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#1 Kate381

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 02:34 PM

Ok so here's the issue I'm dealing with...

 

The first audit we had for SQF we passed no problem. I had set up the paperwork into three category binders 

1. HACCP, Prerequistie and Policies

2. Standard Operating Procedures & Standard Sanitation Operating Procedures

3. Worksheets

 

After the audit my boss informed me that he didn't like me flipping through different binders to find all the documentation even though I have no other way of searching for the paperwork since it's a paper audit..... He told me that it should all be filed accordingly in individual duotangs, so now instead of 3 binders I now have over 200 individual duotangs. I started to file it like this 

 

Policy, Standard Operating Procedure and Worksheet associated in one duotang. 

 

But now I'm running into the fact that some policies relate to multiple SOP's so I don't know how else to file it since it's all over the place now. 

 

My question is how do you keep your system filed so everything is easy access during an audit. Keep in mind that yes all the policies are numbered same with the SOP's and Worksheets and they are all reference to each other ex; Policy 1 corresponds to SOP 2,3,5 and worksheets 2,3,5 and it says to reference those SOP's and Worksheets and the SOP's and Worksheets all say to reference Policy 1.

 

Please help me in letting me know how you have organized your paperwork so I can present a better idea to my boss. 

 

Thank you! :) 



#2 Slab

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 05:35 PM

Hi, Kate;

 

I have policies and procedures organized by code section. The scope of our audit is under modules 2 and 11, so that would be two separate binders there

 

Binder #1:

2.1 - 2.9

 

Binder #2: 

11.1 - 11.10

 

I keep all HACCP plans in a separate and dedicated binder as regulatory investigators give a flip about SQF requirements. The cleaning schedules and procedures also have a dedicated binder as this is one of the most referenced and updated system documents we possess.


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#3 Theodore Donald Kerabatsos

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Posted 22 October 2016 - 03:15 PM

Working on the same thing for HACCP, SQF, Organic and I was trying to streamline as well. So far I have 3 separate binders going with duplicate documents across all 3. I initially thought a streamlined single binder would be the move but I'm starting to go in the opposite direction. Does it suck having to potentially update one document 3 separate times? Yes, but I'd rather cater each binder to the eyes that are going to peering into them and not give them an inch more to scrutinize. Is it eco-friendly? No. Is there redundancy? Alot. But for me, peace of mind makes it worth it.

 

Big all encompassing binderbible vs. quick clean audits and inspections

Your boss may understand that



#4 Theodore Donald Kerabatsos

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Posted 22 October 2016 - 03:20 PM

The SQF binder does have everything in it though...

Policy

Management

Food Safety/HACCP plan

Records

Training 



#5 SQFconsultant

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Posted 23 October 2016 - 04:28 AM

We set up a large strong binder for our clients based on modules. The one that we just closed out has all of the indexes set up per code number Module 2 and then tabbed with custom printed indexes from 2.1.1 through 2.9.7 and then same for Module 4 (this one being a pet food company.) With Module 4 (quite similar to Module 11) we do the same thing - however we set up the docs under the 4.1 - 4.10 and the sub categories we also have printed for them for reference material to go into in a separate large D-Ring (STRONG) binder.

 

The SQF Practitioner that we are presently working will have about 12 additional binders for things like all data and audits related to approved supplier program, their new contract services agreements and training info, training, HACCP, Sanitation SSOPs, etc.

 

I was a former SQF Auditor before becoming an SQF Consultant and as an Auditor I had always hoped walking in the door that people would have a set-up like this (it makes the process of the documentation phase of the audit so much easier and a lot less stressful) but most did not, so that when I changed hats this was the first thing we did for our clients... well, actually for them and the Auditors too!


Kind regards,
Glenn Oster
 
GOC Group | +1.800.793.7042 | Serving the Food, Food Packaging & Food Storage Industries
SQF Development, Implementation & Certification Consultants 
 
In a nutshell we help small to large businesses to get their act together (as needed), help them to co-develop
entire SQF documentation systems, make recommendations as to installations and repairs in order
to get certified and continue with on-going support thru our popular eConsultant program and we do
all in about 30 days so your staff can implement with our assistance to retain and get new business!
 
Serving the new Republic of the United States of America & Alliance Countries

http://www.GlennOster.com


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#6 ctzinck

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Posted 31 October 2016 - 07:42 PM

sounds like some of you only have 2 to 3 binders, now I feel like I have too many, I have 10 and our auditors look at them all!

Mock Recalls, Food Safety, Glass Breakage Record/Policy, Sanitation Manual, HACCP, Corrective Actions, Operations Procedures, Calibration Records, SQF Policy Manual, Food Defense.

