Your 2022 Training & Compliance Checklist

Jan 26, 2022

As a retailer during a pandemic, your list of to-dos is probably longer than ever, making it easy to push those non-urgent items further and further down until they seemingly fall off the list. But with January almost over, it's time to double check your employee training and compliance status. 

"We know it's hard to stay on top of trainings with everything going on right now in the grocery industry," says IGA Coca-Cola Institute President and CEO Dr. Paulo Goelzer. "That's why the Institute makes courses available online—so your associates can watch them when it's convenient in a format that makes it easy to understand and retain the information."

In addition to being online, the Institute's courses are now split up into shorter, more digestible videos to make it easy for your team to fit these courses in between all the other tasks they're juggling, according to Learning Solutions Director Ana Velázquez. "By splitting courses, the list of recommended courses might look bigger but they're designed not to overwhelm."

Independent Grocers Alliance members receive access to required training classes from the IGA Coca-Cola Institute for free, so add these trainings to your 2022 checklist. "Since required training varies depending on the job or department and often by state, contact us if you have questions about what is required for your store or if need to revamp your training program," Velázquez advises. In the meantime, she recommends these five courses for each grocery store employee, regardless of role or location, to stay in compliance with state and federal guidelines.

  1. Food Safety and Sanitation Basics 
  2. 2022 OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens
  3. 2022 OSHA Hazard Communication Standards
  4. 2022 Sexual Harassment—Employees 
  5. 2022 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Training 

Velázquez and the Institute team recommend the below list of courses to help you and your team stay up-to-date on sanitation and safety standards and government programs affecting the grocery industry today. We've organized the lists by category, with those in bold highly recommended, and provided course descriptions below each list. 

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Sanitation
  • Food Safety and Sanitation Basics 
  • 2022 OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens
  • 2022 OSHA Hazard Communication Standards
  • On the Shelf: A Grocer’s Guide to Food Allergens
  • Handwashing 
  • Cleaning and Sanitizing—High Touch Surfaces

Food Safety and Sanitation Basics (60 minutes)

Public health has seen vast improvements in recent years, but nevertheless, there are still cases of food-borne illness that can result in hospitalization, or even death.

As a representative of the food retail industry, a grocery employee may be one of the last people to handle a consumer's food before it reaches their home. For this reason, it is vital that they ensure the store is sanitized and the food sold is safe for consumers to eat.

Students will learn to:

  • Identify temperature requirements for food
  • Identify ways to keep equipment free of food contamination
  • Select good hygiene practices to follow when working with food
  • Identify the different federal regulated food inspected symbols

2022 OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens (30 minutes)

Accidents can happen in the workplace and it’s important to be prepared. This class will teach students:

  • What are bloodborne pathogens (BBPs) and how they are transmitted
  • Common types of BBPs and treatment options
  • How to protect against BBPs
  • Clean up, disinfection, and disposal procedures for contaminated areas 

2022 OSHA Hazard Communication Standards (60 minutes)

OSHA Hazard Communication System (HCS) now includes the criteria and provisions listed in the United Nations Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals, known as GHS.

The modifications to HCS affect the labeling of hazardous materials as well as the safety data sheets that accompany these products. Food retail associates must be familiar with these formats when they see them on hazardous products in the workplace.

Students will learn how to:

  • Identify GHS label components
  • Identify SDS format guidelines
  • Determine the section location of information within the SDS

On the Shelf: A Grocer’s Guide to Food Allergens (10 minutes) 

This course from FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) will teach you the basics about food allergens and how to read a food label to aid customers with food allergies or other dietary restrictions. 

Handwashing (3 minutes) 

Hand washing is especially important during the pandemic. Scrubbing your hands for just 20 seconds can prevent the spread of infectious diseases. In this course, students will learn when and how to wash their hands to stay healthy and prevent the spread of germs.

Cleaning and Sanitizing—High Touch Surfaces (5 minutes)

Food retailers play a critical role in protecting public health during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Stores must maintain a clean and sanitary facility to ensure the health and well-being of all customers and employees. Cleaning and sanitation procedures for frequently touched surfaces can help protect customers and employees. 

Safety
  • 2022 Active Shooter Awareness
  • OSHA Lockout-Tagout 
  • Knife Safety 
  • Store Safety—Cleanliness and Sanitation 
  • Store Safety—Floor Monitoring 
  • Ladder Safety–Stepladders
  • Ladder Safety—Mobile Ladder Stands & Platforms 
  • Crisis Preparedness
  • Covid—Conflict Resolution 
  • Ransomware 1—What is Ransomware?
  • Ransomware 2—Examples of Ransomware 
  • 2022 Sexual Harassment—Employees 
  • 2022 Sexual Harassment—Supervisors
  • Diversity And Inclusion 

2022 Active Shooter Awareness (6 minutes) 

Using a grant funded by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and produced by the Mayor of Houston's Office of Public Safety along with DHS, this class prepares associates for an active shooter event.

