On November 4, 2021, the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), a Coalition of Action of the Consumers Goods Forum, launched its first-ever set of Benchmarking Requirements for food safety auditor Professional Recognition Bodies. GFSI's aim is to attract and retain talent into the food safety profession by raising the profile of the profession of auditing, and focusing entry requirements on competence. 

Recently, the food safety industry has had difficulty recruiting and retaining auditors. This has put a strain on the Certification Bodies' ability to keep up with the increasing demand in food safety audits. Due to increasingly complex and duplicated requirements applying to new and existing auditors, the situation has worsened, including the increasing GFSI Benchmarking Requirements for Certification Program Owners on auditors. 

To make this easier, GFSI has now implemented a new recognition program for Professional Recognition Bodies in the sector. This also means that the food industry can rely on this registration and validation to verify the competency of auditors.

“We’re confident that the launch of these benchmarking requirements will help to protect the vital role of food auditors, and to increase the take-up of this profession. The current qualifications and industry experience required for a food safety auditing career are stringent and specific, which narrows the field of potential recruits dramatically," said Erica Sheward, director of GFSI.

“By harmonizing training and professional development across the industry, we can make food safety auditing an accessible, attainable, and desirable profession for many more people—helping to safeguard the future of an essential component of the food safety ecosystem.”

The Benchmarks form part of the larger GFSI Race to the Top framework, which strives to improve trust, transparency, and confidence in GFSI-recognized certification and audit outcomes. 

Download the new Benchmarking Requirements here.