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Pennsylvania Certified Organic (PCO) is a USDA-accredited organic certifying agency that educates and certifies growers, processors and handlers of organic crops, wild crops, livestock and livestock products in the contiguous United States. PCO is also proud to be an accredited certifying agent for OPT Certified Grass-Fed Organic Certification, which is a separate program that builds upon the organic standards.
PCO’s office is located in Spring Mills, Pennsylvania in Centre County. Since 1997, PCO’s certification team has grown from one employee to its’ current size of 30 staff and over 40 inspectors. In one way or another, all are connected to organic production: some are organic farmers or have worked on a farm, some are trained organic inspectors, and some have an academic background in agriculture.
Overview of Contract Organic Inspectors Position
Contract inspectors conduct inspections and support the responsibilities of the Inspections Team. Quantity of work is not guaranteed and will generally be seasonal. Contract inspectors are responsible to both the Inspections Program Coordinator and the Inspections Program Manager.
- Conduct inspections in a timely manner in accordance with PCO policies and procedures
- Participate in inspector-training sessions including the PCO Inspectors Meeting and other PCO training sessions such as webinars
- Communicate effectively with clients, the inspections team and the certification team regarding inspections
- Optional - Assist apprenticeship training to prospective inspectors
- Certificate of Completion from an Independent Organic Inspector Association (IOIA) training course or equivalent on category of inspections to be performed (crops, livestock, processing)
- Completion of apprenticeship in category of inspections to be performed (crops, livestock, processing, or forest grown) with satisfactory evaluation from mentor
- Competency in the subject matter of the inspections being performed
- Knowledge of organic standards and regulations
- Familiarity with certification procedures
- Attention to detail
- Excellent organizational skills
- Excellent time management skills
- Excellent communication, writing and interpersonal skills
- Computer proficiency: word processing, spreadsheets, internet research
- Analytical problem-solving ability
- Ability to manage multiple priorities and perform within deadlines
- Ability to work with minimal supervision while understanding the necessity for communicating and coordinating work efforts with others
- Ability and willingness to travel extensively throughout the certification region and occasionally outside the region
- Ability to complete reports according to PCO’s procedures, expectations and timelines
- Ability to track and report expenses accurately according to PCO’s procedures, expectations and timelines
- Perform work in accordance with IOIA Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct
Understand and appreciate importance of extraordinary customer service
- Keep up with technological requirements of PCO systems
- Act as a 3rd party representative of PCO and demonstrate dedication to PCO’s mission and commitment to customer service
- Inspection work often requires driving, working outdoors, walking, standing, bending and occasional light lifting.
Compensation & Location
PCO is a growing organization of individuals committed to our core values, mission, and vision. We foster a positive work culture focused on purpose, caring, and results. While we have a small office in Spring Mills, PA, we are primarily a remote organization with team members in multiple states nationwide.
The health and wellbeing of our team members is a top priority at PCO. Full Time and Part Time 24 Employees receive the following benefits package:
- Competitive wages
- Health/Dental/Vision Plans, including Health Savings Account (HSA) and Flexible Spending Account (FSA) beginning on the first day of employment
- Short Term Disability, Long Term Disability, Accidental Death & Dismemberment, Life Insurance (premiums 100% paid by PCO)
- Paid Time Off (PTO): begins accruing immediately
- Paid Volunteer Time
- Floating Holidays
- Paid Holidays (12) plus weekdays between Christmas Eve and New Year's Day
- Versatile Paid Leave and Unpaid Leave options
- Flexible Schedule
- Simple IRA with company match
- Flat rate internet reimbursement
PCO is an equal opportunity employer and service provider. We do not discriminate with regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, ancestry, political beliefs, union membership, disability (in accordance with the American With Disabilities Act and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act), veteran status, gender or sexual orientation, marital or familial status, genetic information, and any other characteristic protected by law. We value and encourage all qualified applicants to apply, including Black, Indigenous, and People of Color; members of the LGBTQ+ community; veterans; people with disabilities; and people who have been formerly incarcerated. Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply for opportunities when they don’t feel fully qualified. We are most interested in finding the best candidate, and that candidate may come from a less traditional background. We would encourage you to submit your interest.