April 2016

Government Chemist-run postgraduate training for food enforcement scientists receives RSC approval

After a rigorous assessment process the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), the professional body for chemical scientists, has granted ‘approved training course’ status to the annual postgraduate training organised and run by the Government Chemist Programme in LGC on behalf of the Association of Public Analysts Educational Trust. Detailed questionnaires and information on the course were appraised by Dr Andrea McGhee, Accreditation Development Specialist at the RSC, who also enlisted the help of external assessors to examine two years of course materials.

The annual week-long course is held at the University of Reading.  The course aims, in a two year cycle, to touch on most of the syllabus for the Mastership in Chemical Analysis (MChemA), the statutory qualification required to practice as a Public Analyst. Intensive and demanding, with 33 hours contact time, the course receives consistently excellent feedback from delegates.  Delegates enjoy lectures on a variety of topics ranging from food law to foreign body identification and value networking with fellow scientists in this small highly specialised profession. There are practical sessions on microscopy, microbiology and mycology. Delegates benefit from expert tuition by practicing MChemA holders, senior academics and practicing microbiologists as well as careful preparation by the University technical staff.

Michael Walker, the course organiser, said “The award of ‘approved training course’ status from a body as prestigious as the Royal Society of Chemistry is very gratifying and a tribute to the high calibre of the experts who teach on the course. I am grateful to the RSC for the care and rigour of their assessment that affirms we are doing our best for the enthusiastic postgraduate scientists training to protect the safety and integrity of food and feed”.

The MChemA is awarded by the Royal Society of Chemistry following a three part (A, B and C) series of examinations. Holders of an appropriate postgraduate qualification in analytical chemistry are exempt from Part A. For more details see the RSC website or email MchemA@rsc.org.