The Pre-Requisite Employee Program (PREP), an orientation pilot program for inspectors has just graduated its eighth class, which brings the total to more than 150 new graduates as the Agency moves toward the inspectorate of the future and continued modernization. This pilot program has recently been designated a permanent course that is designed to help orient our new inspectors to the Agency, and prepare them for their new roles and responsibilities to deliver the programs under the Safe Food for Canadians Act.
The program provides new employees with a solid common knowledge base of the expected behaviours of professional inspectors. This training goes in-depth to provide a clear understanding of the cultural norms that guide day-to-day activities in the field operations.
During the six-week course, inspectors participate in a number of scenarios and role-playing, which helps them acquire the interpersonal skills required to communicate and interact more effectively with the public, industry and peers. Within the program, graduates learn they have a critically important role in influencing others through their behaviours and attitudes. This program allows inspectors to absorb new ideas and put to practice these skills in a safe environment.
This enhanced training program is one of the commitments to food safety the Government of Canada made in Budget 2011. This significant investment in inspector training will support a broad range of initiatives, which together, are allowing the CFIA to:
- Develop a highly trained inspectorate for the future
- Build strong networks across the food continuum
- Ensure more precise inspection delivery
The latest graduates were awarded their certificates on February 14, 2014. As we now engage the eighth training class, evolution of the training methods is in keeping with the new initiatives of the CFIA, its commitment to a strong, knowledge based workforce and dedicated personnel. For the 2014/15 fiscal year, new classes are proposed with additional new core training which will help raise our commitment to Canadians.
PREP # 1
"As a new inspector with the Operations Branch, there is one thing I am thankful for and that is the creation of this PREP Core training course"
PREP # 2
"It is a rare opportunity to get away from our "offices" to meet such a diverse group, from coast to coast, different branches, programs and levels of experience, only to find so much common ground"
"If people who take PREP Core training leave with a similar feeling as I did, then this program will be a success and a force for the CFIA Culture Change"
PREP # 4
"But more than skills and knowledge, we have each gained colleagues, allies, friends, that span different provinces, cultures, ages and experiences. Those new-found relationships are invaluable resources that will hopefully remain intact for years to come."
PREP # 5
"I feel honoured to be working for an Agency that is willing to invest so much good into their employees and I truly look forward to going home and applying what we have learned here"
"The power of the network created here in PREP is one of the greatest assets we have in going from here and will be integral in supporting us in the challenges we'll face in the future and our jobs"
Sarah Chiang and Sara Agha
PREP # 8
"The best way to describe the purpose of PREP is to achieve uniformity and consistency in delivery of services to the Canadian public, and ensure that Courage, Rigour and Respect are at the core of all new inspectors"
Jane Noseworthy and Robert Sharkie
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