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HACCP, CP-FS, SQF, PCQI - which certification is most valuable?

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#1 goldenmeerkat

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Posted 07 March 2020 - 01:05 AM

HACCP, CP-FS, SQF, and PCQI - which certification is most valuable to have?

 

I'm in my 30s and just starting a career in fresh produce distribution and food production. My current employer is a fresh produce distributor. I decided to join this company because I was told we would be opening a warehouse shortly after I was hired, which would bring me valuable food safety and inventory management opportunities. After 12 months, this has not come to fruition - so I'm looking for a new job where I can gain more hands-on experience and invest in a future with a company.

 

The fast majority of job postings that interest me (in quality assurance and food safety roles) all seem to require at least one of the above certifications plus experience. Since I can't fast-forward time to gain work experience, I'm hoping that paying for my own certification(s) can help me land a job.

 

Does anyone here have insight or opinions on which certification would be the best investment?

 



#2 SQFconsultant

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Posted 07 March 2020 - 01:18 AM

Go for a HACCP certification - training - exam - certificate of training and take an FSMA course for PCQI - training - exam - certificate.

 

The term "certification" for SQF, BRC... any of the GFSI schemes is the the facility - you would not be able to get certified here.

 

You could take an SQF Practitioner course and recieve a training certificate - but that is not a certification per se - only that you attended and passed the exam.

 

If I was hiring for our own facility I'd want minimum HACCP and PCQI + ability to develop and implement one of the GFSI's.


Warm regards,
 
 
Glenn Oster
 
 
Glenn Oster Consulting / 800-793-7092 / Serving the Earth
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Internal Auditor Training/eConsultant/CB/SQF-GAP/PCQI OnlineTraining

 

www.GlennOsterConsulting.com

 

GOC BLOG - They Come for the Children Next - https://bit.ly/36RHMZy

 


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#3 goldenmeerkat

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Posted 07 March 2020 - 01:40 AM

Thank you, Glenn. Are there any certifying bodies that you recommend (perhaps that may look best on LinkedIn or a resumé)? What about online vs in person experience?

 

I'm seeing SGS, NSF, ImEPIK, Learn2Serve, and so many others with variability in pricing. $800-900 seems to be consistent for PCQI certification. On the other hand, HACCP certification appears to be $825 through SGS and $125 through Learn2Serve.  :uhm:



#4 Charles.C

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Posted 07 March 2020 - 07:06 AM

Thank you, Glenn. Are there any certifying bodies that you recommend (perhaps that may look best on LinkedIn or a resumé)? What about online vs in person experience?

 

I'm seeing SGS, NSF, ImEPIK, Learn2Serve, and so many others with variability in pricing. $800-900 seems to be consistent for PCQI certification. On the other hand, HACCP certification appears to be $825 through SGS and $125 through Learn2Serve.  :uhm:

 

It is not impossible that yr preferred choice may depend on where you are.

 

Moreover the requirement may also relate to what yr next employer is doing and where any merchandise is destined for..

 

PS - I have never heard of CP-FS, et al. perhaps these define where you are for those who know. :smile:


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#5 goldenmeerkat

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Posted 09 March 2020 - 12:06 AM

Moreover the requirement may also relate to what yr next employer is doing and where any merchandise is destined for..

 

Yes, I'm trying to figure out which certification is most applicable/desired across the fresh produce and food production industries. Based on Glenn's comments, it sounds like getting both HACCP and PCQI certification would be in my best interest. I just don't understand why some HACCP courses are cheap (Learn2Serve) and others very expensive (SGS). Not sure what the differences are.



#6 SQFconsultant

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Posted 09 March 2020 - 12:45 AM

Yes, I'm trying to figure out which certification is most applicable/desired across the fresh produce and food production industries. Based on Glenn's comments, it sounds like getting both HACCP and PCQI certification would be in my best interest. I just don't understand why some HACCP courses are cheap (Learn2Serve) and others very expensive (SGS). Not sure what the differences are.

 

Its relative, you pay for what you get.

 

If you were going to get into a seafood company you would take a seafood haccp course such as that offered by the NY sea grant via cornell university, a formal course with classroom training and exam for aobut $1200 or you could take a simple HACCP overview for about $150 from one of the cheap online outfits.

 

NEHA offers a nice general HACCP training for something like $650 or so.


Warm regards,
 
 
Glenn Oster
 
 
Glenn Oster Consulting / 800-793-7092 / Serving the Earth
SQF, IFS & BRC System Development, Implementation & Certification Consultant

Internal Auditor Training/eConsultant/CB/SQF-GAP/PCQI OnlineTraining

 

www.GlennOsterConsulting.com

 

GOC BLOG - They Come for the Children Next - https://bit.ly/36RHMZy

 


#7 Fred73

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Posted 11 March 2020 - 12:35 PM

I will recommend attending a FMI Food Safety Manager Certification FIRST (or by ServSafe?), just to get into Food Safety, then get HACCP training (certification) that will be a good start, I did the one offered by AFDO and then if you gain experience with these two you can apply to be a trainer too.
 
