GFSI is proud to announce that the new GFSI Knowledge Exam is now available. This tool, which the 2018 announcement of the GFSI Benchmarking Requirements Version 7.2 mentioned as the GFSI Auditor Exam, offers a consistent method to assess auditor knowledge across a range of relevant skills for all GFSI-recognized programs, ensuring a baseline of expertise within this important community.
The GFSI Knowledge Exam draws from the content of the Benchmarking Requirements Version 7.2. The scope of the exam will be familiar to auditors acquainted with the content of GFSI’s recognized certification programs. Questions cover sector-specific technical skills such as Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) and Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) requirements in addition to standard auditing skills such as sampling and evidence gathering.
The number of GFSI-recognized certification program owners (CPOs) and the number of certificates that these organizations deliver each year continue to accelerate; in 2018 alone, two new CPOs were recognized, and the number of certificates increased by 5 percent worldwide. To ensure consistency of approach despite this growth, the Benchmarking Requirements now mandate auditors to take and pass the GFSI Knowledge Exam. This complements the pre-existing and clear GFSI requirements for education and experience. Auditors who fulfill all these conditions will be well-equipped to perform their role on the front lines of food safety.
The GFSI Knowledge Exam requirement went into effect on July 1, 2019. All newly recruited auditors from this point forward must pass the Knowledge Exam before they can begin auditing for GFSI-recognized certification programs. All current auditors, meanwhile, have until the end of 2021 to take the test. Despite this two-year grace period, the process of assessing all new and current auditors will be no small task.
To mitigate the scale of this undertaking, the Benchmarking Requirements include a mutual recognition of exam results between CPOs. In other words, an auditor that has taken the exam with one CPO cannot have his or her results rejected by a different CPO; each auditor will therefore only need to pass the exam once. This streamlined process is in keeping with GFSI’s dedication to efficiency and enhancing global food safety through harmonization.
To apply to take the GFSI Knowledge Exam, please schedule an appointment with your approved CPO. A list of CPOs that have been approved to provide the tests can be found here. The exam is available in several languages, including:
- Simplified Chinese
- Portuguese (Brazil)
- Spanish (EU)
This article first appeared on the Global Food Safety Initiative website and is published here with permission. Please visit GFSI for more information.