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Counting Down to FSMA’s Final PCQI Deadline

By Jeff Chilton   |   

Food companies, take note of an important deadline: September 17th is the final date for all facilities to meet PCQI requirements.

As a refresher, FSMA’s Final Rule for Preventive Controls for Human Food requires every food facility to have competent Preventive Controls Qualified Individuals (PCQIs) write or perform reanalysis on their Food Safety Plan. While the PCQI requirement isn’t exactly “new,” (the bill was signed into law in 2015 and rollouts have been happening for the past two years, according to company size), the upcoming September date is the final deadline for all businesses to comply, including small businesses with fewer than 500 full-time employees. 

What Does a “Qualified” PCQI Mean, Exactly?

According to the official FMSA rule, a “Preventive Control Qualified Individual” is someone “who has successfully completed training in the development and application of risk-based preventive controls at least equivalent to that received under a standardized curriculum recognized as adequate by FDA or is otherwise qualified through job experience to develop and apply a food safety system.” Some of these tasks include creating and reassessing food safety plans, verifying, validating and overseeing corrective actions. 


How to Comply with the FSMA Preventive Controls Rule

While there is no official PCQI certification, the FDA – through the Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance (FSPCA) – has provided guidelines on what it will take to meet the PCQI requirement. The best way to ensure compliance is by completing a PCQI training course officially approved by the FSPCA. Such a course has been vetted by FSPCA to be in lockstep with what FDA inspectors will be assessing to meet preventive controls requirements in a facility’s food safety plan.

We’ve also learned through the earlier deadlines of PCQI requirements for larger facilities, that a great way to get an FDA inspection off to a positive start is to demonstrate you have individuals who have completed FSPCA-approved PCQI training.

Of course, with the deadline fast approaching, time is of the essence to complete such a course. Alchemy Systems offers two options for completing your PCQI training before the September deadline.


Classroom PCQI Course, August 28-30th in Austin, TX

Just in time for the deadline, this FSPCA-approved class provides a deep immersion into the curriculum, and an opportunity to interact directly with Alchemy’s industry-leading instructors. You will also receive the official FSPCA course book, a Certificate of Completion, and 20 hours of Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Credits.

Register now for this classroom course while space is still available.


100% Online PCQI Course

If days away from the facility are not an option, Alchemy also offers a 100% online course approved by the FSPCA. The blended eLearning course combines the benefits of a self-paced course with an added component of a virtual instructor-led session to expand upon that curriculum and provide real world insights and advice. Like Alchemy’s classroom course, you will receive an Certificate of Completion and 20 hours of CPEs.

Register now for this online course. 


Got any questions or want to share your experiences complying with FSMA or PCQI certifications? Share your comments below!

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