basis". If you're a full time contracted employee with HACCP training, adequate knowledge of the SQF code, andhave a hand in managing the company's SQF system you're considered to be qualified to be a SQF Practitioner.

That said, if you're the primary individual putting your company's SQF system together, and if you achieve a good result after the certification audit I'd think that it would be wise for the company management to make you a permanent employee. Maybe you can discuss with your upper management with the intention of using "goal setting" as a means to be hired on permanently.

 

no, sorry esquef - my answer stands as this has been confirmed several times now by sqfi.


Kind regards,
Glenn Oster
 
GOC BUSINESS GROUP | SQF System Development, Implementation & Certification Consultants
Internal Auditor Training - eConsultant Retainer Subscriptions - Pre & Post SQF-GAP Audits - Consultant Training
Visit us @ http://www.GlennOster.com  or call us @ 772.646.4115 US-EST 8am-4pm Anyday except Thursday
 
 

ChristinaG

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Posted 24 August 2016 - 02:40 PM

The code says "Be employed by the supplier as a company employee on a full-time basis." 

If you're working there through a temp agency or on a contract basis, I do not think you are qualified to be the SQF Practitioner. If I was auditing your plant, I'd consider that a major non-conformance, seeing as you're currently there temporarily...what I'd ask as an auditor is "Who will be the SQF Practitioner to replace you after your contract expires?" And it can get sticky and unpleasant from there forward, reflecting poorly on Management Commitment, etc...

 

It seems very odd that they would want you to come in and set up an SQF system while the permanent employee they already have (and presumably would run the SQF system upon her return) is gone...I personally think it's as though they believe they can get away with using your experience without investing in you as a permanent employee in order to save themselves money.

 

I would explain to them that according to code, the SQF Practitioner needs to be a company full-time employee and that if they want that individual to be you, then they need to conform to the SQF Code and hire you on permanently.

 

I wish you the best of luck!


-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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