Yesterday I was at the local Jerk Chicken spot picking up some loaded fries – those are fries covered in nacho cheese, lettuce, cilantro, and jerk chicken. Yes, they are delicious! As I looked at the wall with the menu on it, I noticed a prominently displayed Certificate. It read “ServSafe” in large letters on the top and it had a big, blue button right in the center. That big, blue button said, “ANSI Accredited.” As I looked at that Certificate, I smiled and nodded to myself – even proudly. I am a part of the ecosystem of accreditation that put that Certificate with the blue button on the wall.
Blogs are not meant to be labor-intensive reading. So, I will spare you the technical specifics and mandatory what-nots about accreditation. What I will say is that nearly everything that you see with a badge of some sort – from “Certified Organic” to “UPC” has gone through an accreditation process based on a standard. Standards themselves are agreed-upon criteria documents created to serve the Stakeholders of a given industry. A group of qualified people gather to codify subject matter expertise and then gather feedback from everyone that this “codified subject matter expertise” matters to. Once this process is complete, the world has a standards document. With that document, the industry has a way to systematically measure and evaluate its activities. That was not labor-intensive reading, was it?!
Back to the Jerk Chicken spot (cue 60’s Batman scene change music) … Because that Certificate with the blue button is on the wall, I know that staff has successfully completed a Food Safety Certificate program. Furthermore, because I am a member of that ecosystem, I know that the program had to meet a Standard that was reviewed by expert Assessor(s) in the field. So, because I know that, I have a higher expectation for my food service experience. In that sense, when I see signage declaring “Certified Vegan” or “Non-GMO Verified”, I appreciate that the company has taken that extra step to put a measure of quality in place that allows me, and other customers, to feel more secure.
Sherard Jones has over 15 years of experience with IACET Accreditation in various roles and is committed to applying his expertise to support IACET in meeting its strategic goals. Sherard is currently a Lead Assessor for the ANSI-CAP program, has worked as Vice President of Education and Training for IAPMO, and was a past Chair of the IACET Commission. Sherard has 10+ years of experience in strategic program development and has partnered with clients having business needs varying from creating international workforce development programs to build capacity through training and credentialing — to creating and overseeing organizational restructuring plans.