The methodologies presented in the class recap best practices for surviving an active shooter event as recommended by local law enforcement. All individuals must use their own discretion during an active shooter event. Disclaimer: The video in this class contains gun violence that some viewers may find disturbing.

OSHA Lockout-Tagout (15 minutes)

This course trains associates on Lock Out/Tag Out procedures. Learn which devices are lock out, which use a lock and key to secure it in an off or safe position, and which are tag out, which use tags to communicate when they are in use. Students will also learn how to safely manage equipment powered by electrical plugs, hardwire, alternative energy sources (air hose, gas or water pipes, etc.).

Knife Safety (20 minutes)

Knives are used often in numerous departments of your grocery store. Knives are useful tools for preparing food, but they can also be dangerous. Arming yourself with knife safety tips and knowledge will educate you on knife safety and increase your confidence while working. This will in turn decrease the chances of accidental injury. In this course you will learn some basics about knife safety, which knives are appropriate for different tasks, cleaning and sanitation.

Store Safety—Cleanliness and Sanitation (15 minutes) 

Day-to-day upkeep and maintenance is a leading contributor to a safe and healthy store. This course will cover general housekeeping, cleaning, and garbage procedures that contribute to the overall safety of the store.

Store Safety—Floor Monitoring (10 minutes) 

The majority of store accidents (and lawsuits) are caused by customers and/or associates slipping on wet floors, tripping over uneven walkways or falling over items left on the sales floor. This course will identify those potential accidents and how to prevent them.

Ladder Safety–Stepladders (14 minutes) & Mobile Ladder Stands & Platforms (15 minutes) 

These two courses outline safe ladder practices, including safe use, care of, and selection of ladders.

Crisis Preparedness (5 minutes) 

According to the Food Industry Association (FMI), each of the intervention approaches presented in this course requires strategic planning, communication, and flexibility to ensure effective response. To achieve maximum benefit, develop and implement a strategy to encourage beneficial personal protective measures, environmental protective measures, and community distancing measures.

COVID—Conflict Resolution (9 minutes)

As newer, more contagious variants of COVID-19 emerge, Americans' emotions and fears are at new peaks, leading to an increase in public confrontations. With changing store policies, differing political views, and overall frustration of the ongoing pandemic, it’s difficult for many people to be their best right now, especially at the one place they’re all visiting—the grocery store. Learn techniques for de-escalating common conflicts in this course.

Ransomware 1—What is Ransomware? (7 minutes) & Ransomware 2—Examples of Ransomware (13 minutes) 

Today's crime involves things we do every day, like opening emails, answering phone calls, or logging on to social media platforms. Worst of all, digital crime is increasingly targeting honest, hardworking independent grocers through ransomware, which means one simple mistake, and your POS system or other important data could be held hostage for a mind-boggling ransom.

These two courses will cover the basics, examples, and ways to avoid ransomware within your organization.

2022 Sexual Harassment—Employees (60 minutes) 

Awareness of sexual harassment in the workplace has increased rapidly in recent years, and retailers must communicate to every associate that sexual harassment will not be tolerated within their stores. This is accomplished by implementing a sexual harassment program that ensures all associates understand and comply with the standards of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

In this course, employees will learn:

  • Facts and characteristics of sexual harassment
  • Different types of sexual harassment
  • What to do if they find themselves in a sexual harassment situation
  • Identify physical and psychological effects of sexual harassment

2022 Sexual Harassment—Supervisors (45 minutes)

A prompt and effective response to a complaint can limit or entirely eliminate an employer’s liability in a discrimination, harassment, or retaliation lawsuit. It is imperative that employers implement an effective mechanism to investigate and resolve workplace complaints.

Students will learn:

  • How to investigate a sexual harassment claim
  • How to educate employees about sexual harassment
  • What should be included in a sexual harassment policy

Diversity And Inclusion (15 minutes) 

Diversity and inclusion entail more than just rules, initiatives, and staff numbers. Ethical employers exceed their competition by valuing each team member's individual needs, views, and capabilities. In this course, we discuss how diversity and inclusion overlap with discrimination and what employers can do to promote diversity and inclusion in a greater effort to prevent discrimination.

