In-Plant Training: A Cost-Effective Solution. The Browns Bay Packing Company Experience

It is common knowledge that providing training to both employers and employees benefits our industry at several levels, including the quality of our workforce and products. In this two-part series we will discuss how in-plant training can be cost-effective and how easy it is to implement. If you meet the following criteria you could qualify to become an accredited NSSC training instructor.

· Did you take the NSSC’s Instructional Techniques course, or can you demonstrate that you have successfully completed a similar course?

· Do you have additional training and experience in the subject being taught?

· Do you have industry knowledge and experience?

If you answered yes to the above questions, pick up the phone and call us now. That’s what Jonathan Slattery did and he is now an accredited NSSC training instructor.

Jonathan an employee of the Browns Bay Packing Company in Campbell River, BC, met all the criteria and is now equipped to deliver many NSSC courses as his plant.

Jonathan has been an instructor in the seafood processing industry for the last four years, and in his opinion we have a prosperous sector consisting of many specialized areas that require formal training. Formal training represents an opportunity for employees to learn about and keep on top of new trends as they emerge in the industry. It also allows seafood processing workers to add knowledge and skills to the hands-on training they have already received.

If you look at in-plant training you will quickly realize that it is a cost-effective solution. “The cost of bringing in instructors or sending employees out of town is just not realistic,” says Jonathan, “specially if it has to be done on a semi-regular basis. In-plant training has been very cost-effective for us, mainly because we are using our own facilities for course delivery. We also see cost savings resulting from fewer accidents and fewer issues related to quality control, which of course have a direct relation to production. Well-informed and well-trained workers have a greater sense of responsibility and ownership because they understand why things are done the way they are.”

Jonathan has noticed many other advantages of in-plant training. It helps to create a team atmosphere, for example, because everybody is learning the same thing at the same time. In addition, the courses are usually plant-specific, and since they are delivered on-site they are truly accessible to employees.

If you would like to find out more about the NSSC’s In-plant Training Program, call (613) 782-2391 and you could soon be implementing your own in-plant training program.

In the next issue of The Seafood Trainer we will follow Jonathan as he implements his first NSSC course. Jonathan will be sharing his experiences as an instructor and we will also be highlighting the experiences and points of view of his students.

A Canadian-Made HACCP DVD & 4 New Courses for the Seafood Processing Industry

Members of the Canadian seafood processing industry will be delighted to learn that the new HACCP DVD they have been waiting for is finally here. The NSSC has been working for several months on this initiative and the product is now market-ready.

This interactive and up-to-date tool has been designed to support Canadian seafood processors as they implement their HACCP plan. The project was guided by a steering committee comprising industry leaders and a representative from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. The committee’s role was to ensure adequate representation of content and images in addition to verifying that regulatory standards were met.

The DVD follows a typical seafood processor as it implements an HACCP plan for the production of a new product. The DVD uses a step-by-step method, which makes the plan easy to follow and implement.

The DVD, which is available in both English and French, costs $34,95 plus applicable taxes for non-members and $27,95 for non-members.

Processors and employees will soon have access to four other new courses:

· Seafood Spoilage and Food Safety (1 day) addresses the principles of food spoilage in a practical manner, using everyday language. It covers taint, decomposition, and unwholesomeness and the importance of the time/temperature relationship as it pertains to both product quality and the growth of bacteria. Common causes of fish-borne illness are also addressed, as well as the importance of sanitation and hygiene.

· Industrial Safety for Workers in the Seafood Processing Industry (1 day) covers the basics of accident causes and prevention particularly as they relate to workplace injuries. Protective clothing and footwear, eye and hearing protection, slips and falls, and cuts and bruises are all addressed. Physical, chemical and biological hazards are discussed, as well as the roles and responsibilities of employees, management, and health and safety committees. Provision will also be made for a presentation by a health-care professional on the prevention of soft-tissue injuries, proper stretching techniques and ergonomics.

· Writing and Implementing a QMP (2 days) is designed for personnel in the quality-control and quality-assurance sector of the industry who have previous experience with HACCP and QMP. The material focuses on recent regulatory changes to the program, especially the QMP Reference Standard.

· QMP for Production Workers (1 day) has been developed for line workers. It touches on the history of HACCP and its relationship to QMP and concentrates on the individual’s role as a vital part of the process. The course also stresses the importance of QMP in the international marketplace.