2014 SQF International Conference


UPDATE: Pre-registration for training classes will end on Monday, October 22nd at noon EST.  Onsite registrations will be accepted on a space available basis. You will not be guaranteed a space, unless you pre-register!

SQFI will offer the following one-day training courses prior to the conference on Monday, October 27th from 8:00am - 5:00pm (The SQF Advanced Practitioner Course (currently sold out) runs October 26-27). The courses require payment of an additional fee, which can be selected during the conference registration process. You may also register for the training classes without registering for the conference. Please select the "Training Only" rate and then your class. Register here now

The cost for the one-day classes is $200 (pre-registration rate) or $ 350 (onsite registration), which includes materials and lunch. The cost for the half-day class is $100 (pre-registration rate) or $ 200 (onsite registration) and includes materials (not lunch). The cost for the two-day Advanced Practitioner Course is $ 550 (pre-registration only). PLEASE NOTE: There is a premium for registering onsite and space is NOT guaranteed unless you pre-register. Class sizes are limited, so we STRONGLY recommend that you register early to avoid disappointment. Almost all classes sold out early last year!

PLEASE NOTE: You can only register for ONE class, since they all run concurrently. You must also register individually i.e  you cannot purchase a space for a co-worker. He/She will need to register separately! Multiple class registrations will be deleted!

The following classes will be offered:

For registration enquiries, please contact Debbie Stewart

For curriculum questions, please contact Kristie Grzywinski

SQF Professional Update (1/2 day program)

The SQF four-hour Professional Update is a requirement for SQF Professionals (Auditors, Consultants, and Trainers) seeking annual re-registration with the SQF program. In this year's update, a member of SQFI's Technical Team will share with participants recent updates to the SQF program, including information about SQF's new Compliance and Integrity Programs, enhancements to the SQF Reliance assessment database, a GFSI update, and the status of key SQF documents. Participants will gain a deeper understanding of SQFI expectations for licensed SQF Professionals in representing the Institute and the food industry.

Understanding and Applying Common Terms in SQF: Validation vs. Verification and Risk Assessment (SOLD OUT)

This course is currently sold out. Contact Debbie Stewart to be placed on the waiting list.

Validation and verification are the most commonly misunderstood terms in the SQF Program. This class will focus on providing a clearer understanding of these terms and how to apply them to the SQF Program. Another common term that is referenced, but often not used, is the risk assessment. The second half of this course will define risk assessment and show you how to develop a risk assessment based on your operation and the SQF code elements. The course will offer practical tools and real world examples that can easily be applied to a variety of food and beverage and packaging manufacturing companies.

Principles of Internal Auditing

Key Session Topics:

  • Define the audit process and its important components
  • Identify the various essential steps for performing a successful quality audit
  • Outline the various planning and preparation activities that have to precede the audit performance stage
  • Describe the importance of gathering objective evidence and the need to remain objective at all times
  • Identify the importance of ensuring that the report is accurate and that its content is appropriate and supportable by the evidence
  • Describe the importance of selecting an audit team with the necessary training and certification
  • Identify the correct steps in the processes of corrective action and root cause analysis

Advanced HACCP

This ANSI and International HACCP Alliance accredited NSF Food Safety Certificate Program one-day course is designed to provide attendees with a thorough understanding of the concepts and applications of Verification and Validation.  This course will enable participants to better understand the differences between verifying and validating food safety systems.

Key Session Topics:

  • HACCP System Review
  • Prerequisite Programs
  • HACCP Principles
  • Validation, Monitoring & Verification
  • Definitions, clarification
  • Validation: Methods & Approaches
  • Codex approaches
  • HACCP System Validation
  • HACCP System Verification
  • Regulatory requirements for Verification and Validation

HACCP for Quality

What is HACCP for Quality? This course will provide a snapshot of what suppliers need to know to achieve level 3 SQF certification and start down the path toward changing the culture within the organization. You will learn the key differences between level 2 and level 3, gain an understanding of the cost benefits for developing an effective quality plan and be able to explain the differences between developing a HACCP plan for food safety and food quality.

