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Review of the Food Law Code of Practice, Food Law Practice Guidance and implementation of the Competency Framework - Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland specific
Consultation seeking stakeholders’ views on proposals to amend the Food Law Code of Practice (the Code) and Food Law Practice Guidance (the Practice Guidance), in Northern Ireland, and implement the FSA Knowledge and skills for the effective delivery of official food and feed controls and other activities (Competency Framework).

Comments and views are required by 10 December 2020.

Who will this consultation be of most interest to?

District Councils (DCs), Food Standards Agency (FSA) approved assurance schemes, private sector assurance bodies, professional awarding bodies and FSA delivery partners will also have an interest. Trade Unions and expert groups may also have an interest.

About this consultation

A review of the Code and Practice Guidance, and implementation of the FSA Knowledge and skills for the effective delivery of official food and feed controls and other activities (Competency Framework). The consultation has been prepared in coordination with England. The changes to the England Code, and the Practice Guidance are subject to a separate but similar consultation. 

The Code sets out instructions and criteria to which DCs in Northern Ireland must have regard for when discharging their duties in relation to the delivery of official food control activities. The FSA is required to consult on amendments to the Code prior to implementation. The Code requires regular review and revision to ensure that it reflects current priorities, policy, and legislative requirements so that DC delivery of food control activities remain effective, consistent, and proportionate. 

Purpose of consultation

To seek stakeholder views on proposals to update the Code and the Practice Guidance. The main proposals include:

  • modernisation of the baseline knowledge, skills, and experience requirements to enable a wider cohort of DC professionals to undertake official food controls and other official activities, which the current Code restricts
  • replacing existing competency requirements with the Competency Framework, which defines competency by activity rather than by role
  • introducing a provision to enable the FSA to be more responsive in issuing instructions, whereby DCs may legitimately depart from the Code, in limited circumstances
  • updating the Code to reflect the Official Control Regulation (EU) 2017/625, and EU exit implications, where the negotiated position is known

Consultation Pack

For the purposes of meeting accessibility requirements, we have produced accessible versions of the Code of Practice and the Practice Guidance for use with a screen reader.

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland

How to respond

Please send any comments and views to:

Julie Telford
Local Authority and Policy Delivery Team
Email: CodeReviewResponses@food.gov.uk   

Comments and views are required by midnight on Thursday 10 December 2020.

Publication of response summary

Within three months of a consultation ending we aim to publish a summary of responses received and provide a link to it from this page.

You can find information on how we handle data provided in response to consultations in our Consultations privacy notice.

Further information

This consultation has been prepared in accordance with HM Government Consultation Principles. If an Impact Assessment has been produced, this is included in the consultation documents. If no Impact Assessment has been provided, the reason will be given in the consultation document.