WHAT IS PROFESSIONAL RECOGNITION AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
An opportunity to be recognised professionally is important for many reasons. One being that it can provide a real sense of achievement and celebrates the knowledge and experience an individual has gained during their professional food career. It is especially valuable because the independent standards applied when assessing for professional recognition are the same for everyone no matter the differences in their work places, job roles or how they gained the experience for their role.
Professional recognition can provide a pathway or framework for an individual’s professional development while still allowing the flexibility for different options depending on the specialism of the individual. Gaining professional recognition raises both personal and professional credibility and so can open new doors in the work environment. All of this can help to improve an individual’s visibility and standing in the work community and is often the starting point for further development.
The requirement for professionals to maintain, improve and broaden their knowledge and skills and develop the personal qualities and competencies required in their working lives is a core component of professional recognition. Maintaining and recording CPD can help to identify an individual’s strengths and interest as well as any potential professional development shortfalls. It helps to keep an individual up-to-date in their role and the food sector which we know is constantly changing.
Another essential element of professional recognition is a requirement to commit to a Code of Professional Conduct to guide the member and raise the level of trust and confidence of the public in the profession.
Categories of membership and Professional Registration
Our members can also apply for professional registration. Registered Science Technician (RSciTech), Registered Scientist (RSci), and Chartered Scientist (CSci) which provide a framework of professional registration across the science workforce. IFST is licensed by the Science Council to award these designations.
The Register of Food Safety Professionals recognises and supports those working at all levels within food safety roles throughout the sector. Food safety personnel are able to gain professional recognition through IFST following a robust and independent accreditation/assessment process – a status which they will be able to retain by proving ongoing Continuing Professional Development (CPD).
The Register of Professional Food Auditors and Mentor has been developed to meet the needs of food companies and auditing organisations to improve food quality and safety by assuring the calibre of professionals offering auditing and mentoring services.
IFST's Sensory Science Group's accreditation scheme for those working in sensory science was launched in 2004 with the provision of the Foundation and Intermediate syllabi and these have become acknowledged professional qualifications that signify the status of individuals in sensory science. The addition in 2014 of the Register of Professional Sensory Scientists (RSensSci) as a third higher tier into the scheme provides a level of professional recognition previously unavailable in the sensory science field.
CPD is the means by which professionals maintain, improve and broaden their knowledge and skills and develop the personal qualities and competencies required in their working lives. IFST provides the tools for both individuals and employers to create beneficial and cost effective CPD programmes. A commitment to CPD is an essential part of maintaining registration on our professional registers.
MyCPD is our online CPD management system and is available to both individuals and employers.
Professional Development for employers
IFST offers the framework of a professional development programme for an employer’s technical and scientific staff and help them identify and maintain the skills and knowledge required to keep pace with a rapidly changing professional environment. This option may be combined with our group membership scheme.