Issue 4 of the Consumer Products Standards published in 2016 have been fully revised to:
- Recognise the diversity of products included within Consumer Products.
- Align the Standard with the actual buying expectations of specifiers and brand owners whilst encouraging continuous improvement.
- Simplify the requirements and terminology to make it easier to understand.
- Widen the scope to include products for wholesale sale and components/raw materials.
- Ensure that requirements were risk-based.
- Introduce an entry Foundation level and Higher level to encourage continuous improvement.
To achieve these objectives we have divided Consumer Products into two separate Standards:
- Global Standard for Consumer Products – General Merchandise
- Global Standard for Consumer Products – Personal Care and Household
Each of the Standards can be certificated at either Foundation level or at Higher level. This enables both flexibility to reflect customers' needs depending on the product sector and product/brand risk and provides a clear pathway for continuous development.
The Standards have been developed by groups of industry experts to ensure they are rigorous and detailed but clearly focused on the key issues to produce safe, legal products in accordance with customer quality requirements. The Standards provide a framework to manage product safety, integrity, legality and quality, and the operational controls for these criteria.
Both Standards focus on:
- The importance of management commitment.
- Product risk assessments to ensure the product's design is safe and legal before production.
- Process risk assessment as a tool to ensure potential issues in the production of the products have been understood, prioritised and effectively managed.
- The design and maintenance of the factory and production environment to ensure this is suitable to manufacture and protects products from contamination.
- An effective product testing and sampling process.
What’s in the Consumer Products Standards?
Both the General Merchandise and Personal Care and Household Standards have the same overall structure and are divided into seven sections:
1. Senior Management Commitment
Consistent product safety is the responsibility of everyone within the company; however, the starting point for an effective product safety plan is the commitment of senior management to the implementation of the Standard and continual development. This includes providing adequate resources, effective communication, system reviews, actions taken and opportunities for improvement.
2. Product Risk Management
The first step in supplying safe and legal products is to ensure the design or formulation meets legal requirements; is safe for the consumer to use; and will not fail in the expected life of the product. This section looks at understanding legislative requirements and the process of testing products safety and legality and the suitability of intended product packaging before starting to manufacture.
3. Product Safety and Quality Management System
This section sets out the requirements for the management of product safety and quality and draws on many of the principles found in ISO Standards. This includes requirements for product specifications, supplier approval, traceability, and the management of incidents and product recalls.
4. Site Standards
This section sets out expectations for the production environment including the layout and maintenance of the buildings and equipment, cleaning, pest control and waste management.
5. Product Inspection and Testing
Identifies requirements for product testing, sampling and maintenance of reference samples.
6. Process Control
Based on the principles of hazard and risk assessment, this section looks at how the manufacturing process is managed and controlled to ensure production of consistently safe and legal products to the expected quality. This includes contamination controls, control of the packing operation and product release.
This section sets out the standards needed for staff training and, where applicable, protective clothing and personal hygiene.