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SQF Level 1 Going Away in 2015?

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#1 -A_K-

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 07:52 PM

I'm currently involved in preparing a beverage company for an SQF level 1 audit with an estimated audit date of October 2014.  Recently, I've been hearing some rumors of SQF phasing out the level 1 classification in 2015 and am wondering if it would be better to just start with level 2, rather than adapt in time for recertification in Fall 2015.  Anyone have any information on this?

 

Thanks!



#2 Mr. Incognito

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 04:35 PM

I haven't seen anyone say anything to that extent on the forums here or on the news sites I keep tabs on.  At any rate even if you just do level 1 right now you'll have the very basic infrastructure that you can use as a springboard for level 2 later if you need to move up to it.


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#3 -A_K-

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 05:10 PM

Thanks!  I did some digging online and didn't turn up anything either, but I figured I'd ask.  It's better to do level 1 and adapt to any potential changes/phase out later on than to do level 2 right off the bat?



#4 Mr. Incognito

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 05:12 PM

Well it's all in what you want to get out of the standard really.  Level 2 shows a higher level of food safety but if you don't need it your paying more for the inspections (I'm pretty sure I never actually saw the price tag) and they'll take longer.


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#5 Snookie

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 06:41 PM

Think Mr. I has a point:

 

 

Well it's all in what you want to get out of the standard really. 

 

What level you choose would also depend on your customer base.  Most major companies want level 3 but will accept level 2 if your working towards level 3, but don't recognize level 1.  Since they changed to code awhile back, think it is almost as easy to do 3 at the same time as 2. 


Edited by Snookie, 28 May 2014 - 04:22 PM.

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#6 tadelong

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 04:11 PM

If my experience is anything to go by, I would say that most companies are fine with level 2, not 3. I personally think NSF is going to phase out SQF Levels 1 and 2 eventually; just not enough money to be made there. It looks a lot more like they want the in-depth level 2 and 3 audit lengths and costs.



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#7 Mr. Incognito

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 05:49 PM

If your a manufacturer I think it's best just to go to 2 or 3.  3 isn't too much more than lvl 2 it just elevates food quality to the level as food safety

 

If anyone is requiring you (they) to get SQF I'm sure they won't be happy with 1... also 1 isn't a GFSI standard only 2 (and by extension 3 because 3 is 2 with more requirements: http://www.mygfsi.co...ed-schemes.html)

 

So... if you (they) go SQF level 1 and tell people that you (they) are GFSI certified they really should laugh at you (and them)... if they know what they are talking about.


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#8 CMHeywood

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 09:09 PM

I have heard the same thing:  SQF Level 1 is not GFSI benchmarked.  SQF Level 2 addresses food safety programs.  Level 3 adds requirements for a food quality program.  Based on my experiences with obtain SQF Level 2 certification where I work, the jump from Level 1 to Level 2 is huge.  The jump from Level 2 to Level 3 is not that bad but depends on whether you already have a documented quality program.  Level 2 and Level 3 require a lot of documented procedures, policies, meeting minutes, management review, etc. 

 

You would have to check with your certification body about changing the scope from Level 1 to Level 2.  If you have not set up an audit date with a certification body, you will probably not have enough time.  Depending on your certification body, they may be booked for the next six months or more.



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#9 Tony-C

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 05:58 AM

I'm currently involved in preparing a beverage company for an SQF level 1 audit with an estimated audit date of October 2014.  Recently, I've been hearing some rumors of SQF phasing out the level 1 classification in 2015 and am wondering if it would be better to just start with level 2, rather than adapt in time for recertification in Fall 2015.  Anyone have any information on this?

 

Thanks!

 

Hi there,

 

Level 1 is for new and developing businesses and low risk products and takes approximately 1 day less audit time. It is not recognized so the question would be why would you want level certification?

If you gained level 1 certification then you may have to wait 12 months to change to level 2 certification:

5.1 Changing the Scope of Certification
Suppliers moving to a different level (e.g., from level 2 to level 3 or from level 3 to level 2) must wait until their next re-certification audit date.

 

As other posters have stated SQF Code Level 2 certification is recognized by GFSI and is one of the main benchmarked standards. Therefore level 2 certification gives your customers some creditable assurance of the food safety systems you have in place and safety of your products.

 

Regards,

 

Tony



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#10 -A_K-

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 01:42 PM

Wanted to thank everyone for your input.

 

Interestingly enough (and possibly because our product is low-risk), the buyer that requested we pursue SQF certification only requested that we achieve level 1.  It's likely that we'll wind up sticking with that for now, and potentially pursue level 2 in time for recertification the following fall. 






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