News

The remote audit as a real alternative

As a result of the current crisis with the coronavirus, direct contacts have to be reduced to a minimum and on-site audits have proved difficult or even impossible. Remote audits are the solution.

A rapid return to normality is not to be expected. A large number of audits are postponed or cancelled. This does not have to happen: remote audits can be carried out.

Possible for all standards?

All standards except IFS Food, BRC GS Food and FSSC 22000.

How does that work in practice?

ProCert has set out the organisation and implementation of remote audits in the collaboration guide. The collaboration guide is available to all clients on the ProCert Portal. 

ProCert offers free information webinars for clients (see webinars) 

For further information, clients can contact the ProCert contact persons, programme managers and market directors. 

Latest developments in connection with the BRC Global Standard Food

Interpretation of requirement 1.1.2

The following position statement has been agreed to ensure expectations relating to compliance with clause 1.1.2; its consistent application at certificated sites and assessment during audits are understood. The clause is applicable to all sites certificated to Issue 8 of the Standard and shall be audited as part of all audits of the Standard. In summary, the clause requires sites to define and maintain a clear plan for the development and continuing improvement of food safety culture. This plan must include:

  • Clearly defined activities that will be completed
  • Involve all sections of the site that have an impact of product safety (whilst specific activities may be relevant to certain departments or roles, overall the plan must ensure that all relevant section/roles are covered)
  • An action plan indicating how the identified activities will be undertaken/completed
  • Measurement of the activities (i.e. where they completed, where the correct people involved, were activities successful, any other learnings)
  • Intended timescales for the completion of the activities
  • A review of the effectiveness of completed activities.

Where sites are non-compliant, the non-conformities shall be graded as follows:

Major Non-conformity

Where the site does not have a documented plan for food safety and quality culture. In this context a plan is more than a short statement of intent, but documentation incorporating the requirements of the clause (as summarised above).

Minor Non-conformity

Where a documented plan exists, but is:

  • of poor quality (e.g. insufficiently detailed, for example missing timescales for completion or absence of clear action plans)
  • does not cover all the relevant areas or staff
  • not fully implemented (e.g. some activities not implemented or not completed to predefined schedule).
  • Site review of the effectiveness of completed activities.

The third bullet point in the clause requires sites to undertake a review of the effectiveness of completed activities. However, as audits to the Standard only commenced in February 2019 it is possible that this review of the success of the programme, would not always be implemented in year 1 and therefore non-compliance with this bullet point is not considered a non-conformity until the site’s second audit to Issue 8.

Corrective action, root cause analysis and preventive action plans shall be developed in accordance with the section 2.3 of the audit protocol.

New calculator for audit duration

From 1 April 2020, the duration of on-site audits must comply with the new version of the calculator. For audits already covered by an agreement with the sites for 2020, this rule will apply from 1 January 2021. Since most ProCert customers already have signed a contract, it will in principle be adapted for 2021.

What are the main changes?

  • The duration of the on-site audit will be increased, on average, by 2 hours per site per year.
  • If the organization has high-risk, high-care and ambient high-care production areas, the duration shall be increased by 2 hours for each type of area.
  • If the organization integrates traded goods, 1 to 2 hours will have to be added.

The rules for additional modules do not change.

BRC Global Standard for Food Safety has been published!

Version 8 of BRC Global Standard for Food Safety is now available. Its application is mandatory from 1 February 2019.

The new version includes many changes, among others, two new chapters: Chapter 8, which brings together all the requirements for high-risk and high-care areas, and Chapter 9, which transforms the voluntary module "Traded Goods" from Version 7 into mandatory requirements.

The standard introduces dozens of new requirements, but also, an in-depth review of chapters such as the first chapter on the commitment of the management which includes 3 new requirements, and 7 modified requirements to introduce the notion of the food safety culture.

Other chapters, such as Vendor Approval (chapter 3.5), already quite detailed in Version 7, has been revised to provide further clarification on vendor audits. The chapter on managing outsourced processes has also been consolidated by new requirements.

You can download the standard here.

We are providing you with the new BRC checklist which you can download here.

ProCert offers you a webinar (click here) to better understand these changes and to prepare you for your first audit according to this new Version 8.