Office of Policy, Program Development and Evaluation
Meat and Poultry Advisory Committee Staff
National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection
November 6, 2002
Standing Sub-Committee Number 1
Issue: Education and Training of the Field Workforce to Achieve a Public Health Vision
Question 1: What does the Sub-Committee recommend FSIS set as its top priorities with respect to the education and training of its diverse field workforce?
FSIS should define the knowledge, skills and abilities (KSA’s) required to perform the various job functions that its field workforce undertakes. Then it should do a needs assessment to determine what training the workforce needs to acquire those KSA’s. The needs assessment should include input from the field work force about areas where they feel they need more information or guidance. Information from state programs should also be gathered.
FSIS should work to increase educational levels of entry personnel.
After training, the agency should test the participants to verify that they acquired the needed KSA’s. This information should also be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the training as an element of ongoing quality improvement.
The agency should shift the focus of its training to provide more science based training as appropriate at each level. This should include topics such as meat and poultry microbiology, with emphasis on food borne pathogens, bio-statistics, food technology and food safety interventions, cleaning and sanitizing, and basic hygiene.
The agency should address the barriers to the delivery of training such as the agency requirement that the majority of its workforce be present on production lines and, wherever possible, eliminate or work around those barriers.
The agency should fence the funds needed to provide the level of training that is required. More specifically, a dedicated percentage of the workforce should continually be in training. This represents a higher level of commitment to education and training on the part of the agency.
For new training initiatives, dedicate training slots for employees in state meat and poultry inspections.
Question 2: What suggestions does the Sub-Committee offer concerning cost effective delivery of training to FSIS’s geographically dispersed workforce?
While the Committee recognizes that FSIS endeavors to provide high quality and appropriate training for its entire workforce, the Committee considers that there are gaps in this training that need to be addressed. A needs assessment of the Agency workforce must be carried out and individuals must be identified who can determine gaps in existing training. The Committee understands that resource constraints are contributing factors to these gaps. The Committee recommends the Agency consider the following:
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