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#1 Quality Is the Goal

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 08:14 PM

Hello,

 

Facility: food packaging material, preparing company for the first SQF Audit. Plant is really small, about 15 employees.

 

Im the only one QA personnel, Internal Auditor and SQF Practitioner in the facility. I know that Internal Auditor should not develop and implement procedures or internal controls, prepare records etc., but there is no need to hire anybody else to do the job because facility is super small. What should i do? I prepare all the procedures, program, policies etc., im reviewing the records, and i do GMP, Food Defense, Glass and Brittle plastic and pest control audits quarterly. So how can i justify my facility on SQF Audit? I have no idea what to do. Please advice!

 

Thank You in advance for Your help.


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#2 sirgumby

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 08:29 PM

Hello, I am in the same situation. But we only have 4 employees. If you get an answer be advise. Good Luck

 

Dennis


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#3 nwilson

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 09:04 PM

How do you review the audit findings?  Meetings?  Corrective Actions? Etc....  This will be helpful as you are writing and enforcing the programs, policies and procedures.  If you review the findings as team then there is an element of 'separation of the function' due to being reviewed by someone other than yourself.  I am in the same boat even though I work for a larger company 175+ employees.  I have had to write correctoive actions based on my findings, even when they are due to a NC for a program I wrote.  This also shows objective evidence that your able to audit effectively.  


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#4 Charles.C

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 10:18 PM

Hello,

 

Facility: food packaging material, preparing company for the first SQF Audit. Plant is really small, about 15 employees.

 

Im the only one QA personnel, Internal Auditor and SQF Practitioner in the facility. I know that Internal Auditor should not develop and implement procedures or internal controls, prepare records etc., but there is no need to hire anybody else to do the job because facility is super small. What should i do? I prepare all the procedures, program, policies etc., im reviewing the records, and i do GMP, Food Defense, Glass and Brittle plastic and pest control audits quarterly. So how can i justify my facility on SQF Audit? I have no idea what to do. Please advice!

 

Thank You in advance for Your help.

 

Hi QG,

 

There are from memory 3-4 SQF/BRC previous near identical calls for help / threads. Some were even smaller than yourself.

 

You may be able to find them / advice if lucky.

 

IIRC compromises are possible due "Force Majeure".

 

Yr anticipated to-be-used CB auditor should be another authoritative source of knowledge since it's totally their business interest.


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Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#5 M Edleston

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 05:33 AM

Hi Charles.C

We have the same problem. In the end I was able to get Internal Auditor training for another member who does the internal audits on anything that is a conflict of interest. All the rest is up to me :)

I have found most Auditors understand the situation and wont hit you hard for auditing your own work..I mean sometimes what choice do you have?


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#6 Madam A. D-tor

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 06:12 AM

Dear All,

 

Ok, I am an auditor.

In these cases, sometimes I do accept this situation and sometimes I don't. Let me be clear, all trainings I had as auditor tells me to not accept these situations.

It make me think in which cases I accept and in which cases I do not accept.

 

In what cases do I accept this situation:

- small organization AND

- good implemented quality/ food safety system AND

- commitment by management AND

- internal audits lead to relevant non-conformities AND

- non-conformities are handled correctly.

 

Please not, above is not a guarantee, that you will pass this requirement, but an explanation how I handle this for small firms. There sure are auditors, who do exactly what they are taught.

 

Even for large firms, with several auditors, I will make remarks if the internal audit system does not lead to improvements. If the internal audit reports shows not non-conformities and I have observed some during the audit, the system of internal auditing might be not fitting the organization.


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Kind Regards,

Madam A. D-tor

#7 Quality Is the Goal

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 12:15 PM

How do you review the audit findings?  Meetings?  Corrective Actions? Etc....  This will be helpful as you are writing and enforcing the programs, policies and procedures.  If you review the findings as team then there is an element of 'separation of the function' due to being reviewed by someone other than yourself.  I am in the same boat even though I work for a larger company 175+ employees.  I have had to write correctoive actions based on my findings, even when they are due to a NC for a program I wrote.  This also shows objective evidence that your able to audit effectively.  

I do corrective actions, explaining in detailed what exactly was done and how we can prevent from happening again. Meeting is a good idea,  i always discuss my finding with production managers, i will just start documenting it. Thank You!


