The Certified HACCP (Food Safety) Auditor is a professional who understands the standards and principles of auditing an HACCP-based (or process-safety) system. A HACCP (Food Safety) auditor uses various tools and techniques to examine, question, evaluate, and report on that system's adequacies and deficiencies. The HACCP (Food Safety) auditor analyzes all elements of the system and reports on how well it adheres to the criteria for management and control of process safety.
Please Note: The Certified HACCP Auditor (CHA) program will be renamed to Certified Food Safety and Quality Auditor (CFSQA) starting January 1st, 2020.
Here are the requirements, experience and exam specifics for a Certified HACCP (Food Safety) Auditor.
Candidates must have worked in a full-time, paid role. Paid intern, co-op or any other course work cannot be applied toward the work experience requirement.
Candidates must have five years of on-the-job experience in one or more of the areas of the Certified HACCP (Food Safety) Auditor Body of Knowledge, with at least one year in a decision-making position. "Decision-making" is defined as the authority to define, execute, or control projects/processes and to be responsible for the outcome. This may or may not include management or supervisory positions.
Candidates who have completed a degree from a college, university or technical school with accreditation accepted by ASQ will have part of the five-year experience requirement waived, as follows (only one of these waivers may be claimed):
Associate degree — one year waived
Bachelor’s degree — three years waived
Master’s or doctorate — four years waived
Degrees or diplomas from educational institutions outside the United States must be equivalent to degrees from U.S. educational institutions.
Here are the minimum expectations of a Certified HACCP (Food Safety) Auditor.
Will have a thorough understanding of the product safety aspects of HACCP and how HACCP relates to other risk management systems.
Will understand the primary benefit of HACCP.
Will be able to recognize the level of management commitment (vs. minimal compliance efforts) by analyzing how the program is deployed and by measuring its effectiveness.
Will be able to apply, assess, and implement operational and prerequisite programs that support the foundation of the HACCP system.
Will have a thorough understanding of management techniques as they relate to HACCP plan development, including assembling teams, flowcharting, etc.
Will have comprehensive knowledge of HACCP terminology and its seven principles.
Will be able to assess a HACCP plan, evaluate its effectiveness, and verify that it has been deployed, is being maintained, and is current.
Will be able to conduct different types of audits effectively in a professional, ethical, and objective manner using and interpreting applicable standards/requirements, with an awareness of potential legal and financial ramifications.
Will be able to plan, develop, communicate, and execute an audit effectively within a defined scope, including resource scheduling, conducting meetings necessary to the performance of the audit, and using appropriate auditing techniques.
Will be able to verify, document, and communicate audit results, develop an audit report, and evaluate the effectiveness of corrective action/follow-up.
Will have thorough knowledge of the interpersonal skills needed to resolve conflict, conduct interviews, and make presentations effectively, and will be able to work on teams as a participant, leader, and facilitator.
Will recognize how quality principles relate to business processes and be able to explain the importance of aligning the audit function to the organization.
Will be able to select and use a wide variety of quality and auditing tools and techniques in a variety of situations.
Body of Knowledge
The topics in this Body of Knowledge include the cognitive level at which the questions will be written and is designed to provide guidance for both the Exam Development Committee and the candidate preparing to take the exam. The descriptor in parentheses at the end of each entry refers to the maximum cognitive level at which the topic will be tested. A complete description of the various cognitive levels is provided at the end of the document.
Please Note: The Certified HACCP Auditor (CHA) Body of Knowledge was recently revised and starting in the January 2020 testing window, the program will be renamed to Certified Food Safety and Quality Auditor (CFSQA) and the new Body of Knowledge will be tested. Please read our Body of Knowledge Map that details the BoK revision process, and the differences between the 2012 CHA BoK and 2020 CFSQA BoK.
Download the Certified HACCP (Food Safety) Auditor Body of Knowledge
Each certification candidate is required to pass an examination that consists of multiple-choice questions that measure comprehension of the Body of Knowledge.
Computer Delivered - The CHA examination is a one-part, 145- multiple choice question, four-and-a-half-hour exam and is offered in English only. 135 multiple choice questions are scored and 10 are unscored.
Paper and Pencil - The CHA examination is a one-part, 135- multiple choice question, four-hour exam and is offered in English only.
All examinations are open book with the exception of the constructed response (essay) portion of the CMQ/OE exam. Each participant must bring his or her own reference materials. Use of reference materials and calculators is explained in the FAQs.
To maintain the integrity of your HACCP (Food Safety) Auditor certification, ASQ requires that you recertify every three years. Find out the steps you need to take for recertification.
ASQ certification examinations are delivered by ASQ's testing partner, Prometric. The examination scheduling instructions in your eligibility letter will direct you to a section of Prometric's website, where you can select and schedule your examination date and location.
September 6 - 22, 2019
November 1 - 17, 2019
October 4, 2019
January 3 - 19, 2020
December 6, 2019
The new 2020 CFSQA BoK will be tested in this window
March 6 - 22, 2020
February 7, 2020
Special Administration Exam Dates
**For a list of dates and locations of ASQ offered Permanent Special Administration sites (paper based exams) please click here.**