 

granted some of the binders have repeat information but after 3 years of audits behind us it seems to be working for us.



#7 FurFarmandFork

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Posted 31 October 2016 - 07:46 PM

I organize my sop's in a way that makes sense for my organization and training structure, code be dammed. It's my job to bridge the gap and explain to an auditor how our company meets the code, not necessarily to force the code organization onto our company for the sake of one day a year.

 

In the event I get hit by a train however, I maintain an index of controlled documents, and I include in a "tag cloud" the SQF codes that an SOP may be used to satisfy, so that someone else would be able to present the materials in my absence.

 

-Austin


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Consulting for companies needing effective, lean food safety systems and solutions.

Subscribe to the blog at furfarmandfork.com for food safety research, insights, and analysis.

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#8 CMHeywood

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Posted 31 October 2016 - 08:17 PM

What we do:

(1)  A folder on the computer network that has limited access for the people who are working on documents.

(2)  A separate folder on the network for people to view the signed documents (password protected to prevent changes).

(3)  Hard copies with the signatures in a 3-ring binder.

 

This way we can easily use a computer to show the auditor plus have hard copies available.  The auditors we have had, however, have preferred read hard copies.  I have seen some people saying they make an extra copies of all the documents for the auditor.

 

Copies on the computer also allowed us to avoid having to distribute 3-ring binders that would have to be controlled.



#9 Ryan M.

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Posted 31 October 2016 - 09:32 PM

Aye...all paper?  No way to get away from that?  What a pain...  I have our segregated by functional area.  Of course, most of our programs, policies, and protocols apply to move than one section of our SQF code.  Very tedious to write up an entire program just for one bullet point on the SQF code.  I don't know how/why people do this...

 

At any rate, all of our documents are electronic.  There are no hard copies unless someone wants a specific print out to access manually.  We have terminals all over where documents and record forms can be accessed.  Everything has its own unique number and segregated by function.

 

Record forms are provided in hard copy format in case of network down or power outage.  Those are master forms and kept in the QA Lab.

 

Adobe PDF is your friend...very simple and powerful.  You can combine all documents if you want, make folders or master program manuals.  Easily search within or across the PDF's using keywords.  Simple..simple...simple.  The only drawback is you need people who are savvy enough to find what they are looking for.  Training...training...training.

 

Duotangs...what a nightmare.  Think about how much time you waste printing and filing in those binders or duotangs?  Ugh...



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#10 HokeyPokey

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 04:16 PM

I made up a GBOE - Great Binder of Everything in a excel sheet.  I have everything link to the sheet.  I have a hard copy of the HACCP and all other procedures But I work off of the excel sheet. 



#11 yogirl

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 09:16 PM

We set up a large strong binder for our clients based on modules. The one that we just closed out has all of the indexes set up per code number Module 2 and then tabbed with custom printed indexes from 2.1.1 through 2.9.7 and then same for Module 4 (this one being a pet food company.) With Module 4 (quite similar to Module 11) we do the same thing - however we set up the docs under the 4.1 - 4.10 and the sub categories we also have printed for them for reference material to go into in a separate large D-Ring (STRONG) binder.

 

The SQF Practitioner that we are presently working will have about 12 additional binders for things like all data and audits related to approved supplier program, their new contract services agreements and training info, training, HACCP, Sanitation SSOPs, etc.

 

I was a former SQF Auditor before becoming an SQF Consultant and as an Auditor I had always hoped walking in the door that people would have a set-up like this (it makes the process of the documentation phase of the audit so much easier and a lot less stressful) but most did not, so that when I changed hats this was the first thing we did for our clients... well, actually for them and the Auditors too!

I would love to get a sneak peak at your system. Like a photo, since I am having a tad bit difficulty visualizing the system. Thanks



#12 Ryan M.

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 03:23 AM

I would love to get a sneak peak at your system. Like a photo, since I am having a tad bit difficulty visualizing the system. Thanks

 

I have to be honest here...it is really overkill.  It is pretty typical of a consultant to go overboard.  To keep it simple is best.  Keep in mind you have only one SQF audit a year, but then 362 (or whatever number of days less the audit) to implement, maintain, and enforce all of your programs, policies, and procedures.  Do you want 3 days of pain with an audit, or 362 days of pain with your organization?

 

I put the organization first and make the SQF system as straight-forward and easy as possible to implement, maintain and enforce while meeting the requirements.  The more complex you make it, the more difficult it will be to enforce.  Additionally, in many cases you will have one procedure or program that covers more than one section of the SQF code (it makes more sense from an operations and functional perspective).  

