The restrictions applied throughout much of the world to combat the spread of Corona virus have inevitably led to the need to change the way in which audits are conducted. We continue to focus on practical but robust audit solutions which enable continued certification for sites and assurance for their customers during this difficult period.
Over the course of the last few months we have launched a number of initiatives either as temporary solutions or permanent new options for certification based on our experience from the use of new technologies.
The summary below shows the options available and when each is applicable. Download the relevant document for further detail of how the particular option shall be applied.
Your certification body will be pleased to discuss the available options they can provide and to find the best solutions for your particular circumstances.
The full onsite audit options for announced and unannounced audit programmes as defined within the individual standards continue to be available where it is possible for the auditor to undertake an audit onsite.
This will be a permanent option for announced audit programmes for the Standards. The audit takes place in two parts. A remote online assessment of some or all of the documentation followed by a shorter on site audit. This provides the opportunity for a rigorous audit but with a reduction in auditor time spent onsite.
Where it is not possible to carry out an onsite audit of an existing certificated site then the certificate may be extended for up to 6 months. Granting of the extension is based upon a risk assessment and review between the site and certification body of the controls in place at site.
Full remote assessment
This option is not GFSI Benchmarked. Available for sites when the certificate extension has expired and it is still not possible for an audit to take place onsite due to Coronavirus restrictions or where a site does not need a GFSI recognised certificate. The remote audit includes a review of internal audit results, a remote documentation revue and video audit of production/storage facilities. A 6 or 12 month certificate based on grade (except for Consumer Products foundation level and the Gluten-Free Certification Program where there is no grade and normal the pass/fail criteria apply) may be issued on successful completion.
Covid-19 Additional Module
BRCGS have also published a separate assessment standard which may be used at any time to provide assurance around the management of Covid-19 risks. The assessment is undertaken as a remote audit and focuses on areas of the food safety system which are potentially at greater risk as a result of the changes enforced to address Covid-19 such as changes to supply chains.
At a Glance