Then go for a PCQI training certification and SQF Practitioner so you can hold certificates that show you know what the agencies (FDA) require AND the code of one of the GFSI standards, many companies are looking now to go with some GFSI scheme (SQF is the most common here in the US (I believe), BRC is more common in Central & South America, etc, etc). 
 
Then you can go for a CP-FS by NEHA. I particularly got CPFS and CCFS one year apart just to keep studying specially if your employer decides to give you the support.

Edited by Fred73, 11 March 2020 - 12:41 PM.


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#8 Mr. Incognito

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Posted 11 March 2020 - 01:47 PM

Without reading any other comments I would recommend PCQI and HACCP.  With those you could get a position at an SQF company and get them to pay for that.


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#9 Ruthie1

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Posted 11 March 2020 - 02:18 PM

I really like Alchemy Systems classes if you are looking for an online option. 

https://academy.alch.../courses-exams/



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#10 kettlecorn

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Posted 11 March 2020 - 03:25 PM

Without reading any other comments I would recommend PCQI and HACCP.  With those you could get a position at an SQF company and get them to pay for that.

 

I think this is right. None of these things are graduate courses, however, and won't necessarily land a decent job. A few days of training, even in a good, intense course, is not very much. Take the best one you can, and then actually read the code, and try understand (micro)biology if you don't already. And by read, I mean actually read, and remember. 

 

And brush up on your ability to convince people to do things they often think are redundant or a waste of time.  :gleam:



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#11 SQFconsultant

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Posted 11 March 2020 - 03:48 PM

I think this is right. None of these things are graduate courses, however, and won't necessarily land a decent job. A few days of training, even in a good, intense course, is not very much. Take the best one you can, and then actually read the code, and try understand (micro)biology if you don't already. And by read, I mean actually read, and remember. 

 

And brush up on your ability to convince people to do things they often think are redundant or a waste of time.  :gleam:

 

The ability to convince people (NOW THAT IS FUNNY) - I watched a production worker picking his nose and the QA Manager said to him to stop that and he did.  

 

The next day while walking thru the plant again, sure enough, there is this guy picking his nose again - the QA Manager tells him to stop that and the worker says - "I thought that only applied to yesterday." and then add, don't you think that's a bit redundant - I mean, you told me already!

 

I had to walk away, I was laughing so hard.


Warm regards,
 
 
Glenn Oster
 
 
Glenn Oster Consulting / 800-793-7092 / Serving the Earth
SQF, IFS & BRC System Development, Implementation & Certification Consultant

Internal Auditor Training/eConsultant/CB/SQF-GAP/PCQI OnlineTraining

 

www.GlennOsterConsulting.com

 

GOC BLOG - They Come for the Children Next - https://bit.ly/36RHMZy

 


#12 TimG

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Posted 11 March 2020 - 04:57 PM

Being back in the market myself, PCQI seems to be the one I see as a "must have before we consider." HACCP manager is a close second. 

 

 

One recently asked for "the FISMA certification." (FISMA, not FSMA) I looked into "FISMA" and couldn't find anything, so I replied back "Are you asking if I am a PCQI to meet the FSMA requirements?" They never got back to me but I'm counting that in the group of PCQI requests.



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#13 goldenmeerkat

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Posted 13 March 2020 - 07:05 PM

I think this is right. None of these things are graduate courses, however, and won't necessarily land a decent job. A few days of training, even in a good, intense course, is not very much. Take the best one you can, and then actually read the code, and try understand (micro)biology if you don't already. And by read, I mean actually read, and remember. 

 

And brush up on your ability to convince people to do things they often think are redundant or a waste of time.  :gleam:

I appreciate this advice! I try to read documentation whenever I can, but the road is long with so many different documents, regulations, and handbooks. I'm learning everyday, though!



#14 goldenmeerkat

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Posted 13 March 2020 - 07:09 PM

 

I will recommend attending a FMI Food Safety Manager Certification FIRST (or by ServSafe?), just to get into Food Safety, then get HACCP training (certification) that will be a good start, I did the one offered by AFDO and then if you gain experience with these two you can apply to be a trainer too.
 
Then go for a PCQI training certification and SQF Practitioner so you can hold certificates that show you know what the agencies (FDA) require AND the code of one of the GFSI standards, many companies are looking now to go with some GFSI scheme (SQF is the most common here in the US (I believe), BRC is more common in Central & South America, etc, etc). 
 
Then you can go for a CP-FS by NEHA. I particularly got CPFS and CCFS one year apart just to keep studying specially if your employer decides to give you the support.

 

I appreciate your insight! I do have Food Safety Manager Certification already. Based on all the responses to my post, I'm going to look at HACCP and PCQI first and foremost. Then I will see where to go from there.







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