I am a consultant working in helping food plants getting ready for certifications such as BRC. I have been through many audits and auditors have different interpretation of BRC clause 3.4 (internal audits). I wanted to get your opinion on the following:
For already certified plants, it is expected that they covered each clause of the BRC standard, through out the previous year. That's fine.
For first time applicants, some of the auditors are satisfied if the plant has a planned schedule, based on risk, but has not gone through all the clauses before the initial audit. I was at a client last week where the auditor required that they had fully completed their internal audits before the initial audit. It means that they should have assessed each clause, write down evidence of conformity and non-conformity, corrective actions for NC's, etc which I think is not feasible if you are still implementing procedures and systems to get ready for a BRC certification.
My interpretation is that once you are certified, then you can start verifying the effectiveness of the Standard implementation.
I am curious to see if anyone has experienced diverging opinions with auditors regarding internal audits...