The Auburn University Food Systems Institute (AUFSI) has been accredited as an authorized provider by the International Association of Continuing Education and Training (IACET), the largest accrediting organization in the U.S. dedicated to standardizing Continuing Education credits.

“Any organization can award a CEU without requiring any accreditation, but that CEU might be virtually meaningless,” said Dr. Pat Curtis, AUFSI director. “IACET is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to create a standard that is recognized both in the United States and internationally.”

ANSI is the U.S. standards and conformity assessment organization that oversees the creation, distribution and use of thousands of norms and guidelines. ANSI is the U.S. representation of the International Organization for Standards (ISO) and is a founding member of the International Accreditation Forum.

The ANSI/IACET accreditation follows a lengthy process of self-study, research and preparation of guidelines and procedures. AUFSI will now be able to offer IACET Continuing Education Units for its Virtual Food Systems Training Consortium (VFSTC) courses, which are designed for inspectors of foods regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These online, on-demand courses help state and county departments of health save money by avoiding travel costs for inspectors to attend face-to-face training that might be available only once a year or less.

The VFSTC is made up of subject matter experts from Auburn University, Purdue University, North Carolina State University, the University of Memphis, and Fifth Column Games. The consortium advisory board consists of food regulatory officials at the state and county levels from Alabama, North Carolina, Indiana and Kentucky as well as FDA officials.

Courses are available on topics such as sanitation; basic food microbiology; the bacteria Listeria, Salmonella and Vibrio; specialty eggs; and oral communications for inspectors. New courses are added regularly. A listing is available here.

Credits will also now be available for other courses available through Auburn University, including Good Agricultural Practices classes; Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points training for eggs, poultry and seafood; and Certification for Aquaculture Professionals (CAP).

IACET aims to advance the global workforce by providing a framework for quality learning and development through a standardized program of accreditation. IACET benefits organizations like AUFSI by helping them continuously improve their education tools and ultimately provide a superior learning experience.