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#1 elaine1980

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 01:31 PM

What would be considered best practise in terms of documented formal training for an individual required to competantly carry out approval audits of raw material supplier sites? We are a bakery with only a very small Technical team and nobody with experience of auditing suppliers so I'm just trying to pull together a training plan. Although as Technical Manager I have 15 years food industry experience, sadly 12 of those years were in NPD roles, only 18 months as a Technical Manager! I have 2 BRC audits under my belt and countless internal audits against the quality management system but nothing outside that with external suppliers. Is confidence and food industry awareness enough to see me through in the eyes of BRC I wonder?



#2 Setanta

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 02:54 PM

Would it be possible to request a 3rd Party Audit from these facilites? Ideally you would want them to have the same kind of GFSI certification you do.

Kind Regards,
S.


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#3 elaine1980

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 03:33 PM

Would it be possible to request a 3rd Party Audit from these facilites? Ideally you would want them to have the same kind of GFSI certification you do.

Kind Regards,
S.



Absolutely, however my supplier approval program is risk based against several categories providing a final score, of which 3rd party accrediation forms part. So a supplier with 3rd party accreditation could still fall into audit cateogry with me if, for example, they have a high number of non-conformances logged against them, if they were supplying us with a high risk raw material, if our annual spend is very high, etc, which would lower their overall supplier score. So there is still the chance I will need to audit some of my supply base even though nearly all of them are BRC accredited or similar.

#4 shea quay

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 09:13 PM

Have you tried not logging non-conformances? That normally gets me out of a bind, and greatly decreases the amount of paperwork I have to complete.

Failing that, if it's a high risk product coming into you and you are getting a high number of non-conformances, then perhaps you should consider changing supplier? The only high risk bakery ingredients I can think of would be milk/buttermilk and egg (temperature abuse) or sesame seed (broken bags - allergen risk), both of which I would consider as being quite serious. If I were in your situation, I would try to bluff it citing the 15 years experience you have. In theory, you could use that experience to train a member of your technical team (though you may be asked for your "train the trainer certification"). For example, in the case of allergen risk from suppliers, train a technical staff member in solely auditing your own allergen systems, then send them to the supplier in question to audit only against this clause.


From a career perspective, I would recommend you sit a 2 day internal auditing course such as Campden's (expensive, but with good technical benefits, particularly for the bakery sector). Try to haggle, e.g. "I'd love to do your course but could you throw in a year's free membership?" and get your money's worth. Failing that, shop around - I did a course in Ireland for under 600 euro that got me the required piece of paper.


I always enjoy auditing suppliers. They always get me the nicest sandwiches. That, and the audible sigh of relief when you ask them to "Irish up" your 9am coffee.



#5 elaine1980

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 05:01 AM

Ha! Fabulous ice breaker, as long as they don't think I'm a raging alcky! I do have an internal auditing training certificate, I wonder if that will be enough.



#6 DP2006

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 07:11 AM

Hi Elaine,

I am a UK based independent technical consultant in the food and petfood industry with over 25 years experience in supplier quality assurance (SQA) audits and food ingredient risk assessment in the UK and globally.

At the time I started supplier auditing, I was working with one of the biggest global multinational food companies. In spite of this I did not receive any formal training in the skills associated with SQA and indeed had never done any internal audits either! I suspect way back in the dark ages, as it was then, nobody in the UK offered formal training courses in SQA.

There are a number of companies in the UK offering SQA training. Some of these are lower cost than Camden Food RA ... it's your choice. At the risk of being accused of advertising I won't mention names. If you search on the internet you should find these. If not message me and I will email you with some options.

In addition to the skills required by an internal auditor, for me the major part of making a supplier audit a success is the quality of the audit checklist used. I have used some which are almost a blank piece of paper (not very useful from a training / understanding viewpoint), through slightly more detailed GMP type audits and up to the ones I like best those based on risk and built around HACCP principles (with or without scoring systems).

When developing risk / HACCP based audit checklists you need a reasonable knowledge about your suppliers' raw materials and processes. Your audit checklist will also include more generic sections around quality management accreditation etc and the Pre Requisite Programme (PRP) / GMP elements. This can also be done for 3rd party clients to meet their requirements.

Another key element in my training was being able to shadow an experienced SQA auditor when you carry out your early audits. From what you say about your structure, I can see this would be difficult! One option would be to seek assistance from a 3rd Party auditor with experience in SQA, who you can shadow or vice versa on an initial audit.

Shadowing and the creation of detailed audit checklists were the key parts of my training. In fact the only part!

Hope this helps.

If you need more support, I would be happy to discuss this with you.

Good luck!

DP2006

PS I also love auditing suppliers. Yes the sandwiches can be great but I have never asked the supplier to "Irish up" my coffee at 9am .... or any other time :whistle:



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#7 elaine1980

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 07:27 AM

Thanks DP2006, thats really helpful and I'll be googling some SQA training courses immediately after this! I'd already spotted the Campden one but not sure our budget will stretch that far just yet so, as you say, I'll have to look for some cheaper alternatives. Its such a shame that UK retailers and BRC are so less accepting of experience and knowledge nowadays, just adds to the ever growing budget requirements for smaller establisments as ours and gives us less oppertunity to get into the market place with own-label products. (moan over!)



#8 Tony-C

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 09:59 AM

What would be considered best practise in terms of documented formal training for an individual required to competantly carry out approval audits of raw material supplier sites? We are a bakery with only a very small Technical team and nobody with experience of auditing suppliers so I'm just trying to pull together a training plan. Although as Technical Manager I have 15 years food industry experience, sadly 12 of those years were in NPD roles, only 18 months as a Technical Manager! I have 2 BRC audits under my belt and countless internal audits against the quality management system but nothing outside that with external suppliers. Is confidence and food industry awareness enough to see me through in the eyes of BRC I wonder?


Hi Elaine

Since you mention BRC they wouldn't have much of an argument if you completed one of their training courses - www.brctrainingacademy.com provide Third Party Auditor Training and Audit Techniques and Report Writing Training Courses. General brochure attached.

Attached File  BRC Academy Brochure Individual (lo).pdf   2.38MB   88 downloads

As DP2006 has indicated there is no substitute for experience, knowledge of the material (process and HACCP) and having a suitable checklist.

If you are not sure how to generate a checklist then using the relevant BRC standard as a checklist is a good starting point.

Regards,

Tony

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