Use of Slaughterhouse Staff AS Plant Inspection Assistants (PIAs)

Guidance on the implementation of a Plant Inspection Assistant.

In accordance with Retained EU Regulation 2017/625, Food Standards Scotland can, on the basis of a risk analysis, allow slaughterhouse staff to assist in the performance of certain official control tasks under certain conditions.  Those conditions are that the staff concerned:

  • act independently from the production staff of the slaughterhouse,
  • have undergone appropriate training to carry out these tasks, and
  • carry out these tasks in the presence and following the instructions of the official veterinarian (OV) or of the meat hygiene inspector (MHI).

Article 25 of Retained EU Regulation 2019/627 specifies tasks that must be carried out in relation to post-mortem inspection (PMI) for poultry in which slaughterhouse staff can assist.

Food business operators in Scotland wishing to utilise their own staff as Plant Inspection Assistants (PIAs) in an approved establishment must seek permission from Food Standards Scotland.

Application Process

To apply for a permit to implement a PIA system in your establishment please contact your Official Veterinarian in plant or Operations Manager of Food Standards Scotland, who can advise you on the steps of the application process.


Download the process map for the training application.

For further information please contact:

Food Standards Scotland

Approvals and Certification Team
4th Floor, Pilgrim House
Old Ford Road
AB11 5RL

Tel: 01224 288368


After implementation of the PIA system

Once the PIA system has been introduced the establishment will be subject to scheduled monitoring assessment carried out by FSS team to demonstrate suitability of the premises to maintain a PIA system.

After the authorisation has been granted

Once an authorisation has been granted it may be withdrawn if FSS is satisfied the conditions by which it was granted are no longer being met.

Appeals Process

Where a withdrawal is issued, the FBO will have the right to appeal this decision. The FBO can make their appeal by writing to the Director of Operations,  within 21 days of the date of the notice. The outcome of the appeal will be communicated to the OV and to the FBO within 20 working days.

More on this topic


Official Controls Regulation

The OCR ensures that Competent Authorities (CAs) across Great Britain are conducting controls in a suitably rigorous and impartial manner.