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Food Safety and Quality Audits - a Practical Approach

2023: The 'Preparing for Food Safety and Quality Audits - A Practical Approach' may be delivered in UCC in 2023, subject to demand. The details of the course are provided below.

For more information please contact the team at



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.


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 speakers will include a food business owner, a food safety manager, and third party food safety auditors who have a combined wealth of expertise in food safety management across different types of food production, as well as in food safety auditing, food production, and retail. The speakers are knowledgeable on the challenging requirements of different types of customers, regulations and standards.  

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 should attend?

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

What will the workshop focus on?

The workshop will focus on

  • 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

Digital Badge Award

Digital Badge Food Safety and Quality Audits 2019

Upon successful completion, you will be awarded a digital badge which can be used to support your CV and e-portfolio. A digital badge is an award which recognises your accomplishment in completing an unaccredited course and is referred to as a micro-credential. By taking part in the in-course activities and successfully completing the in-course questions you will qualify for a digital badge in Preparing for Food Safety and Quality Audits. The badge can be downloaded and included on CVs, shared via email or included on your e-portfolio (for example on LinkedIn). When a person or employer clicks on your digital badge they will see the specific details of the course, the process by which the course was given and if the course was successfully completed. Digital badges can be used to illustrate continued professional development and can supplement existing qualifications. 

Lead Trainer

Lead Trainer: Dr. Catherine Halbert

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.

Invited Speakers

Invited speakers will include a food business owner, a food safety manager, and third party food safety auditors. Further information on the invited speakers will be provided in due course.

Course Fee

The cost of the course is €825 which includes tuition, course notes and templates, lunches, refreshment breaks, a class photograph and a UCC Digital Badge. This course will be part-funded (20% of the fee) for eligible applicants by Taste4Success Skillnet.


The workshop is limited to 20 people, as there will be a strong focus on interaction with the speakers and between participants, to share issues and successful approaches.

To apply please email Dr Angela Sheehan


For further information please contact:

Dr Angela Sheehan

Food Industry Training Unit

School of Food and Nutritional Sciences

College of Science, Engineering and Food Science

University College Cork


Telephone: 353 21 4901423


Web Site:


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Food Industry Training Unit

University College Cork , Western Road, Cork