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Definition of critical/ major/ minor for each clause?


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#1 bensmith007

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 11:19 PM

Hello all,

 

I was speaking to a colleague who mentioned that many audit systems will have defined non-conformance criteria. Is there a document that BRC auditors will use that will explain what is considered a critical/ major/ minor non-conformance for each clause? Does anyone have a copy of said document? I haven't found anything other than the definitions in V7 BRC.

 

Our 1st audit is drawing close and I need to make sure I'm focusing on the most important areas to clear as many potential majors as possible!

 

Thanks!


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#2 beautiophile

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 12:48 AM

There's a book tilted "The BRC Global Standard for Food Safety: A Guide to a Successful Audit." by Roll Kill. In that book he shared how he, an auditor, raised and rated nonconformity.

Even though the book is about BRC issue 6, I think you will find it useful after reading.


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#3 Charles.C

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 09:51 AM

Hello all,

 

I was speaking to a colleague who mentioned that many audit systems will have defined non-conformance criteria. Is there a document that BRC auditors will use that will explain what is considered a critical/ major/ minor non-conformance for each clause? Does anyone have a copy of said document? I haven't found anything other than the definitions in V7 BRC.

 

Our 1st audit is drawing close and I need to make sure I'm focusing on the most important areas to clear as many potential majors as possible!

 

Thanks!

 

Hi ben,
 

 

2.3  NON-CONFORMITIES AND CORRECTIVE ACTION
The level of non-conformity assigned by an auditor against a requirement of the Standard is an objective judgement with respect
to severity and risk and is based on evidence collected and observations made during the audit. This is verified by the certification
body management.

2.3.1 etc etc.

 


 

My guess is that the above is definitive, ie it's up to the auditor.  Unless of course you disagree later or an auditor later changes his mind (possible?).

 

Previous threads here for BRC have occasionally asked for opinions on whether certain awarded NCs were to be considered  "fair" or not. Opinions here have sometimes differed.

 

Offhand i am not aware of any detailed  clause-based presentations  regarding specific criteria for grading NCs


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Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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#4 Madam A. D-tor

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 04:21 AM

Dear bensnith007,

 

As far as I know, there is no definition per clause. But the general definitions for critical, major and minor non-conformities are in the BRC-standard it self.

You can find it in part III: audit protocol.

 

2.3.1 Non-conformities

There are three levels of non-conformity:

- Critical: Where there is a critical failure to comply with a food safety or legal issue.

- Major: where there is a substantial failure to meet the requirements of a 'statement of intent' or any clause of the Standard or a situation is identified which would, on the basis of objective evidence, raise significant doubt as to the conformity of the product being supplied.

- Minor: where a clause has not been fully met but, on the basis of objectives evidence, the conformity of the products is not in doubt.

 

During opening meeting I translate this as follows:

Critical: direct or potential food safety issue or legal issue;

Major: not complying to the requirement (statement of intent is also a requirement). Product is not conforming or serious risk that product will not be conforming, where this is not related to food safety or legal requirements.

Minor: small deviation to al clause.

 

 

[...]

My guess is that the above is definitive, ie it's up to the auditor.  Unless of course you disagree later or an auditor later changes his mind (possible?).

[...]

 

Please note that auditors get thoroughly training and also by internal (within CB) and external (by standard owners) calibration trainings, auditors are trained to do a good evaluation in different situations.


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Madam A. D-tor

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#5 Leila Burin

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 07:21 PM

You can always complain to the CB if you don´t agree with the NC raised by the auditor, and also to BRC

there are many cases...

best regrds,

Leila


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#6 Charles.C

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 09:35 PM


Please note that auditors get thoroughly training and also by internal (within CB) and external (by standard owners) calibration trainings, auditors are trained to do a good evaluation in different situations.

 

Hi Madam A. D-tor,

 

I have no doubt this is true in yr case and many/most other auditors.

 

However IMEX "outliers" are also possible. :smile:


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Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#7 beautiophile

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 10:04 AM

You can always complain to the CB if you don´t agree with the NC raised by the auditor, and also to BRC

there are many cases...

best regrds,

Leila

 

In ISO 17021-1 used by CB:

9.4.5.3: A finding of nonconformity shall be recorded against a specific requirement, and shall contain a clear statement of nonconformity, identifying in detail the objective evidence on which the nonconformity is based. Nonconformities shall be discussed with the client to ensure that the evidence is accurate and that the nonconformities are understood.

 

and later, Note in 9.4.7.1: "Understood" does not necessarily mean that the conformities have been accepted by client.

 

Please note that your certificates belong to CBs or BRC. They have right to issue, to suspend and not to issue certificates to you. But your complaints to them are their real trade-off if you pay them for certification service. The audit is a challenging game between two parties.


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