Saeid Alaghbandrad, based in Canada, was the first ever person to complete the BRCGS Professional programme and graduate as globally-recognised BRCGS Professional. That was back in 2017 and now five years later, as we celebrate our 500th BRCGS Professional graduate, we spoke to Saeid about the longer term benefits of being part of the programme.

What training courses did you take to complete the BRCGS Professional programme back in 2017?
The training courses I attended to complete the programme components were BRCGS Global Standard for Food Safety Issue 7, HACCP, Internal Auditor, Root Cause Analysis, and Risk Assessment.

How does it feel to be the first officially recognised Professional graduate now that the scheme is celebrating 500 graduations?
It feels absolutely amazing to be the first BRCGS Professional in the world! There aren’t words to describe the feeling. It was a very proud moment for me in my career and until this day, I pride myself in saying that I was the first BRCGS Professional.

How have you used to be a BRCGS Professional to enhance your career?
Through being a BRCGS Professional or should I say, the first BRCGS Professional, I’ve gained more acceptance in the Food Industry as a leader and I was able to enhance my career to a higher level in the company that I work for. At the time of receiving the designation, I was a Quality Food Safety Manager and I’ve since been promoted to the role of a QA Director for Food Safety & Quality, Supplier Approval, Customer Care. Through being a Professional, I’ve also guided my colleagues to ensure food safety and quality is always the number one priority in my workplace, thus reducing the number of customer complaints we receive and ensuring our customers satisfaction.

What part of belonging to the BRCGS Professional community have you enjoyed the most?
I have really enjoyed working alongside my fellow BRCGS Professionals to make the standards of food safety the best across the world. I also enjoy the recognition of my achievement across the world in the Food Industry.

What has been the highlight of your BRCGS Professional journey?
The highlight for me has been being able to guide my team to achieve this international recognition themselves as I see it as something crucial for the Food Industry as a whole. Through the initial training courses and since, through my Professional Progress Points (PPP) activities, I have definitely enhanced my knowledge in maintaining food safety and quality.

What advice would you have for anyone looking to join the BRCGS Professional programme?
My advice is simple… GO FOR IT! I’ve enjoyed career growth and recognition, and it has helped me in performing my job to the best of my ability. I’ve also seen my colleagues and team members benefitting in the same way since graduating the programme.

Find out more about BRCGS Professional Programme here.