SQF Quality Systems Course

4.5 Hours

SQF Quality Systems Course - Zosi Learning

Languages Offered

Languages Offered

English (EN-US)

Please note: Subscription for this course ends six months from date of purchase.



The products you provide your customers need to be safe and nutritious, but that alone isn’t enough to compete. It’s more important than ever to consider the role of quality in your business. The SQF Quality Systems course is dedicated to helping you understand the various facets of quality as a concept, and what you can do to systematically improve it at your site. This course also helps you as you begin to document and implement the SQF Quality Code.

This course is accompanied by a workbook that contains practical activities to help you apply the concepts covered in the course and begin your quality journey. After completing this self-paced online course, you will earn a certificate of completion.



Course Introduction:
  • What is Quality? Defining Quality in the Food Industry
Section 1:
  • Quality Concepts
    • Module A: Quality Concepts
    • Module B: Safety & Quality
    • Module C: The Quality Journey
    • Module D: SQF’s Approach to Quality – The 3 C’s
Section 2:
  • The SQF Quality Code
    • Module A: Structure and Part A
    • Module B: Part B, System Elements
Section 3:
  • HACCP for Quality
    • Module A: Introduction and Preliminary Steps
    • Module B: Steps 6-10
    • Module C: System Verification
Section 4:
  • Statistical Process Control
    • Module A: Statistical Process Control
    • Module B: Statistical Process Control Continued
Section 5:
  • Quality Management
    • Applying Quality Management Principles
Who Should Register?

Who Should Register?

Any site or individual seeking to:

  • Understand the link between product quality and quality management principles;
  • Explain the product quality parameters within a food industry sector or site;
  • Document and implement the SQF Quality Code, Edition 9;
  • Understand and apply the “cost of quality” model within a site;
  • Apply the Plan, Do, Check, Act, or PDCA, cycle to improve quality outcomes;
  • Understand how quality management principles impact product quality and productivity; and
  • Apply and improve quality management principles within a site.


How long do I have to complete the course?

Users have access to the course content for 30 days after beginning the course. During the 30-day period, the user may start and stop at their leisure. Users who fail to complete the eLearning course in the time available will not be eligible for a refund.

If a site does not pass the quality certification audit, can they still be certified to the food safety Code?

Certification to the SQF Quality Code is independent of certification to the SQF Food Safety Code, even if the audits are conducted concurrently. Certification to the SQF Food Safety Code is not dependent on passing the SQF Quality Code.

Is the Quality Code a separate audit?

A certification or re-certification audit of the SQF Quality Code can either be an extension of an audit to the appropriate SQF Food Safety Code, or a stand-alone audit conducted at any time during the currency of the site’s certification to the SQF Food Safety Code. The choice is up to the individual site.

Is certification to the SQF Quality Code mandatory to meet my retailer’s requirement for obtaining a certification through a GFSI Benchmarked Certification Program?

GFSI only benchmarks food safety standards. The SQF Food Safety Code, edition 9 is benchmarked to the GFSI Benchmarking Requirements. It is up to each individual retailer to decide whether a site is required to be certified to the SQF Food Safety Code and/or to the SQF Quality Code.

What is the expected audit duration for the Quality Code audit?

SQFI expects a certification or re-certification audit to the SQF Quality Code, combined with a certification audit to the SQF Food Safety Code to add a minimum of half a day, while a stand- alone quality certification audit will be a minimum of one day.

Will a separate certificate be issued for the Quality Code?

Yes, certificate upon successful certification to the SQF Quality Code will result in a separate SQF Quality Code certificate.

Will ISO 9001:2015 be considered an equivalent to the SQF Quality Code?

If a site is already certified to ISO 9001, they may not need to also be certified to the SQF Quality Code. The two are not equivalent, but it is up to the site to decide whether both certifications are required based upon their retailer’s or customer’s requirements.

Will an unannounced re-certification audit be required as part of the SQF Quality Code certification process?

