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Two key employees are absent and we have an audit approaching


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#1 MBrown042

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 08:20 PM

Hello All,

 

we have an audit approaching in one month, and two key personnel are absent.  Our maintenance mechanic and QA supervisor.  These two key employees are in charge of several key PRPs and SOPs.  As SQF Practitioner i can pick up their work load, but my work load is already heavy enough.  Do you think that without these two key employees present during the facility audit it will be an automatic failure.

 

 

QA Supervisor

-          Allergen PRP

-          GMP Personnel hygiene practices

-          GMP personnel processing  practices

-          Product Identification and Tracibility

-          Loading Transport and Delivery

-          Training PRP

 

Maintenance Mechanic

-          GPM good practices for maintenance

-          Premises and equipment maintenance

-          Calibration PRP

 

 

 

What are your thoughts



#2 Zeeshan

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 06:58 AM

IMO, you have only one way to counter this issue:

 

Write a letter to the representative of your certification body explaining in short about the issue.

 

1- If they agreed to extend the date of audit, then definitely you will make it.

 

2- If your CB would not agree, then compare the cost of failure and cost cancelling the audit. If the cost of failure is lower and you adopt the option to go for audit. Explain the situation in the opening meeting with your auditor. I believe you would get a hidden advantage by registering your issue with CB. 

 

Regards:

Muhammad Zeeshan Zaki.



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#3 Setanta

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 12:20 PM

I should think that you would do alright if you have access to what the maintenance mechanic has for documentation. 

 

I don't think it would be an automatic failure, unless their being away was completely avoidable.  If it is just vacation time away, I don't imagine that would be looked on very well. Emergencies come up and cannot be planned.

 

As Practitioner, I should think you would do OK on your own.  But I do suggest letting your CB know right away!

 

Setanta


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#4 cazyncymru

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 04:09 PM

Do you not have to have deputies as you would for BRC?



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#5 MBrown042

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 06:47 PM

We have a SQF Team. Two members of the SQF team are ill and have been in and out of work. or not at work at all in 2-3 weeks.



#6 Mr. Incognito

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 05:48 PM

Having members of your team absent are not going to be an automatic failure.

 

It will not impact your score at all as long as the people on your side of the table can explain everything and show the auditor the things they need to see and understand the system well enough to explain it properly.

 

It may make it a little harder but it, by no means, is a failure.  Tell your auditor up front when you have the mgt team gather with the auditor on the first morning that unfortunately a conflict arose with those two positions and they aren't able to make it to the audit but your team is confident that even without them on hand you will be able to provide the information the Auditor needs.

 

I don't think you even HAVE to have your SQF Practitioner there you just have to have one.  You might need to show certs and all that I'm not sure which audit your doing desk or plant.


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#7 Montana

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 10:52 PM

Hello All,

 

we have an audit approaching in one month, and two key personnel are absent.  Our maintenance mechanic and QA supervisor.  These two key employees are in charge of several key PRPs and SOPs.  As SQF Practitioner i can pick up their work load, but my work load is already heavy enough.  Do you think that without these two key employees present during the facility audit it will be an automatic failure.

 

 

QA Supervisor

-          Allergen PRP

-          GMP Personnel hygiene practices

-          GMP personnel processing  practices

-          Product Identification and Tracibility

-          Loading Transport and Delivery

-          Training PRP

 

Maintenance Mechanic

-          GPM good practices for maintenance

-          Premises and equipment maintenance

-          Calibration PRP

 

 

 

What are your thoughts

Hello MBrown 042,

The system you have need to coupe with or without  some people. Your auditor need to  check your system not  to discuss  with managers- system developer but to check how good your system is and is it implemented across  your company. Any  system is good only if every employee  follow that system and are able to show to some auditor or visitor how system is working.

Your company will be on big exam and after the audit you will know is your system good and accepted by employees or your system is only on paper and followed by person who created that part of the system. Good Luck!!



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#8 Sharon

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 12:26 AM

I wouldn't have thought it would be an automatic fail if you can show the work has been done, ie delegated to the alternate or deputy person.  See 1.2.1 in BRC standard.  Your company should be able to continue to operate without any one person and this also relates to food safety.  Given the amount of audits that we are subjected to in a year I would think it would be almost impossible to have everyone present at each audit as long as the systems are in place and being followed you should be ok



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#9 Charles.C

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 07:39 AM

Dear All,

 

It appears that most people here consider your QC Supervisor is not a (very) key personage. :crying:

 

Rgds / Charles.C


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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#10 Mr. Incognito

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 11:33 AM

That's not really the point Charles.  QC Supervisors are key people.  However an SQF inspection isn't going to auto fail if members of the team aren't there.  That was be insane.  Of course things happen, people get called away, or have vacation (well vacation would be a really bad excuse).  There is no mandatory SQF  block under management commitment that says that a minimum of 100% of your management team must be present.

