I've read quite a few threads on the boards over the last couple of years, climbing the Quality ladder. I started out as a full-time seasonal employee at my company and quickly was hired on to stay when the holiday season had passed. I became a supervisor after a couple months, and this was around the time of SQF Edition 9 implementation so I was identified as a potential for backup practitioner. In this small period of time, the original Practitioner left the company, a new one was found in the nick of time, and her and I took our practitioner, HACCP and PCQI courses together. Her as the Primary as she had 17 years of medical device quality experience, and myself as the QA Tech and backup practitioner with ZERO quality experience! After one year (and a TON of learning!) the primary practitioner moved on to a directors position back in the medical device field of quality, and my once-small, family owned company had enough faith in my capabilities to elect me Quality Assurance Specialist and Primary SQF Practitioner. Before then, I participated and assisted in an FDA audit, an SQF recertification audit and a state agricultural audit under FDA compliance.
Since then I've hired a tech and backup, and just scored our company our first score in the 'Excellent' category for SQF, on our first 'unannounced' audit. I'm still very new to Quality in the grand scheme of things, but I love what I do, and I love representing this company! We are in our 35th year of producing gourmet Virginia Peanuts, other nuts and confections. We supply also under private label to two national branded grocery chains. I work at least 60 hours every week, and during the fourth quarter of the year we operate like a company six-times our size. I usually research topics on IFSQN to gain perspective and ideas in all aspects related to Quality and a risk-based approach.