If you look at Part A: Implementing and Maintaining the SQF Code 1. Preparing for SQF Certification 1.11 Conduct a Pre-assessment Audit:
A pre-assessment audit is not mandatory, but is recommended to provide a ‘health check’ of the supplier’s implemented SQF System. A pre-assessment audit can assist in identifying gaps in the supplier’s SQF System so that corrective action can occur before engaging the selected certification body for a full certification audit. It can be conducted using internal resources, an SQF consultant, or an SQF auditor.
This pre-assessment is for your benefit and timescales for corrective action before progressing to 2. The Initial Certification Process will be up to you to decide.