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How Do I Become an SQF Practitioner

SQF Practitioner

Under the Safe Quality Food (SQF) Code, every SQF-certified company must appoint an SQF Practitioner. Your company designated you as their SQF Practitioner. But what does an SQF Practitioner do, and what are the requirements for becoming an official SQF Practitioner?

What is an SQF Practitioner?

The SQF Practitioner is responsible for monitoring the development and maintenance of their facility’s SQF Program. The SQF Program is a GFSI-recognized scheme of food safety and quality codes that help businesses set up, evaluate, and maintain a robust food safety management system. Successfully doing so – thus passing an audit – results in the title of “SQF-Certified” site and works to protect the brand, buyer, and bottom line.

How do I become an SQF Practitioner?

The SQF Practitioner must meet certain requirements. These include:

  • Be a full-time employee of the company
  • Successfully complete a HACCP-based certification training course
  • Implement and maintain Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) and Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs)
  • Understand the SQF Code, its requirements, and its relevance in your facility’s certification

Complete HACCP-Based Training

The SQF Code is a HACCP-based food safety and quality management system that makes use of HACCP principles. In order to facilitate a deeper understanding of the code, SQF requires all SQF Practitioners to complete a HACCP-based training course. As SQF’s official online training vendor, Alchemy offers courses designed to:

  • promote an understanding of the SQF Code.
  • create a knowledge base to facilitate the successful implementation of an SQF System.
  • show how a HACCP-based approach manages food safety and quality hazards in an operation.

To explore our HACCP training courses for SQF practitioners, click here.

Understanding GMPs and GAPs

Simply put, GMPs stands for Good Manufacturing Practices. GAPs stands for Good Agricultural Practices. These systems ensure your products are produced with minimal risk – keeping your employees and consumers safe. The SQF practitioner oversees the development, implementation, documentation, and review of GMPs and GAPs in their facility. This may include sanitation, cleanliness, equipment verification, process validation, and record keeping.

To meet SQF Edition 9 requirements, SQF certified sites will have to now designate a Substitute  Practitioner in addition to the Primary Practitioner. Serving in this role is a great way to begin learning the requirements for a Practitioner and growing in this position.

Mastering the SQF Code, Edition 9

Alchemy Academy and SQFI have teamed to offer a robust set of resources that dig deep on the particulars of SQF Edition 9. Coupled with HACCP-based training courses, our SQF Conversion Primer gets SQF practitioners up to speed on key changes to the code. Have questions? Get them answered in the upcoming installment of Academy Live. This virtual roundtable will be led by Jeff Chilton, who serves as Intertek Alchemy’s VP of Consulting as well as a Certified SQF Auditor and Consultant.


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