Regulatory food safety auditing for auditors

Regulatory food safety auditors are approved by the Department of Health to undertake Food Act 2008 (Food Act) regulatory food safety audits of food businesses involved in food service to vulnerable persons, and dairy primary production, collection, transportation, and processing.

These food businesses are required by the Food Safety Standards (Chapter 3 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code) to implement a documented food safety program.

Duties of regulatory food safety auditors

Duties of regulatory food safety auditors include:

  • Conduct audits (within their scope of approval) of food safety programs required by the Food Safety Standards,
  • Conduct follow-up action, including further audits, as necessary to determine if action has been taken to remedy any deficiencies in a food safety program as identified during an audit,
  • Conduct assessments of food businesses to ascertain their compliance with the requirements of the Food Safety Standards, 
  • Submit audit reports prepared in accordance with section 102 of the Food Act to the enforcement agency, with a copy provided to the proprietor of the food business. 

Information on the criteria and process of becoming an approved regulatory food safety auditor, including applying for renewal and additional competencies is detailed in Food Safety Auditing – Guideline for Regulatory Food Safety Auditors (on the Approval Process) (PDF 425 KB)

The criteria for approval include:

  • Certification of audit knowledge competencies
  • Possession of appropriate educational and technical qualifications
  • Competencies for auditing high risk activities and complex processes
  • Commitment to adhere to the Code of Conduct (PDF 288 KB)
  • Pre-approval of additional provisions
  • Skills and knowledge regarding WA’s food regulatory system
  • Satisfactory completion of a witness audit.

A regulatory food safety auditor approval is valid for four years unless cancelled or suspended. If you are an approved regulatory food safety auditor wishing to renew your approval you must apply to the Department of Health prior to your expiration date.

Regulatory food safety auditors may only conduct audits within their scope of approval. Certain specialised high-risk activities require additional competencies including cook chill and heat treatment processes. If you wish to add an additional competency to the scope of your approval you must apply to the Department of Health. 

Applications for approval, renewal or additional competencies must be submitted to the Department of Health using the Application for Approval/Renewal/Additional Competency as a Regulatory Food Safety Auditor) (PDF 469 KB)

Automatic Mutual Recognition

Western Australia entered the Automatic Mutual Recognition (AMR) scheme on 1 July 2022.
Any RFSA eligible to work in WA under the new AMR scheme must notify the Department of Health by completing the Automatic Mutual Recognition Notification Form (PDF 997KB) prior to commencing work in WA. In addition:-

  • RFSAs must hold a licence or approval in their home state.
  • The scope of work in WA is limited to the scope of work in the RFSAs home jurisdiction
  • You must also comply with the WA Food Act 2008 and WA Code of Conduct

Please note if your home jurisdiction licence or approval expires, then AMR in WA no longer applies.

RFSAs can find out more information about automatic mutual recognition by visiting Improving occupational mobility | Deregulation (External site) or contact the Food Team at Department of Health to confirm eligibility.

If you home is outside WA, and you hold a current regulatory food safety auditor's approval and you wish to work in WA, then working via AMR is potentially available only to residents of:

  • Northern Territory
  • Australian Capital Territory
  • Victoria

What happens if I am subject to disciplinary, civil, or criminal actions in relation to the activity authorised by my approval/licence?

Non-compliance against state or territory laws or licence/approval conditions from a home jurisdiction licence/approval can lead to suspension or cancellation of the person's right to work in the second jurisdiction.


List of regulatory food safety auditors

Once approved, regulatory food safety auditor’s details including scope of approval and expiry date will be published in the Department of Health list of approved regulatory food safety auditors.

Responsibilities and reporting requirements

Information on the responsibilities and duties of regulatory food safety auditors is detailed in the Guideline for Regulatory Food Safety Auditors (on the Reporting Requirements) (PDF 526 KB) (the Guideline).

It is important that regulatory food safety auditors are familiar with the guideline document and carry out their duties as specified. Regulatory food safety auditors must adhere to the Code of Conduct (PDF 288 KB), and conduct themselves with integrity, professionalism, and be accountable for the audits they perform. 

The Management System for Regulatory Food Safety Auditing (PDF 336 KB) is the overarching document that describes the system used by the Department of Health to manage regulatory food safety auditing under Part 8 of the Food Act. 

Audit reports

Regulatory food safety audits must be reported, in accordance with the above Guideline, using the following approved forms:

Food Act 2008 Regulatory Food Safety Audit Report section 102 Approved Form (Word 32 KB)

Food Act 2008 Regulatory Food Safety Audit Report section 102(5) Approved Form: Notification of Critical Non-Compliance (Word 26 KB)

Regulatory food safety auditors will determine the audit frequency of the food business in accordance with the WA Priority Classification System (PDF 73 KB) which will be reviewed by the appropriate enforcement agency.

Last reviewed: 18-06-2021
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Public Health