12 questions to ask food safety consultants before hiring them
Hiring a consultant is a cost effective way to access experience and specialised knowledge.
I would recommend when thinking about using a food safety consultant is that you consider them based on three areas:-
Each one on their own does not make a good consultant, but together they determine a consultant’s real value.
Questions to ask food safety consultants before hiring them.
Here are 12 questions to ask a food safety consultant before hiring one or when considering working with one.
- What is your experience in my product area?
- How collaborative are you when working with Clients? This will show if the consultant has a style of working together that suits your business.
- How often will you update the business? This is so that the consultant is not going down the wrong track, and not working in isolation.
- What are your qualifications and accreditations? Accreditations are Chartered status, memberships of authoritative bodies (IFST for example). These have been verified by a transparent process and are independently reviewed. Are they relevant to the area that support is wanted in?
- Do you have membership of relevant industry associations?
- What will success look like? For this, the consultant will need a clear brief from the client. Is it successful completion of a HACCP study or approval by a major customer?
- How do you work? Do they prefer an ongoing relationship or a fixed project? A contract will make the costs and relationship transparent.
- What are your terms? This is for the hiring business to understand the costs involved and what is being paid for. As well as when.
- How will the consultant do a gap or needs analysis? Do you need to put resource into this too?
- Where have you been published? OR Where have you been asked to speak?
- What blogs or other material are available to be used for background information about the consultant?
- How does the consultant stay up to date with research and other developments in the industry, such as changes to legislation.
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