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#1 PEACEQUEEN

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Posted 24 February 2018 - 04:24 PM

As of yesterday I find myself in a no win SQF position.

A year into development with an unresponsive upper management team and a compliance level we have not even put a dent in.

Was reminded yesterdayby my boss in the management meeting that the compliance ownership is on me. Not the managers. As far as I know this is a blatant miscommunication based on module 2 Management Responsibility.

I have written their programs, developed their processes and trained them on all food safety food defense requirements and they do not make their responsibilities for SQF a priority. Senior Manager deliberately skipped SQF topics in management meeting.

I left yesterday physically sick and defeated. Weeks away from desk audit with no support as to how to get there if the final outcome is on my responsibility.

Any feedback on this scenario is welcome and appreciated.



#2 Charles.C

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Posted 24 February 2018 - 06:13 PM

As of yesterday I find myself in a no win SQF position.

A year into development with an unresponsive upper management team and a compliance level we have not even put a dent in.

Was reminded yesterdayby my boss in the management meeting that the compliance ownership is on me. Not the managers. As far as I know this is a blatant miscommunication based on module 2 Management Responsibility.

I have written their programs, developed their processes and trained them on all food safety food defense requirements and they do not make their responsibilities for SQF a priority. Senior Manager deliberately skipped SQF topics in management meeting.

I left yesterday physically sick and defeated. Weeks away from desk audit with no support as to how to get there if the final outcome is on my responsibility.

Any feedback on this scenario is welcome and appreciated.

 

Hi Peace Queen,

 

Yr situation is probably, on average, the Norm.

 

It's known as Passing the Buck (to those who have no leverage).

 

You are maybe aiming too high.

 

I'm sure SQF don't demand perfection and the Upper M. probably only need a piece of paper = Pass.

 

Time to do a Gap Analysis, Internal audit, and Management Review.


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#3 PEACEQUEEN

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Posted 24 February 2018 - 10:32 PM

We had gap analysis. It revealed everything was a gap because nothing was implemented. I've been trying for a year to get the programs implemented with minimal response from departmental leads.



#4 SQFconsultant

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 02:59 AM

Report to the top CEO, CFO, etc that as the owner of the SQF project you need to cancel the audit series due to non-compliance of upper management (aka incompetence.) and/or engage an implementation consultant/specialist that can help you to do a turn-around - since you have ownership of the project I assume you have the right and budget to bring in outside assistance as well.


Kind regards,

 

Glenn Oster
 
GOC GROUP / +1.800.793.7042 / Food - Food Packaging - Food Storage/DC

SQF, BRC & IFS System Development, Implementation & Certification Consultants

Serving Small-to-Mid-Size Businesses | We are International - Accepting all major C-Currencies

Internal Auditor Training | eConsultant | SQF, BRC & IFS Pre-Development or Pre-Audit GAP

http://www.GlennOsterConsulting.com  -- 

 

 

60% Savings to Ownership/Senior Partners when using C-Currency "XRP" Expires: 04-NOV-20

https://glennosterco...-development-pr
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

#5 Charles.C

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 03:33 AM

We had gap analysis. It revealed everything was a gap because nothing was implemented. I've been trying for a year to get the programs implemented with minimal response from departmental leads.

 

I don't know if SQF practice similar options to BRC but requesting a "preliminary audit" from yr intended SQF audit Company should pro-actively demonstrate the actual situation. Auditors IMEX are endeared to phrases such as "lack of Top Management Comittment".

 

Of course there may also be job-related consequences.


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#6 PEACEQUEEN

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 01:17 PM

Top Management is the problem. Budget is the problem. CEO position has turned over 4 times in a year. New Ops VP works against me and treats me incompetent when I'm the only one making this a daily priority. He's planning to make me take the fall.



#7 FurFarmandFork

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Posted 26 February 2018 - 02:41 PM

Hi peacequeen,

 

Best we can tell you is that you're not alone, and that sometimes all you can do is look for creative ways to build the culture from the bottom-up, as well as CYA by making sure any NC's you have are facility and implementation-based, not policy based since you have control over all of the policies and paperwork.

 

There's a great discussion here about working with a difficult management team that may provide some insight: http://www.ifsqn.com...stions-welcome/


Austin Bouck
Owner/Consultant at Fur, Farm, and Fork.
Consulting for companies needing effective, lean food safety systems and solutions.

Subscribe to the blog at furfarmandfork.com for food safety research, insights, and analysis.

#8 PEACEQUEEN

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Posted 26 February 2018 - 03:04 PM

Thank you FurFarmandFork....every little bit helps.



#9 PEACEQUEEN

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Posted 26 February 2018 - 03:21 PM

I was hired as SQF Practitioner at a company completely unable to support me or the cause.  They are unskilled, overworked, backwards running employees.

I had to show 4 senior managers how to edit an email to send back with updated table information.  I have not been provided authority or support for 11 months and we are not going to be ready for desk audit....for the second time.  My SQF topics are dismissed in management meetings and VP of Ops announced in last meeting that managers will not ultimately be held responsible for not getting certified.  SQF Practitioner will be who they hold accountable.  I believe that is an outright miscommunication according to the very first section of the code.  All in all, my role is not respected, supported, appreciated or effective in this company.  11 months of writing their procedures, forms, work instructions, creating document control system and QMS library, oh I'm also their training coordinator.  Yeah....11 months and I get thrown under the bus every day by the team that's supposed to be enforcing me.