There is no specific requirement for an unannounced audit of the SQF Quality Code. However, where a site selects to incorporate their quality audit with their SQF food safety audit, or an unannounced audit of another food safety management standard, the quality audit is unannounced when aligned with an unannounced food safety audit.

What is SPC?

SPC stands for statistical process control. It is used to reduce process variation and drive root cause analysis of non-conformances. The SQF Quality Code requires the site establish a process to trend progress in quality performance against agreed measures. Benchmarking is part of this process, and the performance data is to be reported at least annually, and communicated to all staff, to demonstrate effectiveness of the quality management system.

The SQF Quality Practitioner is required to be competent in process controls and/or other quality tools. Is the completion of a quality course required?

Completion of a course in process controls or other quality tools will certainly assist, but the quality practitioner is not required to complete training.

Are auditors of the SQF Quality Code required to have training in quality and process controls?

The requirements for auditors of the SQF Quality Code are defined in the Criteria for SQF Auditors and Technical Reviewers available on SQFI.com and include specific training on the SQF Quality Code and either a quality-specific professional designation or quality auditing experience.

Section of the SQF Quality Code calls for a positive release program. Is that a blanket “shall” requirement, or is it based on risk?

“Positive release” is a ‘shall’ requirement, but the extent of the positive release program will be based on risk. The intent is to ensure that all distributed product complies product specifications, sensory, packaging and package integrity, labeling, delivery and service requirements, depending on need and risk.

Do you have to use the term “CQP”?

Terms other than “CQP” can be used to denote points of control for critical quality points as long as the term “CCP” is NOT used. The term “CCP” must be reserved only for food safety critical control points.

Where can I download SQF Codes, edition 9?

Edition 9 can be found on the Resource Page on the SQFI website www.sqfi.com/documents. All previous versions of the SQF Code can also be found by following that link.

What is the difference between the modules and the Food Safety Codes?

Modules are the good industry practices that are specific to the industry sector that the site must meet in order to achieve SQF certification. To determine the appropriate module, the site can turn to Appendix 1 in any of the SQF Codes, edition 9.

What is the best way to determine which food sector category and modules apply to my site?

The best way to determine the Food Sector Category that bests fits your site, please reference the Food Sector Category list and description listed in any of the SQF Codes, edition 9, Appendix 1. This list identifies the category and provides descriptions, product examples and relevant modules. It would be best to consult with your certification body to confirm the designation of the site’s food sector category.

How much documentation is required to update our current SQF System to edition 9?

Auditors auditing against edition 9 of the SQF Code will be required to audit against all requirements (new and existing) that are contained in edition 9. Sites should evaluate their Systems to ensure they meet the requirements of edition 9. It is recommended that there be at a minimum of 90 days of documentation to support any new program or requirement; however, that is not a requirement. The actual number depends on the program, policy or procedure that is being implemented.

Which exam or course should I buy if I want to be SQF certified?

An entire site seeks to achieve and maintain SQF certification, not just one person. One requirement is for the site to designate an SQF Practitioner. This individual as well as a back-up for this role must:

  1. Be employed by the site as a company employee on a full-time basis;
  2. Hold a position of responsibility in relation to the management of the site’s SQF System;
  3. Have completed a HACCP training course;
  4. Be competent to implement and maintain HACCP based food safety plans; and
  5. Have an understanding of the SQF Food Safety Code for Manufacturing and the requirements to implement and maintain an SQF System relevant to the site’s scope of certification.

For information on site certification to the SQF Food Safety Codes or the SQF Quality Code, please visit SQFI.com/how-to-get-certified/.

What will I need to do to qualify as an SQF Quality Practitioner?

The education and knowledge requirements of an SQF Quality Practitioner are outlined in SQF Quality Code, edition 9 in element They are as follows:

The SQF quality practitioner shall:

  1. Be competent to implement and maintain food quality plans using a risk-based methodology such as HACCP;
  2. Understand the Quality Code and the requirements to implement and maintain a qualitymanagement system; and
  3. Be competent, through training or experience, in process control and/or other quality tools to reduce process variation impacting quality and achieve customer requirements.

SQF Quality Systems Course

4.5 Hours
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