Becoming a food safety auditor
The role of a auditor is to:
- provide advice to local governments about accreditation of food safety programs
- conduct audits of accredited food safety programs,
- prepare audit reports and provide a copy of these reports to the local government and the holder of the accredited food safety program.
Only auditors approved by the Queensland Department of Health can conduct audits of an accredited food safety program—for the purposes of the Act.
This is different from auditing for the purposes of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) or other industry certification requirements.
Queensland Health assesses applications using nationally consistent criteria, as defined in the National Regulatory Food Safety Auditor Guideline and Policy.
In order to become an approved auditor, applicants must provide evidence of the successful completion of:
- Certificate IV or higher in food science or a related field
- Recognised training of 40 hours of food microbiology (as part of an existing qualification or completed as an independent unit)
- The national competency units:
- Communicate and negotiate to conduct food safety audits—FDFAU4002A (supersedes FDFFSCOMA)
- Conduct food safety audits—FDFAU4003A (supersedes FDFFSCFSAA)
- Identify, evaluate and control food safety hazards—FDFAU4004A (supersedes FDFFSCHZA).
Specialised scopes of approval
To obtain specialised scopes of approval applicants need to show evidence of completion of the following competency units, in addition to those listed above.
- Audit a cook chill process—FDFAU4006A (supersedes FDFFSCC4A)
- Audit a heat treatment process (including canning and pasteurisation) FDFAU4007B (supersedes FDFAU4007A and FDFFSHT4A)
Competency codes and titles are set by the National Quality Council and may change from time to time.
Find out more about training and qualifications.
Recognition of prior learning
If you consider that your qualifications, training or experience (e.g. food processing qualification, chef experience, auditing experience, etc.) are comparable to, or combine to meet the food science qualification requirement to be an auditor, you may undergo a recognition of prior learning (RPL) assessment.
The assessment is done by a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) that is nationally approved to deliver a Certificate IV in food science.
Evidence of the subjects completed (e.g.: an academic transcript) must be submitted with the application. The content of the subjects may also be necessary (e.g. a course outline or syllabus).
The RTO will assess any previous formal or informal training or education, along with any relevant work or general life experience, to determine if a person meets the required outcomes of the qualification. They may issue a statement of attainment or certificate for qualification, or provide a partial credit advising of any gap training required to obtain the qualification.
Applying to be an auditor
Complete the application form and submit it along with the fees and any documentation that is required to support the application. Use the same form to re-apply if your approval has expired.
Fees may change from year to year. They are automatically indexed on 1 October each year. Always refer to the current schedule of fees
Renewals and amendments
Approved auditors can apply for a renewal or amendment.
- Application for renewal of approval - apply before your current approval expires. Existing approval remains current until a decision on the renewal application is made.
- Application to amend conditions of approval - apply for amendment of the conditions of approval. For example, to add the specialised scope of cook chill processes to their approval after successfully completing the additional competency requirements.
When assessing an application we are looking for:
- the necessary expertise or experience to perform the functions of an auditor. This is assessed against the qualification and experience requirements outlined above.
- a suitable person to be an auditor. We undertake a national criminal history check. Applicants who do not provide consent for the Department of Health to conduct a criminal history check will be deemed as not fulfilling the requirements of the assessment process.
The Department of Health has 30 days to decide an application for approval or to request further information. However, there is no timeframe specified for a decision to be made on an application for renewal of approval.
Once your application has been reviewed you will receive an information notice advising of the decision. Successful applicants will receive a certificate of approval detailing the conditions and term of their approval.
Approved auditor's details will be included on a register of approved auditors. The register contains the name and contact details of the auditor, the scope of the auditor's approval, the expiry date of the approval and the local government areas of service.
Contact the food safety team on phone (07) 3328 9310 or email us.
Find tools for auditors.