Allergen Control/Labeling

SQF records allergen control as one of the top major non-conformances in the system and FDA shows mislabeling of allergens as one of the top recalls. In this one-day session, allergen experts will share their experiences on how to develop a food allergen management plan that includes a plan for common mistakes and labeling issues and validation of SSOPs. Real examples will be used and attendees are encouraged to bring their own examples for in-class assessment.

Implementing SQF Systems - Course Overview

This one-day abbreviated course will provide an overview of some of the key system elements and PRP elements in module 2 and module 11 of the SQF Code.Best practices and practical examples to address the implementation strategies for these key elements will be discussed. This class is helpful for those who are new to or planning for an SQF Audit as well as those who are looking for new ideas to tackle challenges in these tough areas.

SQF Advanced Practitioner Course (SOLD OUT)

This course is currently sold out. Contact Debbie Stewart to be placed on the waiting list. If you are interested in attending an SQF Advanced Practitioner Course outside the SQF Conference please visit the SQFI website to see a list of approved trainers and training centers.

The SQF Advanced Practitioner course is a two-day course designed for the current SQF practitioner who is seeking further education on how to improve and maintain their company’s SQF System. The SQF Advanced Practitioner course provides the tools needed to improve and advance the food safety system in the facility and manage the ongoing maintenance of the SQF Program.

Course prerequisites:

To ensure an optimal learning experience and fully benefit from this course, it is recommended that participants meet the following pre-requisites prior to attending the course. Attendees must have:

  • Been through at least one successful (C-complies rating or higher) SQF certification/ recertification process as the designated SQF practitioner
  • Successfully completed a HACCP training class that includes a final assessment
  • Successfully completed the Implementing SQF Systems examination

The activity-based course addresses the following three areas:

  • Using the internal audit program to manage, maintain and enhance the SQF system
    • Best practices on how to conduct internal audit
    • Take internal audit results and assign risk and criticalities – observations and gaps that require immediate action
  • Utilizing the corrective action/preventive action process as a tool to identify trends and build continuous improvement
    • Best practices for developing corrective action and preventative action processes for collaboration and effective implementation.
    • Tips and tools for measuring and develop trend analysis
  • Improving the demonstration of management’s commitment and developing and prioritizing key performance indicators.
    • Improve operational efficiencies and quality and creating KPIs
    • Take the results of the trend analysis to create an action plan and opportunities for System improvement
    • How to build a food safety program that includes an ROI.

Safe Feed/Safe Food Certification: Comprehensive Standards of Excellence to Maximize Feed and Food Safety

The American Feed Industry Association established the Safe Feed/Safe Food Certification Program in 2004 to establish and promote generally accepted food safety guidelines designed to ensure continuous improvement in the delivery of a safe and wholesome feed supply for the growth and care of animals. The program is administered by the Safe Quality Food Institute. Facilities will be able to choose between FSC 36 Safe Feed/Safe Food Program (fundamentals for an animal feed safety program) and FSC 34 Safe Feed/Safe Food Program (GFSI benchmarked program through SQFI). Safe Feed/Safe Food Certification Program is a voluntary, third-party certified initiative designed for feed mills and feed- and ingredient-related facilities. Communicating food safety risks to the feed industry, building consensus among the segments of the industry, continuing the education process and enhancing consumer confidence in the feed and food supply are all important aspects of the program. The Safe Feed/Safe Food Certification Program increases understanding of industry regulations by providing a guide to complying with the pending rules from the Food Safety Modernization Act.

Topics to be covered within this one-day course include:

  • Current Good Manufacturing Practices for the feed industry
  • Key components of an animal food safety plan
  • Typical risks for the feed industry
  • Complying with the Food Safety Modernization Act