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Some of our auditors have had a power shot!


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#1 GMO

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Posted 18 February 2016 - 11:31 AM

Just a warning call to people out there.  In the last 3 months we've had an increasing number of auditors who have suddenly pulled their finger out and are demanding far more.  Two I'd pick out would be:

BRC - we had 0 non conformances 2 years ago, the audit was a joke.  Not this year.

 

M&S - the split to integrity and food safety audits has given auditors more time on the food safety audit.  Expect a VERY detailed audit.  Hands and knees with a torch job and to the letter of the COPs no wriggle room at all.  No "we've chosen a different way which is just as effective."

 

If you supply just about everyone as I do this makes things a bit of a nightmare but forewarned is forearmed.

Is anyone else finding auditors have taken their vitamins this morning?

 

:smarty:

 

Also interested in peoples views on whether it improves standards...  We had a top rating from an unannounced audit on one site to have a mediocre rating from a different auditor the next week.  Were any of the issues raised by the second auditor valid?  Yes, some.  Were we making unsafe food?  No, not at all.  Just missing some "t"s being crossed, "i"s dotted etc.



#2 Tony-C

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Posted 18 February 2016 - 12:46 PM

Back to the good old days then ;)



#3 Maltus

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Posted 18 February 2016 - 01:00 PM

Actually, we have detected this increase in the number of no-conformities too.

 

To my, there are two main reasons:

 

- Audits performed to certification bodies by IFS, BRC... Only this year, two certification bodies  have been suspended to certify IFS in Europe.

 

- Complaints from supermarkets:  Two of our clients have been audited by supermarkets to ensure its compliance of the standard after passing the previos audit performed by a Certification bodie.



#4 QAGB

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Posted 18 February 2016 - 02:44 PM

Just a warning call to people out there.  In the last 3 months we've had an increasing number of auditors who have suddenly pulled their finger out and are demanding far more.  Two I'd pick out would be:

BRC - we had 0 non conformances 2 years ago, the audit was a joke.  Not this year.

 

M&S - the split to integrity and food safety audits has given auditors more time on the food safety audit.  Expect a VERY detailed audit.  Hands and knees with a torch job and to the letter of the COPs no wriggle room at all.  No "we've chosen a different way which is just as effective."

 

If you supply just about everyone as I do this makes things a bit of a nightmare but forewarned is forearmed.

Is anyone else finding auditors have taken their vitamins this morning?

 

:smarty:

 

Also interested in peoples views on whether it improves standards...  We had a top rating from an unannounced audit on one site to have a mediocre rating from a different auditor the next week.  Were any of the issues raised by the second auditor valid?  Yes, some.  Were we making unsafe food?  No, not at all.  Just missing some "t"s being crossed, "i"s dotted etc.

 

Hi GMO,

 

I can't say that I've seen that yet. We do have several audits throughout the year, and I generally find some auditors to be more picky than others. I've always tried to be cautious because you never know what sort of an auditor you'll get.

 

We've had the nice ones, talkative ones, very thorough ones, and the ones that you hope you never get. We've gotten through them all, mostly unscathed.

 

I will heed your warning call though.

 

 

 

QAGB



#5 Simon

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Posted 18 February 2016 - 03:33 PM

There has been an integrity gap in the third party auditing industry for some time caused by the huge differences in the standard of audits, auditors and certification bodies.  

 

Any auditor can go in any business and in two days find a list of minor NC's.  Yet too many unworthy and even unsafe businesses have been passing audits with good grades and low NC's. 

 

All interested parties in 3rd party certification standards have been demanding improvements.  The standards owners now employ more sophisticated tools to measure performance and quality of audits and are able to weed out the shysters.  It follows that audit standards will tighten (more rigorous requirements, tougher grading systems and real and consistent audits).  A long way to go, but we're on the right road.

 

:thumbup: for tough audits across the food supply chain around the world.

 

Regards.

Simon


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#6 esquef

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Posted 18 February 2016 - 05:59 PM

I know that in the U.S. GFSI recognized scheme organizations are trying to converge with FSMA so that their audits will eventually be recognized by FDA as being equivalent to a regulatory audit, particularly regarding the Foreign Supplier Verification Program FSMA pillar. I suspect that they'll be tightening up their audits in the attempt for 3rd party recognition by FDA. I'll find out soon; SQF audit is next week!



#7 RMAV

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Posted 18 February 2016 - 06:02 PM

An auditor we had sometime in 2015 took vitamins *and* stayed in a Holiday Inn the night before.  Overall a good auditor, though.



#8 mesophile

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Posted 19 February 2016 - 10:07 AM

Hi All,

 

Its been a while since my last post.

 

I teach degree students about BRC standards and in the last year (Feb 2015 to Feb 2016) there has been a notable drop in the number of approved BRC auditing bodies globally. In 2015 there were 110 bodies, of which 91 specialized in food auditing. This year however there are only 89 auditing bodies, 75 of which are now specializing in Food, even though the number of approved food sites globally has gone up.

 

For BRC to ditch 20% of approved food auditing bodies in only one year there must have been a bit of a shake up.

 

Simon



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#9 RMAV

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Posted 19 February 2016 - 04:16 PM

Was BRC doing the dropping or was it market forces?



#10 Chris DeV

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Posted 19 February 2016 - 07:21 PM

I noticed both an increase in auditor "awareness" AND a more thorough regulatory visit. I think our inspector and our auditor was equal in toughness.

