The Food Standards Agency (FSA) partners with Idox to transform food business registrations

We have worked in partnership with the FSA to integrate their food business registration process with the Idox Cloud Public Protection solution. We interviewed Jason Coward, the FSA’s Local Authority Change Manager, who has been at the forefront of rolling out their Register a Food Business (RAFB) service. Prior to his role at the FSA, Jason worked in local government environmental health services.

Traditionally, food registrations were completed on paper and submitted manually to the local authorities for processing. The FSA were keen to digitise this for the benefit of local authorities as well as making it easier for food businesses operators to register and receive useful guidance.

The responsibility for food business registrations lies at the local authority level – however, the FSA designed their own data transfer tool – the Register A Food Business (RAFB) API to allow local authorities to efficiently import registration information into their databases.

The FSA is able to share registration information with local authorities in two ways:

  1. Non-integrated – the FSA provide the local authority with a web link to share with food businesses, allowing them to complete their registration online. Once completed, the local authority is sent an email and a link to a PDF document with the registration information which is then re-keyed into their back-office solution.
  2. Integrated – once a registration is completed online, the information is automatically sent to the local authority back-office system for validation and acceptance into the workflow process. This is achieved via the Register a Food Business API.

Idox Cloud Public Protection is leading in the market to feature the Integrated method of registering information and we have enabled approximately 28 customers to date.

The unique benefits of digital capability were highlighted in particular during the early months of the pandemic – when the FSA noticed a 45% increase in “at home” catering businesses. During this time, the information provided by the service helped the FSA to understand the changes taking place in the marketplace and provide useful information and guidance for both food business owners and local authorities.

Since implementation, the FSA have noticed four key benefits:

  • Faster, easier and more consistent digital registration service for food business owners
  • Local authorities spend less time on administration with no re-keying of information
  • Improved accuracy of registration information for local authorities and the FSA
  • Increased food business operator customer satisfaction.

For the FSA, moving to a cloud-based service means that the entire process is now streamlined from start to finish, delivering a much more efficient service for food business owners and local authorities.

To find out more about how the Idox and FSA partnership will improve your food business registration process, get in touch with the team to discuss your requirements.

Published on: 5 July 2021

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