 

I would suggest you organize the documents around your company and operations first, and then align it with SQF.  As another member stated, using tagging of different documents to the particular SQF code section can make it easy.  You can easily do this with your document register.  Add a column, provided it is in excel, and label what section of the SQF code each document applies to.  IF you want to get fancy you can even link it to files so it can open the file with the click of a button on the mouse.

 

I have found more and more auditors, not just SQF (our facility has about 5 to 10 audits/inspections a year), appreciate electronic documents and records much more than hard copies.  We have a big screen in our conference room I link my laptop to and off we go with the audit.  No binders to grab, no records to hunt down (all are scanned and filed electronically).  Additionally, much easier to find/search for keywords electronically than in hard copies....plus a much green system if you are pro environment.  I've always wondered how many tree facilities go through to prepare and maintain for major audits....lol

 

Just my three cents...



#13 Marshenko

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 10:45 PM

This is the one thing I loved about BRC vs SQF ... I had 7 little binders :)



#14 CAMS

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Posted 17 August 2020 - 05:56 PM

Aye...all paper?  No way to get away from that?  What a pain...  I have our segregated by functional area.  Of course, most of our programs, policies, and protocols apply to move than one section of our SQF code.  Very tedious to write up an entire program just for one bullet point on the SQF code.  I don't know how/why people do this...

 

At any rate, all of our documents are electronic.  There are no hard copies unless someone wants a specific print out to access manually.  We have terminals all over where documents and record forms can be accessed.  Everything has its own unique number and segregated by function.

 

Record forms are provided in hard copy format in case of network down or power outage.  Those are master forms and kept in the QA Lab.

 

Adobe PDF is your friend...very simple and powerful.  You can combine all documents if you want, make folders or master program manuals.  Easily search within or across the PDF's using keywords.  Simple..simple...simple.  The only drawback is you need people who are savvy enough to find what they are looking for.  Training...training...training.

 

Duotangs...what a nightmare.  Think about how much time you waste printing and filing in those binders or duotangs?  Ugh...

I would like to know some more information on how you are fully electronic? We are currently all paper in binders and i hate it. It is so unorganized, i would like to be all electronic, but just don't know where to start.

Thanks 



#15 Ryan M.

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Posted 17 August 2020 - 07:29 PM

I would like to know some more information on how you are fully electronic? We are currently all paper in binders and i hate it. It is so unorganized, i would like to be all electronic, but just don't know where to start.

Thanks 

 

You have to make sure senior management buys into electronic because they will need to provide the required resources.  Depending on what level of detail you want to be electronic will dictate your resources required.  Company size and complexity will dictate this as well.  To be honest a lot of it is just a culture issue that needs to be driven.  People have a tendency to want to "feel" the record so they stick to paper.  It is easier to write on and readily available.  Plus, if you have a system or computer that goes down then you end up with problems.

 

It was easier for me to setup in two facility because the culture was already there to make it happen easily.  In the first facility almost everything was done through an ERP system so we had very little paper records to begin with.  The few we had we easily converted to form in PDF, or excel spreadsheets.  All documents were electronic and available to anyone through the shared folder.  All persons had access to a computer, thus access to the document, SOP, policy, program.  Mind you...the most CURRENT one available.  Need to revise something?  A snap...edit and then publish in PDF in the share folder and it is updated.

 

The second facility was a brand new build so we got to dictate how we wanted to handle the documentation system which set the tone from the beginning.

 

I would recommend you start with the documents, programs, policies and keep those electronic only.  Once you nail this down you start getting into the records and making as many of those electronic as possible.  I found it easier to start with QA & the lab because they generally have more access to computer terminals and network.

 

The hardest part is taking the first step...get buy in from upper management.



#16 YNA QA

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Posted 18 August 2020 - 01:07 PM

The only paper copies we have are SOP binders for the work areas, the daily/weekly sanitation check off sheets, training documents (for signatures) and our HACCP plan.

 

All other items are stored in an SQF (or whatever scheme you audit under) folder on our server, and they are numbered by the SQF Code 2.1.1-11.9 etc.

 

When I have an an audit, I bring a large monitor and hook it to my laptop in our conference room, and I pull it up for the auditor to read via the monitor.

 

You'll find that one day you will update an SOP, forget to print it, and when you go to defend it an an audit, you'll be in a pickle.

Save yourself the hassle, have paper copies of only absolutely necessary items- HACCP plans, training, etc and keep all others on your server.  If employees don't have computer access they should have binders/printouts of appropriate documents.  

 

Our jobs are hard enough, don't make it harder on yourself. 






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