The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released its new Integrated Food Safety System Regulatory and Laboratory Training System (IFSS RLTS) Strategic Plan 2024–2028, as well as an Implementation Plan. The agency will hold a stakeholder conference call via Zoom on April 2, 2024 from 1:00–2:00 P.M. ET to discuss the Strategic Plan.

The RLTS is an important part of an IFSS, as it helps to establish a competent, integrated workforce that performs comparable work at all levels to ensure a safe and secure human and animal food supply. This workforce comprises federal and state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) regulatory and laboratory professionals who oversee the safety of manufactured human food, produce, eggs, retail food, Grade “A” milk/dairy, molluscan shellfish, and animal food. The RLTS Strategic Plan creates a consistent standard of training for all IFSS regulatory and laboratory professionals.

According to FDA, due to the size and diversity of the IFSS workforce, it was necessary to redesign a more sustainable RLTS that leverages the expertise and resources of all IFSS partners to share in the responsibility for designing and delivering the training. The new RLTS is based in validated competencies and national standards for course content, design, and delivery to ensure alignment across training providers. More than 30 representatives from FDA’s human and animal food programs, SLTT regulatory and laboratory association partners, and the Partnership for Food Protection (PFP) collaborated over the span of two years to create a unified vision for training in an IFSS.

The RLTS Strategic Plan and Implementation Plan can be found on a dedicated FDA webpage, along with its proposed governance structure, an infographic, answers to frequently asked questions, and a promotional video.

The call will include an interactive panel discussion with members of the RLTS Steering Committee to learn more about the RLTS, its expected outcomes and benefits, and its proposed governance. The stakeholder call will also provide an update on the National Curriculum Standard (NCS), a national competency standard for human and animal food regulatory and laboratory professionals that will serve as the foundation for the RLTS.

Registration is required for the stakeholder call. The call is intended for federal, SLTT, and association regulatory and laboratory officials who may receive, provide, or participate in FDA training on manufactured human food, produce, eggs, retail food, Grade “A” milk/dairy, molluscan shellfish, and animal food.