Three ways to assess food safety training competency


Video Transcript – How to assess food safety training competency

As an auditor, I often get asked, ‘what is the best way to assess food safety training competency?’ In this article, three common ways to assess competency will be discussed.

Written Examination

Our first method is the written exam. After your food handlers have viewed particular material or you have given a presentation, you can then ask the participants to undertake a written exam. This form of examination is used to test their knowledge and what the participants have understood during the presentation.

Show and Tell

Our next method is show and tell. This is where you get the actual participant to go through with you from what they have learned and to physically show you how to do something, or to give you the information.

Show and tell requires the participant to verbally tell you as apposed to a written exam. This method fairs well if there are literacy issues within your food production staff. For example, you can ask them, ‘can you please show me how you sort out or how do you weigh off the product? How do you test the metal detector?’ Get them to tell you. Get them to show you.


How to assess food safety training competency



Our third way to assess training competency is by observation. Now, these observations can be undertaken as part of your weekly or monthly good manufacturing practices audits. If you are the QA manager or the internal auditor, you can include this area to observe where the people are complying with the learned material. For example, these things could be around how people are washing their hands, or are they washing their hands. Are they restraining their hair? Their general appearance. How they’re actually going through and handling the product if that’s what you’ve done your training within.

The main thing, with any type of assessment around competency, is to make sure that you clearly set the objectives within your training material on what determines if they are competent or not. If you do not have objectives clearly stated, it is going to be very hard for you to assess whether a participant or food handler is competent.


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