 

I think the lack of cohesiveness among the certifiers, coupled with a number of companies having food safety issues after receiving glowing audit scores, is the impetus behind the strict focus. But, I actually celebrate that fact, as it makes our food safer. Then again, I've always viewed audits as a learning tool, so maybe I am in the minority.

 

Chris



#11 Simon

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Posted 19 February 2016 - 07:28 PM

I noticed both an increase in auditor "awareness" AND a more thorough regulatory visit. I think our inspector and our auditor was equal in toughness.

 

I think the lack of cohesiveness among the certifiers, coupled with a number of companies having food safety issues after receiving glowing audit scores, is the impetus behind the strict focus. But, I actually celebrate that fact, as it makes our food safer. Then again, I've always viewed audits as a learning tool, so maybe I am in the minority.

 

Chris

 

I don't think so Chris and even so you are on the right side.

There will be pain (eventually) for those who are not.


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#12 esquef

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Posted 24 February 2016 - 01:18 AM

Just finished up our 5th SQF audit and the process was more thorough than in the past 4 years with the auditor saying that convergence with FSMA was driving tougher audits than years previous. We did, however, score a 99 (pending acceptance of the audit by SQFI). An adult beverage is currently in hand.



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#13 JohnWheat

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Posted 24 February 2016 - 08:11 AM

There has been tightening up going on for a while now. I agree that food sites need to have a harsh reality check sometimes but I'm seeing and hearing some evidence as per the OP/Thread. Food safety and working system need focus, not picking up wording on documents or colour of someone's apron etc. I'm paraphrasing of course, but lets not mistake getting harsher audits and picking up real sillies as necessarily better ones.



#14 RMAV

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Posted 25 February 2016 - 04:56 PM

Just finished up our 5th SQF audit and the process was more thorough than in the past 4 years with the auditor saying that convergence with FSMA was driving tougher audits than years previous. We did, however, score a 99 (pending acceptance of the audit by SQFI). An adult beverage is currently in hand.

Saw tougher, more thorough here in 2015 too.  Several auditors in the past looked at the veneer, but the last couple were looking underneath and finding some chipboard and not beautiful, solid oak.



#15 JohnWheat

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Posted 26 February 2016 - 08:14 AM

Saw tougher, more thorough here in 2015 too.  Several auditors in the past looked at the veneer, but the last couple were looking underneath and finding some chipboard and not beautiful, solid oak.

Haha I like that analogy :shades:  



#16 Jeffrey Ort

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Posted 03 March 2016 - 07:02 PM

In the past year, the changes have been noticeable. BRC had instructed the CB to have auditors dig deep into programs (our feeling, until an NC was was located).

The responses were sent back and then the auditor state that there was not enough information provided in either corrective action or root cause analysis.

We even had an auditor require us to report root cause analysis different than the BRC participate guidance and interpretation described.

That being said, then technical review comes into play, where they are requesting further documentation and not relying on the auditors notes or information, as they had been in the facility.

It seems that there are many levels of issue with the GFSI schemes and auditors.

Audits were created to review many types of processing environments, the implementation was plant or process specific (say what you do).

Review of the facility was the auditors responsibility as they were the eyes at the plant (do what you say).

Proving it was always the key with your documentation and timely completion and closeouts.

Now the technical reviewer are overriding the information, at times of the auditors.

 

We have had  auditors of all styles and it is disheartening, when you have a young team of eager and bright individuals that understand the schemes, shaking their heads saying what more do they want.

I have been involved with GFSI audits for many years now, with companies that have multiple facilities and am disapointed in the way the past 12 months have gone with audits, auditors, and closing of audits.



#17 tadelong

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Posted 16 March 2016 - 06:40 PM

We have had  auditors of all styles and it is disheartening, when you have a young team of eager and bright individuals that understand the schemes, shaking their heads saying what more do they want.

I have been involved with GFSI audits for many years now, with companies that have multiple facilities and am disapointed in the way the past 12 months have gone with audits, auditors, and closing of audits.

That is unfortunate to hear, Jeffrey. Both for you and for those of us under other schemes. When one side kicks it up a notch everyone seems to rush to catch up.



#18 GMO

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Posted 17 March 2016 - 03:32 PM

I noticed both an increase in auditor "awareness" AND a more thorough regulatory visit. I think our inspector and our auditor was equal in toughness.

 

I think the lack of cohesiveness among the certifiers, coupled with a number of companies having food safety issues after receiving glowing audit scores, is the impetus behind the strict focus. But, I actually celebrate that fact, as it makes our food safer. Then again, I've always viewed audits as a learning tool, so maybe I am in the minority.

 

Chris

 

I agree and we felt cheated after 0 non conformances one year but at the same time, we had some really, really picky things where perhaps we complied with the spirit of the statement but not the letter? Doesn't matter, non conformance.  That's what I object to more than most because as we supply most major retailers in the world, our procedures have to comply with all; sometimes they are contradictory!



#19 GMO

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Posted 17 March 2016 - 03:35 PM

 

 

We have had  auditors of all styles and it is disheartening, when you have a young team of eager and bright individuals that understand the schemes, shaking their heads saying what more do they want.

I have been involved with GFSI audits for many years now, with companies that have multiple facilities and am disapointed in the way the past 12 months have gone with audits, auditors, and closing of audits.

 

I feel your pain.  One of the auditors was complaining bitterly that the section of our Board of Directors monthly pack didn't have a date on it. 
"but the front cover has a date on it"
"but what you're showing me hasn't"
"I will show you the front cover but I'm afraid I don't have authority to show you commercial data"
"but the technical section should have a date on it"

"It's a section of a pack, like a chapter in a book"
"but it should have a date on it" :helpplease: 

 






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