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To Share or Not To Share - Full 3rd Party Audit Reports


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#1 Janet S

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 07:17 PM

It seems to me that in the last few years, it has become standard for customers to request and expect the full 3rd party (SQF for example) audit report, certificate and corrective action report.  I am interested to hear how others handle this - do you provide the full report when asked, or do you use some criteria to decide who you provide it to? 

 

I believe the thinking on this has changed in the last few years.  Years ago most companies would avoid providing the full report since there might be some proprietary or confidential information in the report.  But now our 3rd party auditor takes caution when writing the audit comments so that the comments are fairly general.  Also now, there is a much more significant expectation that companies more fully evaluate their suppliers and one way to demonstrate that is to have a copy of the full audit report.  I realize the decision to share or not to share belongs to each individual company, but I am of the opinion that with all of the increased requirements around Food Safety, that it has become a minimum requirement for doing business, and for the most part doesn't cause any harm.  Thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts. 


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#2 GMO

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 07:52 PM

I agree.  I share and would share.  Ultimately, people are not out to share your secrets and there are b***** all secrets in a GFSI audit anyway.  

 

If the company asking for the information are in competition, then, ok, I see the point but if they're your customer, they would be within their rights to ask to audit themselves, which would you prefer?

 

The purpose of sharing audits is to get a better idea of the food safety concerns on site.  Unfortunately passing the audit does not always reflect this well.  If 3rd party audits were always thorough and always scored consistently, perhaps this wouldn't be requested.

 

To be honest, I would doubt that many of the people requesting the audits actually read them (at least not in detail).  For many sites this is a tick box exercise but if it stops excessive 2nd party audits then it's worth it.


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#3 Janet S

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 08:37 PM

I agree.  I share and would share.  Ultimately, people are not out to share your secrets and there are b***** all secrets in a GFSI audit anyway.  

 

If the company asking for the information are in competition, then, ok, I see the point but if they're your customer, they would be within their rights to ask to audit themselves, which would you prefer?

 

The purpose of sharing audits is to get a better idea of the food safety concerns on site.  Unfortunately passing the audit does not always reflect this well.  If 3rd party audits were always thorough and always scored consistently, perhaps this wouldn't be requested.

 

To be honest, I would doubt that many of the people requesting the audits actually read them (at least not in detail).  For many sites this is a tick box exercise but if it stops excessive 2nd party audits then it's worth it.

Thank you for your response.  I fully agree with everything you said, but there are still some that feel uneasy about being so transparent.  And yes, if it prevents them from coming in to do their own audit, I am all for it.  :cheezy:


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#4 Charles.C

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 09:01 PM

Hi Janet,

 

You might consider starting a Poll here.

 

I predict the majority of Company MDs will not share yr distributional enthusiasm. :smile:

 

PS - Welcome to the Forum ! :welcome:


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Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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#5 QAGB

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 07:36 PM

Hi Janet,

 

We share our full report with customers and potential customers. As you stated, auditors do a pretty good job with making general statements, so as to not give away any sensitive information. With that being said, the risk is far lower about any risks of breaching confidentiality or whatnot. 

 

I like giving our customers the full report, honestly. It gives them some assurance that we don't have anything to hide. Besides, we're pretty proud of our score; so why not show it off a little?  :spoton: Also, as GMO said, I want to give people one less reason to make us perform another audit. If that report will keep some of the 2nd party audits away, I'm definitely good with sharing.

 

I've had far more suppliers willing to share their audit reports than not.  We have a couple of suppliers that make us sign non-disclosure forms to get a copy.Very seldom am I told that a supplier is unwilling to distribute the audit report. I actually don't mandate the report, I request the report but the certificate is the main item I need to have for my records.

 

QAGB


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