Consultancy & Training

Prevention, planning and execution are essential to a “successful” product recall or crisis.  Leading insurance providers subscribe to this philosophy and offer their insured a percent credit of the net premium that may be used towards Crisis Management services and consultancy provided by RQA, Inc.  RQA offers a comprehensive range of risk mitigation and recall response services.

Industries Served

Food and Beverage/Consumer Products

3rd Party Audits & Consultation

The RQA Food Safety and Quality System (FSQS) Audit is designed to provide a thorough evaluation of facilities that manufacture, process, package, or hold food products.

A hazard-based assessment performed to determine the risk of malicious product tampering and related extortion.

Foreign material Audits are site and identity-specific, related to the materials in question.

The RQA Fresh Produce Audit is designed to provide a thorough evaluation of facilities that manufacture, process, package, or hold fresh produce.

The RQA Vendor GMP/HACCP Audit is designed to provide an overview GMP/HACCP evaluation of facilities that manufacture raw material components.

The RQA Agriculture inspection form is designed to provide a thorough assessment of sites that grow, process, package or hold raw agriculture produce.

The RQA Product Safety and Quality System (PSQS) Audit is designed to provide a thorough evaluation of facilities that manufacture, process, package, or hold consumer goods.

The RQA Warehouses and Distribution Centers Audit is designed to provide a thorough evaluation of facilities that package or hold food and/or non-food products.

The RQA Packaging Material Facility Audit is designed to provide a thorough evaluation of facilities that manufacture packaging material components. The evaluation encompasses both primary (food contact) and secondary (non-food contact) materials.

The RQA Home Care Products Audit is designed to provide a thorough evaluation of facilities that manufacture, process, package, or hold home care products.

The RQA Health, Beauty and Personal Care Products Audit is designed to provide a thorough evaluation of facilities that manufacture, process, package, or hold personal care products.

Risk Assessments

RQA, Inc. provides risk assessments of quality system management programs of food and non-food operations. Q-View “Desktop” review of submitted documentation is scored and benchmarked against recognized standards.

The RQA Q-View On-Site Audit is designed to provide a thorough quality system management processes and programs evaluation of facilities that manufacture, process, package, or hold food and non-food products.

Two phased process that includes a vendor completed questionnaire that is scored and a desk top audit of key areas or documents determined by the Client resulting in an overall score and risk rating for each vendor.

Training/Program Development

Half day of training to include building a food defense plan, based on a fictitious plant.

RQA consultants will help the teams conduct Vulnerability Assessments and develop corporate and site-specific food defense plans.

RQA, Inc. can provide and structure training programs and program development assistance for clients seeking BRC, SQF or ISO 22000 certification.

An RQA consultant can provide HACCP program development, program implementation, verification audits and risk assessment support.

RQA offers online/web-based training programs, so clients may receive valuable training without leaving their offices. The modules include mini-tests for participants that helps them determine their level of understanding of each of the module’s key points.

Consumer Complaint Investigation Consulting/Training

This includes an assessment of the client’s current processes and procedures for handling consumer complaints accomplished through key personnel interviews and demonstration of the client’s systems.

RQA consultants will test Consumer Affairs/Call Center processes and procedures through an interactive simulation that evaluates client’s ability to appropriately escalate and resolve issues.

This on-site training is designed to educate and identify areas of improvement for Consumer Affairs managers, supervisors, and front line Consumer Affairs personnel to effectively identify and investigate consumer complaints.

Recall/Crisis Management Training/Development

The Client’s existing recall plan and/or crisis management plan and procedures will be reviewed by an RQA Recall Consultant who will provide a written report detailing strengths and specific recommendations for improvement.

If a company has not yet prepared a recall plan or needs significant re-drafting/re-development of its recall plan, an RQA Consultant will develop and prepare a new recall plan that documents the Client’s corporate and/or business unit recall policies and procedures.

An interactive Recall Simulation with the Client’s recall team members and other key personnel, customized to the Client’s recall plan and product line, will be performed at a location selected by the Client. A Recall Simulation provides valuable employee training, while testing overall preparedness and effectiveness of the Client’s people, processes and systems.

An RQA Recall Consultant will perform an on-site visit to one or more Client sites to interview key personnel involved in the Client’s recall process. The RQA Consultant will assess recall-specific procedures and systems in order to evaluate how Client’s existing recall procedures appear to work in theory.

If a company has not yet prepared a crisis management plan or needs significant optimization of its crisis management plan, an RQA Consultant will develop and prepare a new crisis management plan that documents the Client’s corporate and/or business unit crisis management policies and procedures where a sudden crisis would cause mild to severe business interruptions and damage.

As part of recall readiness, RQA offers training courses at the Client’s location that are designed to be informative, practical and interactive by using case studies and group exercises to illustrate important information and provide a venue to practice solving typical recall scenarios.