Government Programs
  • 2022 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Training
  • Cashier—WIC Overview 1: About the Program
  • Cashier—WIC Overview 2: Participant Benefits
  • Cashier—WIC Overview 3: Within Your Store
  • Cashier—WIC Overview: EBT Process at Start
  • Cashier—WIC Overview: EBT Process at End
  • Cashier—Alcohol Sales Compliance
  • Cashier—Tobacco Sales Compliance

2022 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Training (30 minutes) 

SNAP retailers are legally responsible for their actions and the actions of everyone who works in the store, whether they are paid or not. When retailers apply to accept SNAP benefits, they agreed to fulfill certain training expectations. The materials provided in this course, which includes a guide that answers common SNAP questions and videos on SNAP guidelines, transactions and payment, and information for cashiers, will help retailers and associates fulfill those expectations.

Cashier—WIC Overview

WIC is a special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children. In this course, we’ll introduce you to the WIC program. You’ll learn who benefits from the program and what made them eligible to participate. You’ll also be introduced to the program’s structure, and, most specifically, the types of foods it provides. 

This 3-part series is made up of the following courses, all highly recommended:

  • Cashier—WIC Overview 1: About the Program (9 minutes)
  • Cashier—WIC Overview 2: Participant Benefits (10 minutes)
  • Cashier—WIC Overview 3: Within Your Store (9 minutes) 

Cashier—WIC Overview: EBT Process

The WIC EBT card is an electronic benefits card, issued to participants, for purchasing WIC foods. As a cashier, you must be familiar with your store’s procedure for completing a transaction with a WIC EBT card. Since this process varies from store to store, you’ll guide your customers through the process.

This 2-part series will introduce you to WIC EBT cards. You’ll also learn how to process a WIC transaction with an EBT card, required at the start of the transaction. Both parts are highly recommended.

  • Cashier—WIC Overview: EBT Process at Start (13 minutes)
  • Cashier—WIC Overview: EBT Process at End (13 minutes)

Cashier—WIC Overview: WIC Checks (21 minutes) 

This course will introduce you to WIC checks as well as the regulations that must be observed when completing a transaction with a WIC check. 

Cashier—Alcohol Sales Compliance (180 minutes) 

This course is designed for food retailers who sell alcohol. Alcohol sales are strictly regulated, so associates will occasionally have to refuse a sale to a minor or a person who is intoxicated. Additionally, this course classifies legal forms of identification and discusses what to do with fake IDs.

Cashier—Tobacco Sales Compliance (105 minutes) 

Tobacco products are addictive and have many serious and detrimental effects on health. For this reason, the sale of tobacco products is strictly regulated, and there are laws prohibiting tobacco sales to minors. Tobacco sales associates have a responsibility to understand the consequences of tobacco use, so they can better implement tobacco laws. Ensure that your store stays in compliance by checking identification and, if necessary, refusing a tobacco sale.

Paid Certifications

In addition to the above list, Velázquez recommends the below paid certifications to any associates who might need them, which are discounted for Institute users. (Please note that pricing may vary by location for all courses.)

  • Food Handler Compliance (SFS Certification)—$7.50 USD
  • Alcohol Server Compliance (SFS Certification)—$11.40 USD 
  • Food Allergen Compliance (SFS Certification)—$8 USD
  • Food Manager Exam (SFS Certification)—Pricing varies by location
Pro Tip: Create Learning Plans

The best way to ensure associates complete their required and recommended trainings is through a learning plan. In fact, Velázquez encourages retailers and managers to create a plan for each department. “Retailers should review the course catalog to choose the courses they want their employees to take, then set deadlines for their employees to complete those courses,” she says. “An easy and common deadline is just before annual performance reviews.” By creating a learning plan for each department, retailers set clear goals for employees and provide a path to professional development.

Each learning plan should include: 

  • A list of required courses for the department and/or position
  • Length of each course
  • Due date for completion of each course
  • Space to indicate when the course is completed
  • Assigned coach or mentor for the individual employee to use as a resource for questions or guidance

"We have templates available in the Resource Center that can be tailored to each store's needs," says Velázquez. From front-end and receiving to bakery and deli, there are suggested course lists for all departments, which can be found under "Marketing Materials."

Velázquez recommends allowing employees to choose a few courses that are of interest to them outside of the required topics and add those to their individual learning plans. Find the course catalog here and work with your managers and HR departments to create a learning plan for each department if your store doesn't already have one. 

She also recommends administrators and retailers sign up for the Institute's quarterly newsletters to learn of new courses, courses to be retired, and more. “Once people finish their training, they don’t revisit it enough,” Velázquez says. “So they should sign up for the newsletter to find out what’s new—for courses and marketing materials."

The IGA Coca-Cola Institute is standing by with the resources retailers need to stay on top of 2022 required and recommended trainings. To ensure employees are up to date with the basics of their job—and therefore well-trained, confident, and prepared for any unexpected changes the year ahead may bring—create a learning plan for each department with these courses, allow associates to choose a few additional courses of interest, and leverage the resources available to promote trainings and career development.

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