The Evaluators Qualification in Packaging Technology (EQIPT) course is designed to provide those who do not hold a recognised primary packaging qualification (for example the PIABC Level 5 Diploma in Packaging Technology) with sufficient knowledge of packaging and related processes, to enable them to apply the appropriate rigour to the packaging-manufacturing environment whilst performing an audit using the BRCGS for Packaging materials. The standard is now in its sixth edition and includes packaging for other products as well as food and drink.
The qualification is quality assured by PIABC, which is recognised as an awarding body in the UK by the UK Government’s Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (OFQUAL) and it has been submitted to the World Packaging Organisation for recognition as appropriate for packaging auditors.
If you wish to become an auditor for the BRCGS Packaging Materials Standard and you do not have a primary qualification in packaging, such as the PIABC Level 5 Diploma in Packaging Technology, you need to prove that you have sufficient knowledge and understanding of packaging materials and process, and the risks and hazards associated with the industry. The EQIPT qualification fulfils this need.
The full EQIPT course is available online to a global audience,with the course materials all written in English. You can fit your studies around a hectic work and personal life and are able to work through the units at a pace to suit you with the support of our online tutor.
Alternatively, if you have been working in the packaging sector for some time, you may be able to gain the EQIPT qualification through our benchmarking service. We will look at your experience and identify whether this provides you with sufficient knowledge and understanding to be equivalent to taking the course.
The EQIPT course is based on the syllabus of the PIABC Level 5 Diploma in Packaging Technology qualification and the auditing requirements of the BRCGS Packaging Materials (Issue 6). It consists of one core unit and a number of optional modules
The core unit, which is assessed through a formal, 3 hour, written examination, covers the fundamentals of packaging and consits of 5 parts:
- Overview of packaging standards and an introduction to the role and functions of packaging including an overview of the packaging industry
- Quality standards, specifications and legislation
- Packaging materials and packaging material conversion processes
- Printing and other decoration of packaging
Learners must then select two options from the five outlined below, which are assessed via a written assignment. Each unit reviews the quality, hygiene and safety factors which could compromise the performance of the finished packed product in the market place and includes the study of each material from the supply of raw materials to the shipment of finished materials to the packer/filler.
- Glass Packaging
- Rigid Plastic Packaging
- Flexible Plastic Packaging
- Paper, Paperboard, Corrugated and Wood Packaging
- Metal Packaging
For those following the benchmarking route, these are the criteria that we will judge your experience against.
This is up to you! Some people complete the course in six months, others who perhaps don't have so much spare time, may take two years to complete. To help you to make good progress through your course and complete it in a timely manner we have created the following suggested structure.
You are welcome to join the online course at any time through out the year, however, the exam can only be sat during out main examination session in June or November. We recommend you sit the course exam during the examination series closest to the commencement of your course while the course content is still fresh in your mind. If you start the course between November and May you should sit the exam in June and if you start the course between June and October you should sit the exam in November.
You need to choose two assigments that should be submitted electronically by the following dates:
- Assignment 1 – approximately 4 months after your start date
- Assignment 2 – 8 months after your start date
Assessment takes a number of forms. The theory you study in the core unit is assessed through a three-hour, formal written examination, consisting of short and longer answer questions which is taken as part of our main examination series in either June or November each year.
The option units are assessed through written assignments.
All of our assessments are in English but extra time and consideration is given to those for whom English is not their first language.
We offer two options to gain our EQIPT qualification and the price varies depending on which option you choose.
The full EQIPT course, for those that do not have a primary packaging qualification, costs £1625 (+VAT at 20% where applicable). In addition there is a fee of £175 (0% VAT) for the course text book. This makes the total cost of the full EQIPT course £2125 including VAT.
This fee includes the course exam and assessments in two specialist areas. You may wish to study and gain recognition in additional specialist areas and you may do this for a fee of £200 (+VAT at 20% where applicable).
Our benchmarking service, for those with significant experience in the packaging sector, costs £615 (+VAT at 20% where applicable). The total cost, including VAT is £738.
The outcome of the benchmarking process may be that you have sufficient knowledge and understanding in some areas but are lacking in others. If this is the case we will recommend that you complete assignments in these areas to demonstrate competency. The fee to do this is £200 (+VAT at 20% where appropriate) per area.
Members of IOM3 are entitled to a discount of 10% on the course fee (not including the course text book).
Already have significant packaging experience? Find out more and register for our EQIPT Benchmarking Service.
Find our more about additional assignments if you want to study extra material areas as part of the full EQIPT course or have received partial exemption from EQIPT through our Benchmarking service.