Qualification Framework for Human Resource Development through Competency Testing in Food Safety Sector

Vijayakumar, P
Salooja, M K
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Globalization and technology developments are influencing every aspect of life. The education sector is also witnessing a number of changes and the system is becoming more open and technology oriented. The Open and Distance Learning is developing programmes in the new and emerging areas and innovatively working out modalities for delivery of the programmes with the support of ICT. The Food Safety and Quality Management is rapidly gaining importance both at national as well as International levels due to various reasons viz., globalization of food trade, harmonization of national standards with the Codex, legal changes on national and international levels etc. There is a need for human resource at various levels involving different stakeholders in the food chain from farm (manufacturer) to fork (consumer) which includes Regulators (Designated Officers, Adjudicating Officers and Food Safety Officers), Food Auditors, Food Quality Analysts (Instrumentation/Microbiology/ Chemical), Food Handlers (Manufacturer, Wholesaler, Retailers etc.) and even Consumers (General Public, Children and Housewives) also. Development of human resource through competency testing for the food safety sector has become a necessity for ensuring food safety at household level and harmonization of food standards at global level. In this backdrop, a competency based certification model is proposed for development of skilled manpower in three categories i.e. (i) Food Processing Professional, (ii) Food Testing Professional and (iii) Food Safety Facilitator and Evaluator. The proposed framework gives equal opportunity for both the fresh entrant as well as the exiting workforce to get certified for different competencies in food safety. It is also proposed that a national board for human resource development on food safety be established which will take care of the development of competencies and performance standards, accreditation of training providers, evaluation and certification. The proposed framework also paves a way for recognizing street food vendors. The paper will also review the dimensions of National Skill Development Mission in India and an analysis of proposed National Vocational Educational Qualification Framework. // Paper ID: 190

Skills Development,Quality Assurance,Food Safety,Monitoring and Evaluation,Human Resources