Urgent call for members: Training Quality Standards Working Group

SFC is looking for members for the TQS Working Group: don’t miss the kick-off meeting at the end of March 2016

Safe Food Canada in partnership with the International Food Protection Training Institute aims to define standards appropriate for food safety training and we’re looking for innovators and influencers to participate.

We have set up a Training Quality Standards (TQS) Working Group which has developed and distributed a discussion paper to generate feedback on its position on the need for a standard for food safety learning. This has set the necessary groundwork for beginning the development of the standards and a detailed plan for developing a standard. These standards will support an accreditation process, also to be developed by Safe Food Canada as the standards will, to a large extent, form the criteria for accreditation.

As you may already know, Safe Food Canada’s goal is to modernize the way we learn about food safety and food protection. One of the key enablers to achieving this is goal is to build a working group that will become the driving force for training quality standards in Canada and internationally.

Currently, there is no standard prescribing the appropriate content and delivery of food protection training programs. This gap is a dangerous one for effective food protection training and implementation, as ineffective training can lead to inefficiencies including duplicated costs and sub-standard learning. This is why we are looking for leaders who wish to be part of the TQS Working Group.

Scope of work

As a member of this working group, you will help Safe Food Canada establish the TQS as a Publicly Available Standard (PAS) within two years. The final objective is for it to evolve into an internationally recognized standard.

How will we proceed?
As a member, you will help to:

  • Create a brief that is a more focussed articulation of the SFC position, of the importance of a common Publicly Available Specification (PAS)
  • Build a straw model of the PAS that can be finalized as “requirements” by the working group.

Our objective is to create a draft training quality standard that can be developed into a publicly available standard.

The immediate tasks are to:

  • Review and finalize a Training Quality Standards position brief
  • Investigate similar or related standards setting organizations to identify best practices and leverage existing standards, methodologies, approaches, and/or processes
  • Review and finalize a straw model for the Training Quality Standards

Becoming a TQS Working Group member

This working group will ideally include volunteer representatives who are experts in training standards design and development who can articulate the following:

  • Criteria to be included in training quality standards
  • Process for establishing a standard at various levels (PAS, IAS)

(Note: these members may participate in an ad hoc manner, providing targeted advice and information, rather than having development responsibilities.)

This working group will also include volunteer stakeholders who implement training standards and understand the impact on their organization.  It will ideally include volunteer representation from the food industry, government, academia and private learning providers, associations and councils. As a member of the TQS working group, you should have an informed point of view on the following:

  • Current training standards in place within their organization
  • Recommendations on key components of a training quality standard
  • Recommendations for implementation

Expectations and commitment

As a member of the Safe Food Canada TQS Working Group, a unique work assignment is presented to you where you will directly address the lack of standards in food safety training and training across the food supply chain.

Here’s what we need from you:

  • Document and/or provide input specific to their area of expertise
  • Review and provide input/feedback on work produced by other committee members
  • Agreement on approach, process, standards which will be applied, along with necessary deliverables for this working group
  • Commitment to timelines (see below)
  • Participation in all meetings
  • Complete in-kind reporting monthly
  • Promote and advocate the work and deliverables of the committee to their peers and within their professional community

Estimated five one- to two-hour meetings and three half-day sessions from now until May 30th, 2016. Additional time TBD, based on subsequent priorities of the working group.


  • TQS Working Group kick-off meeting: prior to March 30, 2016
  • Review of Position Paper: April 30, 2016
  • Completion of Straw Model: May 30, 2016

Here’s who we’re looking for

We’re looking for key informants and subject matter experts with the following technical expertise and experience. If you see a fit , don’t miss the kick-off meeting and contact us right away:

1. Current Standards in Training – Technical Expertise in Training Standards Development

  • Expert knowledge of the criteria for quality training and education
  • Experience in establishing training or education standards
  • Experience in or knowledge of establishing a publicly available standard and/or an internationally available standard

2. Requirements for Training Standards – from the perspective of Industry/Regulatory

  • Deep knowledge of current industry (organization level) training quality standards
  • Informed point of view on the impact of the implementation of training quality standards on industry
  • Informed point of view on implementation approaches and requirements on industry

3. Requirements for Training Standards – from the perspective of academia, learning providers, associations, councils

  • Deep knowledge of current academic, association, council, learning provider training quality standards – specific to food safety training and/or education
  • Informed point of view on the impact of training standards on academia, associations, and councils
  • Informed point of view on implementation approaches and requirements for academia, associations, and councils

If you have any questions at all, please write to [email protected] as soon as possible. We will get back to you promptly.