Am I eligible to be a Registered Food Safety Manager?

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Registered Food Safety Manager (RFoodSM) is one of the the three stages in IFST's Register of Food Safety Professionals.

As a RFoodSM your role might typically be as a Food Safety / Technical Manager, HACCP Team Leader, Food Examiner, Head of a QA Department, Food Premises Inspector, 3rd party/external auditor, an EHPs specialising in food enforcement, food safety consultant, or an academic with relevant practical experience.

You will be accountable for the implementation of policy and delivery of food safety performance for a given area of operation.

Your responsibilities are likely to include:
  • ensuring the company/business unit operates in compliance with legal requirements and relevant industry COP
  • implementation and operation of company policy, systems and guidance
  • providing technical advice on adherence to company policy and industry standards
  • providing advice and guidance on the development / improvement of existing systems & policy
  • conducting 3rd party audits/inspections
  • responsibility for making business critical decisions in the event of a food safety crisis, initiating the recall/withdrawal process and crisis management procedure.

Apply for Registered Food Safety Manager

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 6 (Degree) in food science/technology or related science/engineering discipline or equivalent), plus you should hold an Intermediate (level 3) HACCP certificate (or equivalent) with at least 6 years experience related to the food industry involving work in food safety within manufacturing, retailing, agriculture, assessment or enforcement, including 1 year experience at the level applied for.


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.

  • 10 years experience in a senior food safety related management position and a Level 3 (Intermediate) HACCP qualification
  • 7 years experience post-graduation level in a senior food safety related management position and science and technology degrees (non-food) plus a Level 3 (Intermediate) HACCP qualification

  • 6 years experience post-graduation level in a senior food safety related management position and BSc in food science and technology and closely related subjects plus a Level 3 (Intermediate) HACCP qualification

  • 4 years experience in a senior food safety role post Masters of which 2 years should be at post-graduation level in a senior food safety related management and Masters degree in food science and technology or closely related subjects plus a Level 3 (Intermediate) HACCP qualification

  • 2 years experience post-doc at a senior level involved in the practical application of food safety requirements pertinent to a food safety role at a senior position and PhD in food science and technology or closely related subjects plus a Level 3 (Intermediate) HACCP qualification


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 every 3 years 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.


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

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. Knowledge of the ecology of microbiological pathogens in foods with specific reference to sources, growth and survival characteristics, with reference to product intrinsic (e.g. pH, aw) and extrinsic (e.g. temperature) factors, and cross-contamination potential for common food pathogens.

K2. Knowledge of food allergy and intolerance management, including labelling requirements and management systems for control of allergens in manufacturing. This will include knowledge of the important controls to prevent allergen cross contamination in the design and operation of a new factory, storage facility or retail environment.

K3. Knowledge of microbiological and chemical testing procedures relevant to food safety, including sampling and interpretation of results.

K4. Knowledge of supply chain management practices and systems to assure the safety, quality and legality (including fraud prevention) of all raw materials, ingredients, goods and services in the work setting, eg FSMS, specifications, traceability systems, recent developments and techniques to scientifically prove certain fraudulent customer allegations etc.

K5. Knowledge of physical hazards and their control in foods, including practical use of monitoring and management systems.

K6. Knowledge and understanding of the safety characteristics of packaging systems with respect to control of food safety hazards, e.g. understanding of UHT/aseptic/canning/modified atmosphere systems (as appropriate to job role).

K7. Detailed knowledge of factors governing food safety in all relevant food industry sectors as appropriate to job role.

Professional practice

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. Experience of food safety decision-making with respect to management of microbiological issues, e.g. CCP failure management, results of environmental listeria screening, pathogen detection in ingredients, recall decision-making, etc.

P2. Experience of supply chain management practices, with respect to understanding and investigating the quality, safety and legality standards of ingredients and products sourced, used and traded by companies.

P3. Experience of developing, implementing, validating, verifying and reviewing HACCP systems in practice. The ability to lead HACCP teams and formulate systems when there has been a change in processes and raw materials, or in the development of new products.

P4. Experience of 3rd party auditing

P5. Experience of staff or resource management.

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 Manager