FSPCA Training: Why You Need to Stay Compliant with PCQI Certification - Paster Training

FSPCA Training: Why You Need to Stay Compliant with PCQI Certification

Food recalls in the U.S. have dropped in the last two years. One way government regulation seeks to keep the food supply safe is by requiring food processing companies to have a PCQI.

Do you have a PCQI for your facilities? 

What Is a PCQI?

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) requires most food processing companies to have a Preventive Controls Qualified Individual (PCQI). The PCQI has several responsibilities for your facility including:

  • Creating and managing a food safety plan
  • Ensuring the food safety plan meets FSMA standards
  • Verifying that preventive controls are implemented and effective
  • Periodically reviewing records and analyzing the food safety plan

The PCQI has an important role in protecting the safety of your products and helping your company avoid possible fines or sanctions.

What Is PCQI Certification?

PCQI certification demonstrates that an individual has the training and experience necessary to fulfill their responsibilities under the FSMA. The law states that a PCQI must have successfully completed training that is the same or better than a standardized, FDA-recognized curriculum. The training should cover the development and application of risk-based preventive controls.

The FSMA allows for qualification through job experience for PCQIs. The details of how professional experience might match an approved curriculum are unclear, though. PCQI certification provides documentation of training that meets FSMA requirements.

PCQI certification by itself won't necessarily qualify as adequate training in the event of an FDA inspection. Any issues that the FDA inspector finds in the food safety plan will be considered an indication that the PCQI needs more training. Choosing the right training program will help ensure that your PCQI can successfully create, manage, and review your food safety plan.

Who Needs PCQI Certification?

Most food processing companies need to have a PCQI. The regulations cover facilities that manufacture, process, pack, or hold human food and must register with the FDA under section 415 of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

Some exceptions exist, though. Small businesses may qualify for an exemption.

Processors in certain industries like the seafood industry are also exempt. They already follow mandatory risk-based preventive control standards.

Why Is PCQI Certification Important?

The purpose of the FSMA is to protect the public from unsafe food. Having a qualified PCQI is an important part of ensuring food safety in your facilities. The PCQI helps make sure you have comprehensive science-based preventive controls in place.

Effective food safety controls protect your customers and your brand.

Companies that don't have a PCQI will face regulatory action from the FDA. Penalties include fines and a 483 form that documents violations of FDA regulations. The FDA uses Form 483 with other documentation from an inspection to determine if further action is necessary.

How to Get PCQI Certification

The Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance (FSPCA) offers PCQI training. The FDA developed the FSPCA to be a leader in food safety. FSPCA training for PCQI certification is the standardized curriculum recognized by the FDA.

PCQI training is available in different formats. You can find live, instructor-led classes as well as courses that are online or partially online.

Choosing the Right PCQI Training

Most food processing companies need someone with PCQI certification for their facilities. A PCQI helps ensure the safety of your operations while protecting consumers and your brand. The right PCQI training courses will give your employees the ability to create a food safety plan that will pass an FDA inspection.

Paster Training is an authority in food safety training. We help organizations to act smarter, quicker, and safer. Our Preventive Controls for Human Food (PCQI) course uses the standardized FSPCA curriculum.

You can count on our experienced trainers for your certification needs. Check out our schedule of classes and register today!

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