Am I eligible to be a Registered Food Safety Principal?

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Registered Food Safety Principal (RFoodSP) is the highest of the four levels in IFST's Register of Food Safety Professionals.

As a RFoodSP you will typically be a Senior Food Safety/ Technical Manager / Director in a larger company, including senior consultants on long term or high level strategic contracts undertaking these roles, or a scientific advisor to government, Chief Environmental Health Officer or a senior academic with relevant practical experience.

You will be accountable for policy, strategy, systems, education and management and direction of food safety performance, typically reporting directly to the Board.

Your responsibilities are likely to include:

  • overseeing and advising on company compliance with legal requirements and relevant industry COP
  • defining company structure and resource requirements for effective food safety management
  • collating all relevant technical data to develop company policy and standards relevant to food safety
  • being responsible for making business critical decisions in the event of a food safety crisis, initiating the recall/withdrawal process and crisis management procedure.
  • contributing to appropriate industry/ stakeholder groups relevant to food safety performance

Apply for Registered Food Safety Principal

Qualifications & Experience

We will accept applicants from the food and related industries with a wide range of qualifications and food safety experience. You may also meet our requirements by a combination of work based learning and other qualifications. You will also need to become a member of IFST (if you are not already).

You will typically be qualified to QCF level 7 (Masters) in food science/technology or related science/engineering discipline or equivalent), plus you should hold an Advanced (level 4) HACCP certificate (or equivalent). There are number of routes that can demonstrate QCF level equivalence.

Typically you will have at least 10 years' experience related to the food sector involving work in food safety within manufacturing, or retailing, or agriculture, or assessment or enforcement, including high care product sector experience and including at least 2 years' experience at the level applied for.

EXAMPLE PATHWAYS TO REGISTRATION

These examples are meant to guide you on the timescales likely to be taken for you to achieve registration. Due to the large number of different qualifications and combinations that are available it is impossible to be absolutely prescriptive. Your application will be considered by a team of assessors who will evaluate your qualifications and the competencies you have demonstrated. If your qualifications aren’t shown below, they will be considered by the assessors on a case-by-case basis.

  • PhD in food science and technology or closely related subjects and a Level 4 (Advanced) HACCP qualification, plus 8 years experience working in food safety of which 1 years experience should be post-qualification working in food safety at a management level.
  • Masters degree in food science and technology or closely related subjects and a Level 4 (Advanced) HACCP qualification plus 10 years experience working in food safety of which 1 years experience should be post-qualification and working in food safety at a management level
  • BSc in food science and technology or closely related subjects and a Level 4 (Advanced) HACCP qualification, plus 12 years experience working in food safety of which 1 years experience should be post-qualification and working in food safety at a management level
  • Other science and technology degrees and a Level 4 (Advanced) HACCP qualification, plus 13 years experience working in food safety of which 2 years experience should be post-qualification and working in food safety at a management level
  • Non-scientific and qualifications below level 6 and a Level 4 (Advanced) HACCP qualification, plus 16 years experience working in food safety of which 2 years experience should be working in food safety at a management level

CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT (CPD)

You will also need to demonstrate your personal commitment to highest professional standards by continually and actively maintaining and enhancing your knowledge and skills throughout your career. You will be required to renew your registration annually by demonstrating that you are still professionally active and that you have engaged in CPD. IFST has adopted a set of standards for Continuing Professional Development. These are similar to those adopted by other science based professional bodies, including members of the Science Council and the Health Professions Council. A wide range of activities can contribute to your CPD. It is for you to recognise needs and opportunities both inside and outside your workplace and to take advantage of learning experiences to developing your own CPD programme.

Competencies

The professional skills and attributes that you are expected to demonstrate – through a combination of knowledge and experience – are set out in 5 key areas:

Application of knowledge & understanding

In addition to the knowledge and understanding required for Food Safety Manager LINK, your post qualification experience will be expected to demonstrate you have these competencies
Generic competencies
Food safety knowledge

Use a combination of general knowledge, understanding and skills to optimise and engage in the application of existing and emerging science and technology.

  • Conduct appropriate research to enable the design and development of scientific projects/processes
  • Identify potential projects and opportunities through a knowledge of the field of practice and current market needs

 

 

 

K1. The knowledge of new and emerging food safety hazards with reference to commercial processes and products. The prediction and elimination of likely problems arising when implementing a new process / product development.

K2. Knowledge of planning and design principles with respect to allergic consumer protection, including leadership of systems to prevent allergen cross contamination through the design and operation of factories, storage facilities and/or retail environments. This will include decision-making about where specific allergen containing products should be made and how other sensitive products will be protected, e.g. consideration of the need for specific allergen free sites, etc.

K3. Knowledge that would allow you to act as an expert witness or prosecuting officer as required.

K4. Knowledge of the way others manage their quality and safety systems; use methods to minimise fraud; to maintain traceability especially during splitting of raw materials into smaller portions.

K6. Knowledge of the applications of research relating to novel food packaging and design.

K7. Knowledge of assessment and training methods in order to ensure that all staff are trained fully and appropriately.

Professional practice

In addition to the professional practice required for LINK Food Safety Manager, your post qualification experience will be expected to demonstrate you have these competencies:
Generic competencies
Food safety practice

Use theoretical and practical methods in the analysis and solution of problems

  • Identify, review, select, and develop techniques, procedures and methods to undertake tasks
  • Plan and organise projects effectively
  • Ensure necessary resources are in place for effective project implementation
  • Be confident and flexible in dealing with new and changing situations
  • Contribute to continuous performance improvement

P1. The ability to make decisions and construct and communicate company policies related to food safety, non-conformances discovered and reported in technical and processing operations.

P2. The ability to pursue a line of enquiry to demonstrate, using supply chain records and analytical techniques, that the quality, safety and legality of raw materials / products procured and traded have not been compromised.

P3. Experience of leading company HACCP strategy with respect to system structure decisions, for example, food safety management system certification (BRC, GFSI, ISO etc.), use of prerequisite programmes, operational prerequisite programmes, etc.

P4. The ability to lead a team or response to a team of 2nd or 3rd party auditors (ie Lead Auditor status) and/or to instruct and guide Tier 3 staff into verification and validation of HACCP plans.

P5. The ability to assess effectively whether staff members are experts, knowledgeable or ignorant about individual topics relating to food safety and to assign resources accordingly.

P6. To identify and actively provide CPD opportunities for staff, in order to cover staff deficiencies and future developments.

P7. To assess the effectiveness of the CPD activities by ensuring staff have met the CPD objectives and their PDP.

Personal responsibility

Exercise self-direction and originality in solving problems, and exercise substantial personal autonomy in planning and implementing tasks at a professional level.

  • Organise and lead work teams, coordinating project activities
  • Operate and act responsibly, taking account of statutory requirements, environmental and socio-economic factors
  • Develop and promote the application of quality standards
Interpersonal skills

Demonstrate effective communication and interpersonal skills

  • Demonstrate effective and appropriate communications skills
  • Demonstrate interpersonal and behavioural skills
  • Create, maintain and enhance productive working relationships
  • Gather and evaluate feedback, acting where appropriate
  • Identify, agree and work towards collective goals, and be aware of the needs and concerns of others
Commitment to professional standards

Demonstrate a personal commitment to professional standards

  • Comply with IFST's Code of Professional Conduct
  • Maintain and enhance knowledge, understanding and competence in your own area of practice through continuing professional development

Apply for Registered Food Safety Principal