Preparing for food safety and quality audits

Start date: 04 March 2020

Duration: 2 Days

Location: University College Cork

Certificate: Digital Badge Award

Cost: €825

Course code: N/A

Programme overview

Food safety and quality audits are a fact of life for all food business operators. Multiple audits are a frequent occurrence in a single production year, as companies need to demonstrate compliance with requirements from different customers, regulatory inspectors, and standards bodies.
Planning and preparing for a food safety audit takes time, resources and know-how. Several members of staff are often involved, especially if the food business is supplying to retailers, exporting, or preparing for certification to standards such as the BRC Global Standard in Food Safety, ISO 22000, or Bord Bia Quality Assurance Standards.

Learning outcomes

The aim of this two-day workshop is to help personnel to plan and prepare for food safety and quality audits and to engage effectively with auditors. A practical approach will be taken during the workshop, counting down from when the audit preparations start, right up to the day of the food safety audit, and afterwards to ensure close-out.

The workshop will increase confidence in facing important food safety audits and will help food companies to positively influence the outcome of the audit.

Who is the course for

Those in a food business operation who are responsible for preparing for food safety and quality audits and interacting with auditors. The workshop will be of interest to newcomers, as well as experienced personnel, in the following roles:

  • Technical managers
  • Food safety and quality managers
  • Quality assurance personnel
  • HACCP team members
  • Production personnel involved in audit planning and preparation
  • Product developers and R&D personnel
  • Senior personnel who need to engage with experts in food safety management


  • Requirements of food safety and quality audits
  • Expectations of the external food safety auditor
  • Audit preparation and priorities in the months before the audit
  • Critical food safety documentation
  • Critical food safety practices
  • Internal audits and system reviews
  • What to do in the weeks leading up to the audit
  • What to do on the day of the audit
  • How to follow up on the audit and manage the outcome

Trainer Profile

Dr. Catherine Halbert is highly knowledgeable on food quality and safety, in particular auditing of food safety management systems. Catherine takes a practical approach to food safety; she has trained hundreds of people in the food industry over the past 20 years. She has helped clients to achieve certification to external food safety standards, including the BRC Global Food Safety Standard and the Bord Bia Quality Assurance Schemes.

She was a lead partner in two EU-funded projects focusing on the food sector; STARTEC and TRADEIT. She is also a part-time lecturer for the Food Industry Training Unit in University College Cork on the Diploma in Speciality Food Production and Diploma in Food Science and Technology.


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