Two US organisations have won a $400,000 grant to address workplace capacity issues facing food regulators.
The International Food Protection Training Institute (IFPTI) and the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society (RAPS) will work together to address three main issues.
The grant, from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is particularly targeting low and middle-income countries.
The 12-month project will focus on defining the core competencies of a regulatory professional, developing a curriculum based framework and creating a gap assessment tool.
Phase one will result in a competency and framework, and a tool for regulatory agencies to identify gaps in their workforce.
In later phases the aim is to develop and deliver standardized training and establish an international training and evaluation system.
Based on IOM report
Following an Institute of Medicine (IOM) report last year, the FDA requested a multi-stakeholder group to develop strategies and approaches for a regulatory workforce and develop curricula to educate and train regulators.
The approach in the project is based on the work and recommended plans developed by the group.
IFPTI and RAPS said that the food supply is increasingly global so the goal is to establish a global regulatory workforce that is competent and can be comparable.
Issues with current methods centred on adherence to international standards, controlling supply chains, infrastructure, laws, workforce, fragmentation, surveillance and communication.
Global food supply
The Training Institute is from the Global Food Protection Institute (GFPI) that seeks adoption of food protection policies and practices for a safer global food supply.
“There have been many previous efforts to offer training to regulators around the globe. However, the success of these efforts is not clear,” a GFPI spokeswoman told FoodQualityNews.com.
“This may be due, in part, to the lack of information on the essential competencies and related knowledge and skills needed by a regulatory professional.”
RAPS and IFPTI will work with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other global organizations.
“We will start by forming an expert panel that includes WHO, FAO, PAHO, ASEAN, APEC, ICH, IMDRF, Gates Foundation, World Bank, and others,” said the spokeswoman.
“We will then expand the audience to regulatory professionals, policy and public health experts, representatives from standards and policy groups, donor organizations, think tanks involved in regulatory and health policy, academicians and other potential users from around the world.”