#10 Irun4fun

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Posted 28 February 2018 - 10:31 PM

You are in a tough situation.  My suggestion that has worked reasonably well for me is to specifically go over section 2.1.2 of the SQF code.  This section of the standard clearly identifies the responsibilities of the Senior Site Management and the SQF Practitioner.  

 

It specifically states in section 2.1.2.3 that Senior Site Management shall ensure adequate resources are available to achieve food safety objectives and support the development, implementation, maintenance and ongoing improvement of the SQF System.  This is not solely the Practitioner responsible for this, it is the responsibility of all Senior Manager.

 

With that being said, if supervisors or other department managers that are not being responsive to implementation timeline targets or making SQF a priorty, as an SQF practitioner, this needs to be communicated to Senior Site Management.

 

Remember, its not about perfection, it is about continuous improvement!

 

Good Luck

Michael



#11 EvanAUS

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Posted 28 February 2018 - 10:51 PM

You are in a tough situation. My suggestion that has worked reasonably well for me is to specifically go over section 2.1.2 of the SQF code. This section of the standard clearly identifies the responsibilities of the Senior Site Management and the SQF Practitioner.

It specifically states in section 2.1.2.3 that Senior Site Management shall ensure adequate resources are available to achieve food safety objectives and support the development, implementation, maintenance and ongoing improvement of the SQF System. This is not solely the Practitioner responsible for this, it is the responsibility of all Senior Manager.

With that being said, if supervisors or other department managers that are not being responsive to implementation timeline targets or making SQF a priorty, as an SQF practitioner, this needs to be communicated to Senior Site Management.

Remember, its not about perfection, it is about continuous improvement!

Good Luck
Michael


The SQF audit process will reveal where your business is not confirming. Your doc audit will recommend progress to certification audit, because you have all elements of the SQF system in place. At the certification audit, NCs will be raised against Management Commitment and Responsibilty (and anything else that you ask the Auditor to raise in order to get traction with senior management ).
They will be forced to address the NCs if the business is in fact required to achieve SQF Certification.
Non-conformance raised at audit are GOOD. They are the ammunition you need to affect the culture change that you seek. The Senior Managers will be forced to commit to SQF - they cannot pass this responsibility to you.


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#12 Mountainmist88!

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Posted 28 February 2018 - 11:03 PM

Miss PeaceQueen,

 

I read your posts and feel your pain, I have learned that making senior management accountable, through documented emails, and Meeting notes seems to get their attention, it did not happen overnight, but once they understood I was not giving in, they started to get on board, otherwise I had documented the lack of support.  I am a Practitioner/PCQI and am learning on the fly.  I  have also been at my job for 11 months...so keep your chin up :)



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#13 sqflady

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Posted 01 March 2018 - 01:21 PM

I'm going to say it because no one else has.. it might be time to find a new job?  I worked for a company similar to what you describe.  No support at all, food safety was not a priority.  All they wanted was the certificate.  We passed with a score of 86 and they were happy.  I knew the culture would never change at that facility so I kept looking for a new job and I found a job at a company that takes food safety seriously and makes it a priority.  They appreciate the work I do and I'm respected which is huge.



#14 PEACEQUEEN

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Posted 01 March 2018 - 03:09 PM

Thank you everyone for confirming what I already knew.  Just hoping the hole in my stomach doesn't cause a bleed out before this gets resolved.

This has taken a very significant toll on my health and well being.



#15 sruggero

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Posted 01 March 2018 - 03:30 PM

I feel for you.  Been there, done that.  The skills you've already gained are very marketable so you don't have to be the food safety "savior" for a company that doesn't appreciate you.  If you're going to stay, let them feel your weight!  I like what SQFpractitioner said above about talking to the CEO etc.  Show them the numbers.  Tell them that you don't want to waste $5000+ on a failed audit.  This shows you care.  Also, give him/her a copy of Frank Yiannas' book on Food Safety Culture.



#16 MsMars

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Posted 01 March 2018 - 03:43 PM

I agree with what everyone else has said. It seems unlikely that, as you've continually described the situation, your management commitment and attitude toward food safety will change anytime soon. It's almost dangerous to work for a company like that because often it takes a serious situation (i.e. recall or similar) to open their eyes to food safety priorities. It's clear that the current culture has taken its toll on your personal health and also your attitude/opinion of the company as a whole, which would be a hard thing for them to rectify with you, even if they were willing (it's like a ruined friendship, but worse).  Don't sacrifice your physical and mental well-being for a company that's not willing to have your back.  Time to allow the auditor to issue some NCs on management commitment, and then probably move on to greener pastures.



#17 Charles.C

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Posted 01 March 2018 - 09:59 PM

One of the older/similar threads to above contained this succinct advice -

 

Run, Don't Walk (away)

Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#18 QATX12

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 01:32 PM

Sounds to me like it's time for you to find a new job, one where your position will be respected and your work will be recognized and acknowledged.



#19 cdgff

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 03:50 PM

Perhaps communicate to management and ownership of the legal liabilities and risks for not supporting your department. Maybe even given them examples of companies who have failed with a food safety culture and what it has cost them.  I would email it, for your own records to protect yourself. We have the opposite problem. I am an owner who has been willing to invest and support a QA manager for years and has been unable to find a manager who is competent to lead our company. We decided to take a QA team approach and invest in Safefood360 to assist us with an upcoming SQF level 2 audit. There is nothing more important to our company than for our employees to live and breathe a food safety culture.






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