Getting Started with SQF Certification

Suggested Steps for SQF Implementation:

1. Designate and Train the SQF Practitioner

  • Hold a management meeting and designate the SQF Practitioner. They must be an employee of the company. The person that is managing food safety is a good choice (Food Safety Manager, HACCP Coordinator, Quality Manager and any of these may be a good choice for this responsibility)
  • Train the practitioner - Practitioner completes the Online Training Programs A. Introduction to SQF System Elements and B. Food Safety Fundamentals
  • If the designated practitioner is not already trained in HACCP, sign the practitioner up for a HACCP Course. Choose a classroom course or an online course.

2. Train the management team

  • The management team completes training on the system elements so they are informed on what the system requirements are for SQF.
  • Sign the management team up for A. Introduction to System Elements. This training explains the requirements of Module 2- SQF System Elements.

3. Prepare for the Gap Analysis

  • The practitioner completes: C. The Gap Analysis Checklists and Tutorial a training session that Includes checklists for the System Elements and Food Safety Fundamentals (Module 2 and the appropriate Food Safety Fundamentals Module)

4. Schedule the gap analysis

  • Schedule your gap and inform all areas of the purpose of the gap and the days that the auditors will be coming through so everyone is aware and ready to assist.
  • Complete the gap using the forms and checklists the practitioner has been provided with through the online course.
  • Use the information from the gap analysis to complete implementation plans included in the SQF Complete Training Package and the Premium All-in-one Package for each of the processes on the schedule.

5. Assign an individual or a team to implement and document each required process. Provide the team with the procedure template, implementation plan and gap information.

  • Practitioner completes D. Plan, Implement and Document the SQF System
  • Practitioner completes tutorials, downloads procedure templates, forms templates and implementation plans to provide to those implementing the process.
  • Practitioner schedule the implementation teams, and assign a target timeline.
  • Teams review the implementation plan and customize the plan and schedule based on the gap results and information from practitioner.
  • The practitioner will review the implementation plans and provides feedback to the team.
  • The team customizes the procedures and forms as needed for the organization, implements the process by training employees and making necessary changes to existing processes. Team submits documentation to the Practitioner
  • The Practitioner and management review the documentation and recommend changes as needed. Once finalized the practitioner and management approve the documentation.

6. Train your audit team

  • Designate 2-6 people (or more) depending on the size of your facility.
  • Assign Online Internal Auditor Training to each person. (2 Sessions included in Premium All-in-One Package)

7. Conduct Employee Training

  • Assign Introduction to SQF System Elements, Food Safety Fundamentals or Employee GMP Online training to employees.
  • Introduction to System Elements - Covers all the requirements of Module 2- SQF System Elements (5 Sessions are include in the Premium All-in-One Package)
  • B. Food Safety Fundamentals - Covers the requirements of the food safety fundamentals modules (5 Sessions are included in the Premium All-in-One Package)
  • Employee GMP Training teaches the production employees the Good Manufacturing Practices required in food processing environments.

8. Start your internal audits and management review meetings following the processes defined in the new procedures based on the templates provided and customized by your teams.

9. Have your document review by the certification body you have selected.

  • Correct any findings and address any opportunities for improvement that the auditor has identified.

10. Continue internal audits and management reviews.

11. Have your certification audit, and celebrate your results!

Our SQF course series includes:

A. Introduction to System Elements

B. Food Safety Fundamentals

C. The Gap Analysis Checklists and Tutorial

D. SQF Templates and Training

E. SQF Internal Auditing

You may register for the courses one by one, or order the complete series in our " Complete Training Package".

Learn more about SQF Basics

SQF Implementation Tips

SQF Online Training