Whether you are getting certified to one of CSQ’s standards or simply trying to improve your facility’s best practices, one of the most common questions is, “what should I be training my employees on?”
Although there is not a one-size-fits-all training program for every facility, there are some basic training requirements every facility should use to improve best practices and the overall safety and quality of their products. First, let’s start with the bare minimum requirements of CSQ, as this should be the minimum facilities strive to educate their employees on. Later, we’ll examine the importance of safety refresher courses and compliance refresher training.
The following are the minimum requirements for training to get certified to CSQ:
- HACCP Training
- Security Training
- cGMP and/or cGAP Training
In addition to the above training modules, employee(s) who are responsible for managing your CSQ program shall take the CSQ 101 training unless they can demonstrate competence of the CSQ certification program. Additionally, employees responsible for internal audits shall be trained in internal auditing unless, once again, they can demonstrate competence to their auditor.
Compliance Refresher Training
Now that we have gotten the CSQ minimum requirements out of the way let’s dive into some additional training topics you may want to include in your annual safety training requirements and compliance refresher training. CSQ recommends the following training courses in addition to the required training for certification:
- Foodborne Illness Training
- Allergen Management (Note: this may be included in your cGMP training)
- Food Defense (Note: this may be included in your security training)
- First Aid / OSHA Training
- Chemical Controls
- Crisis Management
- Complaint Management
- Local Regulatory Requirements
- Root Cause Analysis and Corrective Actions
- Fraud Prevention
- Waste Management
- Job-Specific Training
- Product Knowledge Training
- Soft Skills Training
However, the best way to determine what should be included in your annual refresher training is to conduct a training needs analysis. A training needs analysis can be done either internally or externally and can be completed in the following three steps.
- Decide on skill sets – Determine the skill sets that your team members are required to have in order to do their jobs properly.
- Evaluate the skills of employees – Look at all your team members and evaluate their current skill levels in relation to the skills you laid out in step 1.
- Highlight the skill gaps – Identify the gaps (if any) between your skill sets from step 1 and the current level of skill sets of your team members to determine training needs.
By performing a training needs analysis, you can determine the areas where your employees need compliance refresher training. Additionally, a training needs analysis can have the following benefits:
- Identify knowledge gaps before they become a problem
- Helps you plan your training needs
- Highlights training you may not have considered
- Ensures your training is focusing on the right areas
- Helps decide who should attend which training sessions
- Helps prioritize training needs
To summarize, you should look at the annual safety training requirements which are mandatory for your certification and conduct a training needs analysis to determine any training gaps. By doing this, you will have a compliant and more robust training program that can improve employee retention, reduce complaints and other compliance issues, and create a positive safety culture.