Urgent call for working group members: Food Law Competencies

Come aboard Safe Food Canada’s Food Law Competencies Working Group: don’t miss the kick-off meeting at the end of March 2016

One of Safe Food Canada’s priorities is to develop pan-Canadian food safety competency models for industry and government workers.  This initiative is likely to be a multi-year effort, with several streams of work.

However, given the pending publication of the updated Safe Food for Canadians regulations, Safe Food Canada is giving priority to develop competencies specific to food law to enable the subsequent development of learning to support those competencies.

In order to ensure a pan-Canadian, food industry wide, and regulatory point of view and coverage for the competencies, Safe Food Canada is structuring a working group who collectively bring representation from:

  • the entire food industry sectors and sub sectors
  • government agencies, councils and associations
  • academia

Scope of work

As a member of this working group, you will help Safe Food Canada build a best in class competency model for one or more areas in food law and which will be applicable to one or more roles in either or both the food industry or government.

Based on defined priorities, develop a competency model and corresponding learning objectives to enable the development of a course or courses in one or more topics in food law for food workers and/or regulators.

Understand the nature and focus of the pending regulations through consultations with CFIA officials and other experts.

  1. Identify and agree on the priorities for learning relative to the regulations – and specifically on the topic of food safety law, relative to the new regulations.
  2. Develop common understanding of job roles which require food law competency (industry and regulatory).
  3. Priority rank job roles in terms of:

– Greatest to least need for learning related to pending regulations
– Current gaps in learning (not necessarily related to pending regulations)
– Other identified and agreed upon priorities

  1. Determine priority job/s on which to focus.
  2. For top-most priority job role/s, identify tasks related to food law. Prioritize tasks.
  3. Determine high level structure for competencies (topics/themes).
  4. Develop competencies (note this may be tackled in sub groups if more than one job role/sector/regulatory group is to be developed), including high level competencies and the knowledge and skills which enable the competency.
  5. Organize competencies into logical structure.
  6. Agree on critical milestones in learning for each job role (e.g., prior to start of job, first 30 days, after 6 months, etc.)
  7. Align competencies to each of these milestones and organize into logical groupings and sequence (i.e., sequence based on mastery learning principles).


Becoming a Food Law Competencies Working Group member

Group representation
This working group will ideally be formed by a complement of volunteer subject matter experts and key informants including volunteer representatives from industry, government, and academia with the goal of representation from:

  • All levels of government
  • Pan-Canadian perspective
  • Small, medium and large businesses
  • All sectors and sub-sectors of the food industry

Scope of expertise
This working group will require volunteer representatives who are experts in and can articulate:

  • Regulations specific to food law, specific to food safety
  • Job roles in either government or industry that have accountability for food law
  • Learning objectives specific to food law for food workers, regulators, or policy writers


Expectations and commitment

As a volunteer member of the Safe Food Canada Food Law Competencies Working Group, a unique work assignment is presented to you where you will directly contribute to the development of competencies specific to food law. This will, in turn, shape the development of food safety learning to support those very competencies.

Here’s what we need from you:

  • Represent their area/s of expertise and articulate job roles, tasks, competencies, and learning objectives specific to the priority topic in law (TBD).
  • Review and provide input/feedback on work produced by other committee members.
  • Complete in-kind reporting monthly (minimum).
  • 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.
  • Promote and advocate the work and deliverables of the committee.

 Estimated five one- to two-hour meetings and two all-day sessions.


  • Food Law Competencies Working Group kick-off meeting: prior to March 30, 2016
  • Completion of priority competency model and corresponding learning objectives: prior to 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. Regulatory expertise

  • Expert knowledge of the existing and forthcoming regulations, with an understanding of the delta between current and target states of the regulations and how this will impact regulators and industry.
  • Knowledge of regulator roles (inspectors, policy developers at Federal, Provincial, and Municipal levels) which require food safety capabilities, with an emphasis on food law.
  • An ability to articulate the food safety related tasks required by these job roles, and the food law competencies required to perform these tasks.
  • An ability to organize the competency related data (roles, tasks, competencies) into a logical structure.
  • Informed knowledge of the priorities for capability build for a specific industry/sector.

2. Industry expertise

  • Knowledge of industry and a specific sector and/or sub sector roles which require food safety capabilities.
  • An ability to articulate the food safety related tasks of these job roles, and the food law competencies required to perform these tasks.
  • An ability to organize the competency related data (roles, tasks, competencies) into a logical structure.
  • Informed knowledge of the priorities for capability build for a specific industry/sector.

3. Technical expertise

  • Technical expert of detailed food law competencies and a point of view on the ideal structure and organization of these competencies.
  • A point of view on the gaps in learning offerings (courses/programs) related to food law.

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