Role-based training isn’t anything new, and the term itself is well understood. Ask anyone what it is, and they’ll say something along the lines of ‘it’s training that’s relevant to a person’s role’.

But today, the use of role-based training in the food industry, is limited.

BRCGS state that: ‘The site shall put in place documented programmes covering the training needs of personnel. These shall include, at a minimum: identifying the necessary competencies for specific roles.’1

For this reason, role-based training is considered when identifying which procedures staff must be trained on, to populate the training matrix – but that’s generally the extent to which its used.

However, it’s my belief that role-based training is at the very core of positive food safety culture, as it drives accountability as well as competency, and here’s why…

Training is too broad

Historically, compliance to food safety standards has always been a technical responsibility. Procedures have always been written by technical staff and therefore, they’ve been written so that they’re aligned to each topic in the standard. This means that a metal detection procedure, for example, will detail everything required to meet the standard for metal detection. It includes information and instructions for operatives, supervisors, engineers and the technical team. The procedure is then used for training each of those roles and the trainee is asked to sign, to confirm that they will follow the procedure in full and exactly as they’ve been taught.


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