BEIJING, 25 November 2019 - A new Centre of Excellence (CoE) project that aims to deliver a competency-based and internationally-recognized food safety training qualification system has been unveiled in Beijing. The project launch was witnessed by stakeholder representatives: the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the China International Centre for Economic and Technical Exchanges (CICETE), the China State Administration for Market Regulation, the National Medical Products Administration, and the entity where the project will be hosted and fully rolled out for the next few years – the National Medical Products Administration Institute of Executive Development (NMPAIED).
The project aims to build an effective and internationally recognized system comprising a customized competency framework for professional regulators, qualifications to allow comparable workforce delivery in line with relevant occupational requirements and practical needs, and a pool of qualified trainers.
The project is a response to the need to establish a risk- and competency-based inspection system to drive efficiency and credibility for regulation and enforcement, and is in line with the determination of China’s food and drug authority and UNDO to jointly improve the capacity of a national inspector team by promoting their professionalism and adaptability. The project also opens a new chapter for cooperation between China and UNIDO on cross-national standardization for actions and contributes to public-private partnerships, South-South cooperation and China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
Within the framework of the CoE project, the Senior Food Safety Assessors Qualification (SFSAQ) Programme, has been developed and is now being implemented by UNIDO, NMPAIED and the Lloyd's Register Group. The programme is allocating the skills and experience of the private sector aligned with those in the public domain, and introduces trained national food inspectors representing a wide geographical coverage (29 provincial-level regions in China) to the latest auditing skills based on the most updated comprehensive food safety standard and certification scheme. This is the first attempt in the form of a joint intervention by UNIDO and China in the technical area and, if expected results are reached, the paradigm could be upscaled and convince other developing countries of its unique significance for addressing the systematic food safety regulation and capacity building of professionals. A Memorandum of Understanding will be concluded soon between UNIDO and the Lloyd's Register Group to further develop their global partnership and cooperation in this regard beyond China.
A Programme Steering Committee meeting of the CoE project was held on 25 November, when it reported on the progress during the project inception phase and sought endorsement from the key stakeholders of the workplan to be expanded over the next 12 months.
For more information, please contact:
Chief, Food Systems and Nutrition Division
Department of Agri-Business, UNIDO