Becoming a recognised agency or person

You need to be a recognised person or agency to verify or evaluate businesses subject to food control plans and national programmes. Find out what you need to do to become a recognised agency or person under the Food Act.

Why you need to be recognised

Checking that a business complies with the law is a regulatory role. Private agencies and councils do this role on behalf of MPI. The recognition process allows us to check that they meet the same standards that we would apply if we were doing the checks. For national programme verification, we've developed a fast-track recognition process.

Who needs to become recognised?

Local councils are automatically recognised to verify template food control plans (FCPs) developed and issued by MPI (section 39 template FCPs), where the business operates in a single council region and sells mainly directly to the consumer. They do not need to apply for recognition to carry out this role.

All other types of verification are open to local councils and third party verifiers. Both individuals and agencies (including councils) must apply to MPI for recognition to carry out these roles. Note, all recognised people must work for a recognised agency. If you are a sole operator, you will need to meet the requirements to become a recognised agency as well a recognised person.

Auditors working before March 2016

If you were an existing auditor before 1 March 2016, under the Food Act 1981, then you will be recognised ("deemed") to continue working under the new Act for a limited period of time. This means you have temporary approval to verify the same classes of food operation that you were auditing under the previous law.

For example, if you were previously approved to audit transport and storage of food, you will be deemed to verify 'transporters or distributors of food products' until your current approval expires. If you work for a council this will be on 28 February 2019.

How to become recognised

Follow the steps for agencies or for individuals (persons).

Registers of recognised agencies and persons

  • Food Act 2014 – recognised agencies
    Companies, councils and sole traders that are recognised under the Food Act 2014 to perform verification of all risk-based measures (except template food control plans which are exclusive to councils) and evaluation of custom food control plans.
  • Food safety programme auditors
    A list of auditors that were recognised under previous legislation, and are deemed under the Food Act 2014 to perform verifications. Note: This register will reduce over time and people will be listed on the Food Act 2014 – recognised persons register.

Who to contact

If you have any questions about becoming a recognised person or agency, email

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