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#8 Quality Is the Goal

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 12:23 PM

Hi Charles.C

We have the same problem. In the end I was able to get Internal Auditor training for another member who does the internal audits on anything that is a conflict of interest. All the rest is up to me :)

I have found most Auditors understand the situation and wont hit you hard for auditing your own work..I mean sometimes what choice do you have?

When i worked in a different company it was easier because my boss (QA Manager) was ex USDA Inspector so he was just reviewing my findings and signing off on each audit as internal auditor, and SQF Auditor did not have any problems with that. I just start working in a new company like 2 month ago and everything is so different, i worked in meat business before now im working in a paper business, so im trying to figure out  how to do it in a right way.


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#9 Quality Is the Goal

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 12:42 PM

Hello, I am in the same situation. But we only have 4 employees. If you get an answer be advise. Good Luck

 

Dennis

Hello,

Like nwilson mentioned that we should review the findings, so how i understand we need to present the findings to management so they will be involved/informed. I will start doing documented meetings after each audit so we could discuss what is the best way to solve the problems, i will  attache the detailed corrective action report to the audits for every finding and i will have my management to sign off on it, so in this way we will auditing the facility together. And i will have production floor leader to do the audits with me (i can train him in internal auditing, its just will be the basic auditing technique, and add it to the training register ), and of course have him sign off as well. And hopefully that will work.


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#10 Charles.C

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Posted 14 October 2017 - 02:04 AM

JFI, an earlier SQF related thread -

 

http://www.ifsqn.com...internal-audit/

 

PS - there are a lot more threads on this topic in BRC forum who seem to be less inclined to compromise.


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Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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#11 sqflady

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 05:53 PM

I would recommend gathering at least one or two other people and creating an audit "team" even in very small plants.  Anyone can be trained to be an internal auditor (HR, line workers, maintenance).  I believe it's important to have a second set of eyes for every audit because different people see different things.


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#12 Parkz58

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Posted 23 October 2017 - 04:06 PM

I'm in a very similar situation - two owners, myself, and two maintenance guys currently working here.  That's it.  I don't think people, especially outside auditors, appreciate how much of a strain it is to try to fulfill all the requirements that were obviously written with much larger companies in mind.  If I even take 2 people to do a food safety review meeting with me, or conduct an internal audit, or whatever, I have just taken 3/5 of our workforce out of commission during that time (counting myself, of course).  Imagine telling the CEO of a company of 200 people that he has to have 120 of his people stop everything they are doing and go to a food safety review meeting, or conduct an internal audit...you think that would fly?  Yet that is what is expected...even demanded...of us.


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#13 Quality Is the Goal

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 12:56 PM

I'm in a very similar situation - two owners, myself, and two maintenance guys currently working here.  That's it.  I don't think people, especially outside auditors, appreciate how much of a strain it is to try to fulfill all the requirements that were obviously written with much larger companies in mind.  If I even take 2 people to do a food safety review meeting with me, or conduct an internal audit, or whatever, I have just taken 3/5 of our workforce out of commission during that time (counting myself, of course).  Imagine telling the CEO of a company of 200 people that he has to have 120 of his people stop everything they are doing and go to a food safety review meeting, or conduct an internal audit...you think that would fly?  Yet that is what is expected...even demanded...of us.

Yes, i completely agree with You. I have 4 people (including me) in the office and 10 in production (only 5 employees are permanent and the rest are temporary), i can not stop the production because i need to do   the audit, there should be a way to make it work. I know SQF say that management should provide the resources to implement the SQF, but hire one more employee just only for the audit purposes doesn't make any sense, because company is so small that there is basically no work for that extra employee. If i will take somebody from production or office then who will do their work. I already asked floor leader for a help but it didnt work, because somebody have to oversee the production.

 

So, i will do after each audit a management meeting (at least 30 minutes) and i will present all the issues and findings and we can discuss the better way to solve the issues, then i will do detailed corrective action report and just have management sign off on the meeting notes and corrective action report. In this way everybody are informed and all the issues are solved in a team, so it will not look like 1 person decision. I can not figure out a better way to make it work, so i will do in this way, hopefully that will work. If You have a better way, or any suggestions please let me know.

 

Thank You.


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#14 Richard Wilson

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 11:23 AM

Hi guys,

 

I too have seen this problem countless times. I would recommend implementing a digital auditing system. It will streamline your internal auditing process and cut your man power in half. 

 

Let me know if I can help further!  :spoton:


Edited by Simon, 15 November 2017 - 09:56 AM.
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