Am I eligible to be a Registered Sensory Scientist?

We will accept applicants from the food and related industries with a wide range of qualifications and experience. You will typically be qualified to at least QCF level 7 in relevant subjects and will be applying this knowledge in your role. You may also meet our requirements by a combination of work based learning and other qualifications and you should have demonstrated skills over and above those required for Intermediate level in sensory science.

You will also need to become a Member or a Fellow of IFST (if you are not already).

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 – plus 2 years' experience in a relevant role
  • Master's degree in food science and technology or closely related subjects, plus 4 years' in a relevant role
  • BSc in food science and technology or closely related subjects together with a Postgraduate Certificate in Sensory Science, plus 5 years' experience in a relevant role
  • BSc in food science and technology or closely related subjects, plus 6 years' experience in a relevant role
  • Other science and technology degrees, plus 7 years' experience in a relevant role
  • Foundation degree or HND in other science subjects, plus 8 years' experience in a relevant role.
  • Non-scientific and qualifications below level 5 (in Scotland level 7) - 10 years' experience in a relevant role

Relevant Work Experience

Experience which may be counted towards your registration will normally be that undertaken after you attained your qualification (see above) and during which time you will need to develop your professional knowledge and relevant skills. You will normally need at least 4 years of post-graduate experience.

Registered Sensory Scientist Competences

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. You will need to demonstrate how you meet each of the competences:

A: Application of knowledge & understanding

A1: Use specialist experiential knowledge and broader scientific understanding to optimise the application of existing and emerging sensory science tools. science and technology

A2: Exercise sound judgement in the absence of complete information and in complex or unpredictable situations

A3: Demonstrate critical evaluation of relevant scientific information and concepts to propose solutions to problems

B: Personal responsibility

B1: Work autonomously and take responsibility for the work of self and others

B2: Promote and implement robust policies and protocols relating to health, safety and security

B3: Promote and ensure compliance with all relevant regulatory requirements and quality standards

B4: Oversee the implementation of solutions with due regard to the wider environment and broader context

C: Interpersonal skills

C1: Demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively with specialist and non-specialist audiences

C2: Demonstrate effective leadership through the ability to guide, influence, inspire and empathise with others

C3: Demonstrate the ability to mediate, develop and maintain positive working relationships

D: Professional practice

D1: Scope, plan and manage multifaceted projects

D2: Demonstrate the achievement of desired outcomes with the effective management of resources and risks

D3: Take responsibility for continuous performance improvement both at a personal level and in a wider organisational context

E: Professionalism

E1: Demonstrate understanding and compliance with relevant codes of conduct (see IFST's Code of Professional Conduct and Guidelines for Ethical & Professional Practices for the Sensory Analysis of Foods)

E2: Demonstrate a commitment to professional development through continuing advancement of own knowledge, understanding and competence (see CPD for Registered Sensory Scientists)

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 up to 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.

Top photo credit: Campden BRI