I've split this topic off from this one as I didn't want to divert from the specific advice that member was receiving for her project. In addition your question is more related to the detail of the documentation structure of a FSMS rather than the project plan for achieving certification. I hope this makes sense.
FSMS documentation varies in structure, it is allowed to and there is no one set method. That said if you looked at a documentation set of any company with certification to a GFSI standard you would expect to find:
- Top level policy statement for food safety and quality
- Other policies such as personal hygiene, allergen, foreign body etc.
Usually these policies would be bundled into a manual of some sort that would also include an overview of the procedures of the system perhaps also spelling out how they meet the clauses of the particular standard. Some people write this manual as a reiteration of the actual standard and then against each section, clause or paragraph they put a reference to their procedure.
E.g. Section 2.1 of the BBC Standard states that a HACCP study must be conducted…blah, blah, blah covering blah, blah, blah…
In the manual:
Section 2.1 – A HACCP study has been conducted covering blah, blah, blah. See HACCP Manual FSMS, reference 1.3.
In addition to the policies, manual, haccp studies, risk assessments, procedures/PRP’s you may also have detailed work instructions (what I call SOP’s).
You can certainly have broad procedures or processes and more detailed SOP’s where necessary. Sometimes a detailed SOP is useful with pictures of how to do things etc. other times it is better to actually write the simple instructions on the checklist or record form, so that they are in the operators face whilst they are recording data.
Top and bottom of it is whatever works for you and try to keep it as simple as possible. The goal of the FSMS is to be effective, but as efficient as possible. This is actually the subject of next Friday’s IFSQN webinar.