The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will hold four instructor-led workshops on conducting self-assessment and verification audits for the Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards (“Retail Program Standards”) throughout 2023. The first two workshops will be held virtually, and the latter two workshops will be held in-person.

Registration is now open for the virtual workshops, which are taking place January 30–February 2, 2023 and March 20–23, 2023. There is no cost to attend the virtual workshops, and registration for both will close on December 12, 2022. The in-person workshops will take place June 9–11, 2023 and July 29–31, 2023 in Norfolk, Virginia and New Orleans, Louisiana, respectively. Registration for the in-person workshops will be opened in the near future.

FDA’s Standards Self-Assessment and Verification Audit Workshop is designed to provide participants with an overview of the Retail Program Standards criteria and an in-depth understanding of the associated self-assessment and verification audit processes, worksheets, and forms. The two-and-a-half-day workshops will enable participants to:

  • Identify the requirements for each of the nine Retail Food Program Standards
  • Explore various approaches to meeting the criteria within the Retail Food Program Standards
  • Use the Retail Food Program Standards worksheets and forms to complete a verification audit of a jurisdiction’s self-assessment against the criteria contained in the standards
  • Use the worksheets and forms to electronically compile and maintain results.

The Retail Program Standards serve as a guide for the design and management of regulatory retail food programs, provide a means of recognition for programs that meet the Standards, and help programs enhance the services they provide to the public. Workshop registrants should be program managers or those directly responsible for conducting program self-assessments and preparing for verification audits. Participants should have a solid understanding of the criteria contained in each of the nine Retail Program Standards prior to the workshop; however, an orientation on using FDA’s Retail Program Standards website, including the downloadable files and worksheets, will be provided at the workshop.