This article is written to meet the following sections of the Standards:

BRCGS Food Safety Issue 87.1 Training
BRCGS Packaging Issue 66.1 Training
BRCGS Agents & Brokers Issue 3
5.1 Training and competency
BRCGS Storage & Distribution Issue 48.1 Training and competency
FSSC22000 Version 5.1ISO 22000:2018 7.2 Competence and 7.3 Awareness
IFS Food Version 73.3 Training and instruction
SQF Edition 92.9 Training

Quality of training

Training may be delivered internally or externally. Where training is provided internally, there must be evidence that the trainer is competent.

To be competent, a trainer must be trained to train. They must also be competent in the subject that they’re teaching, which typically means that they must be qualified to at least one level higher than they’re teaching.

Where training is delivered by external suppliers, reputable training providers must be used who specialise in the delivery of that subject.

External training providers should be able to give you a training specification for the training that they’re providing you with.

Training matrix

A simple training matrix on a spreadsheet is a great way to manage training.

This means that:

  • Every staff member can be added, with the role or roles that they carry out.
  • All training aspects can be added, along with the document reference and current version.
  • Competency assessment frequency can be added.

The training matrix can then be populated, based on the training programme that’s been defined for each role.

When training is completed for a particular staff member, the relevant cell can be updated to include both:

  • The date when the training was completed.
  • The version number of the relevant document.

By recording both the date and the version number, this allows you to identify when the competency assessment is required. And when a document is updated, it allows you to identify which staff members need to have their training updated to the new version.

Pack 12: Training & Competency eDocs

Responsibility and accountability

It’s essential that it’s clear who is responsible for organising and delivering training and who is accountable for making sure it happens.

It’s common for departments to be responsible for training their own teams. This is great, as it ensures that the department takes ownership for getting it done. But we all know that when push comes to shove – that training is the first thing that gets missed. That’s why it’s important that someone is ultimately accountable for making sure that training stays high up on the agenda.

Having clear roles and responsibilities is the first step to making sure that training gets the focus it needs. Take a look at your training procedure and see if it’s clearly documented and that it states who is responsible for all aspects of training.

Supervision

All personnel must be adequately supervised throughout the working period. The purpose of this part of the Standard is to ensure that staff adhere to their training. They must complete tasks as they’ve been taught.

If supervisors witness staff not complying and allow this to go unactioned – then this will give the impression that this behaviour is acceptable. In turn, this will encourage non-compliance and the problem will become exacerbated.

Therefore, staff must be supervised and when they don’t comply to their training, action must be taken, such as:

  • Behavioural conversation.
  • Identify, deliver and verify improvements.
  • Disciplinary action.

Behavioural conversation

Nobody comes to work to do a bad job. So, where staff aren’t complying to their training, there may be a valid reason. A behavioural conversation will allow staff to highlight if there’s a problem, which has stopped them from following procedure.

Identify, deliver and verify improvements

Where issues are highlighted from a behavioural conversation, action must be taken to resolve these problems. This may include retraining, if either the training has been found to be insufficient or if the staff member hasn’t understood it.

Any actions that are taken must be verified to ensure that they’ve been effective.

Disciplinary action

Where there’s no justifiable reason as to why the staff member didn’t follow their training, the only course of action may be to follow the disciplinary process.

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