Crisis Response Services

Crisis management response 24/7/365. In the event of a crisis, product contamination, or other recallable event, our consultants can work collaboratively on-site to help processors, manufacturers, and retailers pinpoint the source of the issue, contamination and outbreaks. RQA also has access to several specific testing and analytical methods through its Food Forensics department.

RQA’s services are targeted to provide the fastest possible recall or withdrawal capabilities, minimizing consumer risk and business interruption. An experienced management team directs an extensive field force of industry professionals. In the event of a recall, product withdrawal or effectiveness checks, the insured will have priority access to these services.

When a manufacturer receives a consumer complaint, the speed of retrieval and professionalism in the field are key factors in minimizing risk and liability. RQA’s professional network can retrieve product quickly and efficiently, contacting the consumer within 24 hours of the complaints and scheduling the pick-up at the consumer’s convenience. RQA can go to the store where the complaint product was purchased and perform an audit of products on shelf and store conditions. This store check can provide evidence for complaint verification. Samples may be forwarded to RQA Food Forensics (TM) which brings together three industry leaders to provide the best in consumer complaint retrieval, expert triage and product contamination identification services.

Foodservice and Hospitality

Pre-incident Services

A comprehensive evaluation of the flow of food from receipt through service, based on local regulatory code requirements and best practice HACCP based risk assessment.

An in-depth evaluation based on FDA’s Food Defense Guidelines to identify and reduce the risk of malicious product contamination.

Customized Standard Operating and Sanitation Procedures based on local regulatory code requirements and HACCP based best practices.

HACCP certified staff support overall program needs, including initial risk assessment, recipe HACCP, training and verification audits.

Training and certification for the NRA’s SERVSAFE® Food Protection Manager Certification Course, NSF’s HACCP Manager Certification, various State certifications and customized Fundamentals of Food Safety in multiple languages.

Food safety based review and recommendations for new facilities, the renovation of existing facilities, the analysis of equipment needs, and pre-plan review.

Food/Safe™ Plan

A review of policies and procedures submitted by the current or potential Insured Company.

An on-site, risk-based assessment at an agreed upon number of sites to assess compliance with both the Company’s procedures and safe food handling practices in daily operations.

Pharmaceutical and OTC Drug

Review recall plans and procedures to verify compliance with GMPs and FDA recall policies. Determine level of risk to consumers and probability of product recall.

Lead and facilitate a Recall Simulation in a training environment. Provide guidance to simulation participants and assess effectiveness of training to determine a company’s level of risk to consumers.

Review and assess quality system management programs to verify adherence to GMPs and a state of control that facilitates consistent production of safe and efficacious product, facilitates change control for continuous improvement, facilitates harmonization with other systems and facilitates the adoption of risk management.

Review and assess processes and systems including manufacturing, quality, purchasing, maintenance, distribution and tracing the use of raw materials, solvents, excipients, packaging and labeling materials to determine level of risk to consumers and to ensure compliance with GMPs and FDA recall policies.

Facilitate and deliver training programs which will allow companies to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their systems, improve process quality and identify best practices. • GMP training • Internal Auditing • Vendor Certification

Conduct on-site gap analysis to assess systems control and physical condition of facility to determine level of risk to consumers and potential recall possibilities. Review controlled documents for quality, manufacturing, maintenance, purchasing and distribution to verify adherence to facility SOPs and GMPs, comparing SOP criteria to completed documents. Ensure any discrepancies are noted for processes, documentation and safety that may pose risks to consumers.


Evaluate ways in which insured designs products and evaluates their customer’s requirements and any NHTSA requirements.

Evaluate how insured develops and disseminates safety information in packaging, on product labels and instructions. Includes evaluation of company website.

The Crisis Management Review includes analysis of company’s knowledge of legal requirements and their preparedness to analyze potential violations and make decisions on what to do about it. Includes NHTSA requirements and common law requirements.

RQA analyzes company’s process for learning about product problems and how they follow up and investigate. Then, what do they do to evaluate any responsibilities they have to report to NHTSA or to report to an OEM.

RQA analyzes any OEM requirements for recall preparedness and plans and determine if company’s plan meets those requirements and guidelines provided by NHTSA for recalls.

RQA develops recall plans that incorporate any OEM requirements and best practices for recall preparedness including requirements and guidelines provided by NHTSA for recalls.

Evaluate the adequacy of the recall and how to document actions so as to be able to defend company in any future product liability case or any inquiry from NHTSA or the OEM on recall adequacy.

Evaluate contracting procedures for both purchases and sales of products to determine risk and whether any risk spreading or avoidance can be improved through the contracting process.

Evaluate ways in which suppliers are evaluated and selected and monitored and ways in which suppliers can help control and minimize risk.

Evaluate compliance with NHTSA requirements and common law requirements for effectiveness and also ensure that company’s actions are adequately documented.

Seminars, workshops or simulations concerning any of these topics can be conducted.

RQA can offer consultancy services regarding NHTSA and Transport Canada standards.

How can we help you?

If you develop, manufacture or distribute consumer products anywhere in the world today, you need to talk to RQA.

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