Attendance Justification Toolkit
This toolkit aims to help you go through the process of justifying the investment of time
and resources in hands-on training in laboratory methods for food safety at the IFSTL. We
hope that the steps presented in this toolkit will help you obtain the support your need.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need additional information.
The key to justifying attendance at any training is outlining the benefit not only to you, but
for your employer as well. How can you get the most out of the training? How will you
share your knowledge with co-workers following the training? How does training reflect on
your organization?
Step 1: Select training courses
Review the course descriptions at and select the course(s) that fit
your needs. Courses are offered in microbiology and chemistry and the objectives of each
course are clearly indicated to help you select the ones that fit your needs. Also note that
courses are often offered in pairs (i.e. two weeks in a row) to allow you to get more benefit
and attend two workshops in a single trip. Letter #1 should help you request support from
your management.
You may consider proposing a training plan that spans more than one year. In this case, you
may use the course titles, but dates will only get announced later on. Proposed letter #2
will suit your request better.
Step 2: Clearly state the benefits to your organization
Before you start, ask yourself: Why should my employer agree to send me to the IFSTL?
Here are some possible answers:
1- Offer to become an in-house trainer
All courses are built as “train-the-trainer” programs, which means you will receive a copy
of the course material that will enable you to teach it to your fellow laboratory analysts.
2- Share Your Experience!
Offer to give a presentation to fellow staff on the information you learned and share
materials you received from the meeting with your team.
3- Face-to-face networking opportunity with FDA, USDA and/or EPA subject matter experts
in addition to fellow laboratory analysts and academic instructors.
Nothing beats a good network of people working in your field when you encounter a
difficult or even just a different situation. IFSTL courses enable you to meet and exchange
both in the formal classroom and lab settings and in the casual environment of our group
4- Demonstrate continued training
If your laboratory is accredited or seeking accreditation, training needs may have been
identified during the annual review of your quality system. You may be able to propose the
courses you want to attend.
Step 3: Present a clear budget
A table is provided to help you present the total cost of the training opportunity and
identify the benefits to your organization.
< Date >
Dear < supervisor’s name >,
I would like to participate in hands-on laboratory training at the International Food Safety
Training Laboratory of the University of Maryland. The Laboratory offers a unique learning
experience where FDA, USDA and EPA subject-matter experts are involved in the delivery
of the training alongside University faculty in courses that cover both the regulatory
aspects and the actual methods recommended to meet the regulatory requirement to
ensure the safety of food.
I would specifically like to attend the following course(s):
1- Course 1 (dates)
2- Course 2 (dates)
I am seeking sponsorship for the registration fee, travel expenses to the courses, and living
expenses during my stay in Maryland. A detailed cost breakdown is included below. I
believe this is a wise investment.
The course specifically targets methods that are directly applicable to my work. The course
will also enable me to network with a variety of experts and colleagues from around the
world. The presentations and discussions are tailored to food safety professionals and will
help me gain knowledge and understanding about how we can improve our laboratory
operations. Some of the instructors have been involved in either the development or the
validation of the methods for their use in regulatory laboratories, experts who have faced
challenges similar to ours.
Getting the information in a hands-on laboratory format will enable me to practice what I
learn and bring it back to our organization to share the information with my colleagues,
thereby improving the work we all do. The courses are offered in a train-the-trainer format,
which means I will have the tools to deliver the training upon my return.
Additionally, this course will give me face-to-face networking opportunity with FDA, USDA
and/or EPA subject matter experts in addition to fellow laboratory analysts and academic
The full price registration fee is <$X>, but I can save 10% if I register 4 weeks ahead of the
course. Here is the breakdown of the costs to participate:
Roundtrip Airfare: <$xxxx>
Transportation to and from airport: $160
Hotel: $100 per night
Meals: $24 (dinner only as breakfast and lunch are provided on course days)
Registration Fee: <$xxxx>
Total costs: <$xxxx>. <If you have found ways to save money, you should enter them here>
As you can see, my participation in laboratory courses is a wise investment that will yield
rich dividends for < name of your organization >. I look forward to discussing the courses
with you at you convenience.
< your name here >

Attendance-Justification-Toolkit - jifsan