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Michigans's VNRFRPS Cooperative Agreement for a Learning Management System Develop

Besey, Kevin
State of Michigan Department of Agriculture
Start date
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The referenced funding opportunity announcement focuses on efforts to advance the nationally integrated food safety system by assisting retail food regulatory programs to achieve conformance with the Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards by developing, implementing, and improving the infrastructure necessary to support conformance with the VNRFRPS. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development's (MDARD) experience as an enrollee in the VNRFRPS gives us a clear understanding of how the standards focus your food safety program on the reduction of risk factors and the issues surrounding the implementation of an active managerial control program within the retail food sector. MDARD's proposal would support the development of that infrastructure by developing and implementing a Learning Management System (LMS). It would offer a tool for agencies to use in meeting the requirements outlined in the VNRFRPS specifically Standard 2, Training. This is MDARD's first plan to resolve this issue and MDARD's proposal builds upon our current work with our 45 LHDs during the accreditation and standardization processes. During these processes both MDARD and the LHD have identified that the lack of an effective LMS for tracking and documenting an individual's training as a problem. This creates an issue for MDARD and LHD in assuring that all staff who are delivering food safety inspections are fully trained and maintaining their continuing education requirements as needed. In order for a LHD to meet the requirements of the VNRFRPs they must be able to demonstrate that they have a fully trained inspection staff current on their training requirements and that any new staff hired also meet the requirements for training. Even small agencies staffed with two or fewer inspectors have experienced difficulties, resulting in reluctance to enroll in VNRFRPS. MDARD will develop the LMS through a consensus process with our LHD and other partners. MDARD's long track record of consensus building with the LHD and other state and federal agencies will help us to develop requirements, implement, and train staff to use a LMS system. A comprehensive LMS would enable any food safety agency to successfully document training and remove a roadblock for enrollment in the VNRFRPS, resulting in the delivery of a complete food safety program to their constituents. MDARD and LHD successful implementation of a LMS can be used as a model for a variety of food safety agencies at various governmental levels; local, regional, tribal, and state. MDARD believes that the use of a LMS will become a best practice and we will support this concept and project nationally. Michigan has been an active member of a variety of partnerships, initiatives and associations on the local, state, regional and national level. Michigan's participation and continued work with those organizations will help to ensure that this project will align with and support the goal of a fully integrated food safety system.

Funding Source
Food and Drug Administration
Project source
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Project number
Natural Toxins
Viruses and Prions
Bacterial Pathogens
Chemical Contaminants