Raising The Bar: Top 5 Quality Assurance Courses for Career Growth in Food and Beverage Manufacturing
After serving as a quality assurance manager in a beef packaging plant for two years, maybe you're ready for the next step up to director of quality assurance? How can you achieve that? Simple, advance your education.
In this article, we’ll look into the top five quality assurance courses you can take to advance your quality assurance role in food manufacturing, and they don’t cost an arm and a leg.
Besides the promotions, you’ll gain networking and career change opportunities, higher pay, and personal development.
So, here are the top five quality assurance courses to take to advance your quality assurance career.
Certified Food Scientist (CFS)
A CFS qualification is your best bet if you want to move up the ladder in food quality assurance. It’s an essential milestone for food scientists worldwide, keeping you updated with the twists and turns of science and food industry trends.
Application for the course is made online at the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), which is based in the US but allows your skills to be applicable in Canada as well. The institute will provide the CFS candidate handbook to study for the CFS test, which you will take at a local testing centre. The exam cost ranges between 735 and 1003 CAD.
Over and above that, IFT offers an online Certified Food Scientist Preparatory Course where lecturers use course materials, practice questions, review sessions, quizzes, and webinars to prepare you for the exam.
This quality assurance course will set you back 795 CAD if you’re an IFT member and 1,016 CAD if you’re a non-member.
BRC Global Standard Training Course
Learn food safety, storage and distribution, consumer products, and packaging to advance your food quality assurance career. Take the course online to make your work smooth sailing, but in-person training is available too.
The BRC Global Standard enables food manufacturers to ensure customers get safe and high-quality products. By and large, by taking the course, you can ascertain a robust food safety culture, strong internal audit system, and good manufacturing practices in your manufacturing facility, which will enable your plant to get excellent BRCGS grades.
The UK certification, since it’s global, allows you to apply your skills in Canada and other countries.
Is your employer BRCGS certified? If yes, enrollment for the course is free, and you can attain your BRCGS professional qualification in three weeks. Learn more from the BRCGS website.
SQF Training Course
The SQF training enables you to use science-backed, proven principles to consistently apply food safety and quality standards at your food processing plant on a global level, making it applicable to the Canadian market. The Safe Quality Food Institute offers three levels of certification for quality assurance food manufacturing workers.
Level 1 teaches you:
- Good Agricultural Practices
- Good Manufacturing Practices
- Good Distribution Practices
In level 2, you will learn risk assessment and implementation of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points. While level 3 is more nuanced and teaches Comprehensive Food Safety and Quality Management Systems.
The attained knowledge allows you to implement and enforce SQF standards at your food and beverage manufacturing plant, ensuring food safety and quality while elevating your career.
AIB International Food Safety Program
The American Institute of Bakers International certifies that food manufacturers' facilities, practices, and processes meet global food safety standards. While this is a US certification, it still demonstrates your skills in the Canadian market.
If you take their food safety program course, you will learn food safety quality assurance and auditing, empowering you to enforce proper manufacturing practices at your plant. Receiving a high rating will impress your superiors whenever AIB International performs an audit at your workplace.
The course is also available virtually from the AIB International website.
Certified Quality Improvement Associate (CQIA)
The American Society of Quality (ASQ) - which is recognized in the US, Canada and the world - awards you with the CQIA certification after you prove your knowledge and skills in quality improvement methods.
After registering for the exam, you will receive study materials that teach:
- Quality and team basics
- Continuous improvement techniques
- Customer relationships
- Supplier relationships
The exam costs 526 CAD, just a drop in the bucket compared to other certifications. The best part, it’s an open-book exam that you can take online.
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