Training for Aquaculture Auditors

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The new course is aimed at both farm site and factory staff.

The NAFC Marine Centre UHI has launched a new short training course on ‘Internal Auditing Techniques for the Aquaculture Industry’ to meet industry demand.

The new course has been developed by NAFC Aquaculture Trainer Matthew Wright in response to a request from Grieg Seafood Shetland. Matthew explained that: “Internal auditing is the process that companies have to go through to show that they are complying with the various standards that they have adopted. That includes both monitoring the way the company is operating and keeping the records required to show that that monitoring has been carried out.”

Large aquaculture companies may be subject to a dozen or more different types of audit. Some standards, such as those developed by the British Retail Consortium (BRC), GLOBALG.A.P, are more general in nature to cover many different types of factory or farm. Other standards are specific to individual supermarket chains or other customers that the company does business with. Internal audits carried out by companies are backed up through external audits by inspectors appointed by the organisation behind the standard who will visit fish farms and factories to check compliance.

In developing and delivering the new course Matthew has been able to draw on the considerable experience that he gained during the 12 years that he spent working as an aquaculture auditor before joining NAFC’s aquaculture training team in April 2017. The one-day course covers general auditing techniques, audit planning and root cause analysis. The course has been designed to be applicable to both farm and factory settings, and although it focuses on the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and GLOBALG.A.P standards, the course can be tailored to suit individual companies’ auditing requirements.

Matthew added that “‘I designed this course to help aquaculture staff become more familiar with auditing techniques and how to apply them to their own site. Effective auditing is becoming more and more important to aquaculture companies and increasingly external auditors want to interact with ordinary staff when they visit factories and farm sites. As well as allowing them to carry out internal audits themselves, this course helps staff to understand what auditors will be looking for, and thus interact with them more effectively. Although this courses was developed with Grieg Seafood Shetland it will be relevant to any aquaculture company. I had a good response to the first course with 14 people, including engineering, production, cleaning and quality systems staff. ”

NAFC’s Section Leader for Aquaculture Training, Stuart Fitzsimmons, commented that, “the new course in Internal Auditing Techniques for the Aquaculture Industry developed by Matthew adds to the repertoire of courses that NAFC has developed to meet aquaculture industry training requirements, and demonstrates once again the Centre’s ability to respond to industry needs.”

Full details of the Internal Auditing Techniques for the Aquaculture Industry course, and of the NAFC Marine Centre UHI’s other aquaculture training courses, are available at: nafc.uhi.ac.uk/aqua

For further information, please contact Matthew Wright (matthew.wright@uhi.ac.uk ) or Stuart Fitzsimmons (stuart.fitzsimmons@uhi.ac.uk), 01595 772000.