The act of teaching a new skill or behavior to an individual or group.

Applicable Code Requirements

  • 2.9
  • 11.3.1
  • 11.3.2

Review Glossary Terms

  • Competence
  • HACCP Training

Implementation & Audit Guidance

What does it mean?

2.9.1 the site is responsible for ensuring the training needs of site personnel relative to food safety and/or quality are resourced and implemented. Training is to be based on identified competencies for each food safety and/or quality role.

2.9.2 a program is to be developed based on the competencies required for site personnel to successfully carry out their tasks relative to food safety and/or quality. There are several programs in the Code that specifically require training; it is important the site note these programs and ensure personnel with duties associated with these programs are properly trained. From these competencies, the site will provide training, re-training, and/or coaching in the languages of the staff to ensure the continued success of the SQF System. Records of these competencies and training events are to be maintained. The competency of the trainee is to be verified and recorded.

Why is it in the Code & why is it important?

This is a mandatory clause.

Training impacts every program in the SQF Code. Personnel including site management and front office staff need to be educated on how to competently carry out their duties and responsibilities relative to the site’s food safety and/or quality System (s). The site must identify per role the necessary competencies to carry out the food safety and/or quality tasks assigned to that role and conduct training to those competencies. When programs are updated, the impact to personnel and training or re-training needs identified.

Training, refresher training, and coaching is critical to ensure the success of the food safety and/or quality System (s). Consider relying on ongoing training rather than event-related training to keep skills at their peak.

Visitors including personnel from other sites if not supervised must be trained based on their “role” while on site. Also consider any temporary staff and their training needs. Be sure training conducted for these groups is recorded in case of a food safety event while they were present.

The requirements for training records are outlined in the Code and include name, the skills to be trained, description of the training, refresher training or coaching provided, the date the training even took place, and who trained the individual. Most critical is the requirement for verification of competency. This can be conducted by a variety of means including quizzes and direct observation; use the verification process most appropriate for the task and role.

RIO Road to Audits (Records, Interviews, and Observations)


The following are examples of records and/or documents to assist in the implementation and review of this topic:

  • Training records
  • A recently changed policy and associated training records
  • Job descriptions
  • Visitor policy
  • Personnel improvement plans
  • Resourcing for training


The following are examples of records and/or documents to assist in the implementation and review of this topic:

  • Human resources (or other department responsible for training).
  • Supervisors or leads

The following are examples of questions to ask to assist in the implementation and review of this topic:

  • Describe how the need for re-training or coaching is identified.
  • Describe a situation when personnel required retraining due to a performance failure.
  • How are food safety training needs identified for office staff?
  • If temporary personnel are used, how are they trained in the site’s procedures?
  • Are there any personnel that do not receive training and why?
  • What topics are visitors trained on and how?


The following are examples of observations to assist in the implementation and review of this topic:

  • Are personnel competent in their tasks?
  • Are personnel competent across all shifts?
  • Is senior site management listed in the training records?
  • Do personnel seem reasonably at ease during interviews and in general?
  • Are any personnel or visitors observed “out of place” or not where they should be?
  • Does senior site management seem competent in their understanding of food safety as it pertains to their site?
  • Are training records current and is training conducted at appropriate intervals?

Additional References

Download the .pdf

Updated Date: 2021/04/01

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