The last Technical Working Group Meeting took place in October 2014 in Stamford, Connecticut, kindly hosted by Damon Worldwide. See the progress from two days of fruitful meetings.
The operational phase of the GFSI Auditor Competence project is now underway. Thanks to the leadership and generosity of many of the GFSI Board member companies, a specialised testing company has been contracted to assist with the development of the knowledge examination, and the first item development workshop will be held in Denver, Co, in early December. Many GFSI stakeholders volunteered to assist in this process as Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and fifteen were selected for the initial phase – the development of the knowledge examination for post farm-gate manufacturing sectors (ie GFSI sectors C, D, E, and L). Other volunteer SMEs will be called on to assist with later phases of the examination development.
At the technical working group meeting in Stamford , the Auditor Competence Scheme Committee (ACSC) also reviewed the witness assessment template that will be used for in-situ assessment of auditor skills. Nearing finalisation, the assessment model will now be reviewed by scheme owners and the assessment protocol and assessor requirements finalised. Both the knowledge examination and skills assessment will be tested for industry sectors C, D, E, L in Q2 2015.
The ACSC also reviewed and approved a proposal from the Australian Fresh Produce Group (AFPG) to fast track the development of competencies, knowledge examination, and skills assessment for plant products (GFSI sector Bl: farming of plants). Supported by a financial contribution, the AFPG will resource the development of this industry sector, and the output will be available across all GFSI produce sectors.
With the Auditor Competence activity now escalating, the ACSC welcomes a number of new members. Christophe Boulais from Danone has filled the manufacturing vacancy, and Belinda Millard from Woolworths Ltd has filled a retailer vacancy. In addition, three more food safety schemes are now participating – FSSC 22000 (Robert Readal), Primus GFS (Rebecca Burnworth), and the Global Aquaculture Alliance (Lisa Goche).