 

All they want to see is your system.  If someone is there that is knowledgeable in it and can show and explain it then you will be fine.  If you don't have anyone that can show your system your screwed.  Look back on the saying "Don't put all your eggs in one basket."


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#11 Marshenko

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 01:24 PM

Do you not have to have deputies as you would for BRC?

 

This is what I was wondering.  When you develop your job descriptions under SQF for those who have "Responsibility for Food Safety" one of the things that needs to be done is to account for their absense with "nominated deputies" - who is the designated backup for that position in the event of their absense... and then ensure that whomever is the backup is trained to be able to at least "hold the fort" and ensure the integrity of the SQF system in the event of their absense.  An extra layer of protection is ideal - Who backs up the back-up? - but depending on the size of your company that may not be feasible.

 

This is all covered under 2.1.2:

 

2.1.2.1 The organizational reporting structure describing those who have responsibility for food safety shall be defined and communicated within the organization.

2.1.2.8 Job descriptions for those responsible for food safety shall be documented and include provision to cover for the absence of key personnel.



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#12 Charles.C

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 05:40 PM

That's not really the point Charles.  QC Supervisors are key people.  However an SQF inspection isn't going to auto fail if members of the team aren't there.  That was be insane.  Of course things happen, people get called away, or have vacation (well vacation would be a really bad excuse).  There is no mandatory SQF  block under management commitment that says that a minimum of 100% of your management team must be present.

 

All they want to see is your system.  If someone is there that is knowledgeable in it and can show and explain it then you will be fine.  If you don't have anyone that can show your system your screwed.  Look back on the saying "Don't put all your eggs in one basket."

Hi Merle,

 

Thks for the vote of support. I also forgot to include the underpaid card of course. :smile:

 

I get the impression, eg MBrowns 2nd post, that his  operation is small and staffed accordingly, ie is an SME. Such enterprises seem to be a common location for a struggle regarding BRC, SQF etc. Not a criticism, I don’t go with the theory that BRC/SQF are a doddle, especially at the beginning.

 

IMEX the purse-strings for back-up heavily depend on the fabled Management Commitment  ?

 

Nonetheless I  naturally hope  that everything goes smoothly.

 

Rgds / Charles.C


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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#13 moskito

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 11:59 AM

Hello all,

illness can happen at any time. Therefor your company should define deputies. This will work with scheduled audits. But not with unannouced audits, especially we have plant and central. In this cases central support is available by phone or WebEx only. To overcome this we have installed a program "always ready for audits". In this program a broad range of employees are trained to cover defined, rather small parts of IFS and/or BRC. This can be adapted for small and larger companies.

Rgds
moskito



#14 SQFconsultant

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 04:09 PM

Hello All,

 

we have an audit approaching in one month, and two key personnel are absent.  Our maintenance mechanic and QA supervisor.  These two key employees are in charge of several key PRPs and SOPs.  As SQF Practitioner i can pick up their work load, but my work load is already heavy enough.  Do you think that without these two key employees present during the facility audit it will be an automatic failure.

 

 

QA Supervisor

-          Allergen PRP

-          GMP Personnel hygiene practices

-          GMP personnel processing  practices

-          Product Identification and Tracibility

-          Loading Transport and Delivery

-          Training PRP

 

Maintenance Mechanic

-          GPM good practices for maintenance

-          Premises and equipment maintenance

-          Calibration PRP

 

 

 

What are your thoughts

 

Having these personnel absent for an SQF audit is not an issue.  I've conducted many audits with only the SQF Practitioner sitting across the able from me. It is the SQF Practitioner (review the code if need be) that must be fully familiar with all aspects of your system and if not that is where the issue will be on an audit as the Practitioner knowledge is scored/graded.

 

However, taking it a step further - under the SQF program you have to have job descriptions and in turn you need coverage for each person as well.  The covering personnel must be able to do just that - cover the position. Why not have these people present?

 

I would also suggest that as the SQF Practitioner that you be fully up to speed on what is expected for this very "key" role.  That should not be taken as a hit against you, it's highly suggested so that you don't get written up as not being knowledgeable during an SQF audit.

 

Glenn


Kind regards,

 

Glenn Oster
 
 
GOC GROUP / +1.800.793.7042 / Food - Food Packaging - Food Storage/DC

SQF, BRC & IFS System Development, Implementation & Certification Consultants

Serving Small-to-Mid-Size Businesses | International Cross-Border C-CUR Acceptance

Internal Auditor Training | eConsultant | SQF, BRC & IFS Pre-Development or Pre-Audit GAP

http://www.GlennOsterConsulting.com  -- 

 

Internal Auditor Training - $50 per person

https://glennosterco...uditor-training

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

#15 KevinR

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 04:18 PM

Dear All,

 

It appears that most people here consider your QC Supervisor is not a (very) key personage. :crying:

 

Rgds / Charles.C

Like thats something new!






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