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#1 Irishlass105

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 10:36 AM

Guys,

 

I just completed BRC announced audit with a grade AA and 1 NC raised. We are a medium size family run business who have always been on the announced system. We have decided to go unannounced which has now been enforced by a customer requirement for 2018.

 

I have a strong FSQM system in place which shows from our most recent score in our audit but due to the size of the of business with only 3 management members including myself we may be put under extreme pressure if a BRC audit arrives and I am not on site or available due to holidays.

 

Along with my FSQM I want to put in place a dummys guide of how and where to find SOPs, records, procedures etc against the BRC standard if I wasn't available for the audit. A guide for the other managers to help them through the audit. 

 

I am the only member of the QA team and I am the manger of this area - the other two are production based. 

 

Has anybody got any templates, examples or guides to what I have described. Also, has anybody put a similar guide in place and has it worked? Suggestions are very much welcome.

 

Regards,

IL



#2 Tony-C

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 10:51 AM

Hi IL,

 

Congratulations on the audit result :sorcerer: 

 

You should be able to block out dates such as your holidays for the unannounced audits.

 

If I was in the same position I would produce a table of the BRC clauses/requirements with the corresponding relevant records and procedures that you have including the location of these documents.

 

By BRC requirements you should have a nominated deputy and that would seem to be the logical person you should be bringing up to speed with this.

 

Also consider the split unannounced audit option, where the first part of the audit (part 1) is unannounced and concentrates on good manufacturing practices and there is a later, scheduled, announced audit (part 2) that reviews primarily records and procedures.

 

Kind regards,

 

Tony



#3 Irishlass105

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 10:55 AM

Hi Tony,

 

Yeah we will block out 14 days but we could just not be certain that it would work out for us that I would be available or even enough senior management would be available. 

 

A table sounds like a good option - anything to ensure smooth sailing if I was not in the country (the joys of being a fan of a summer holiday or two).

 

Has anybody done the split audit? The BRC guys discussed this when they were in with us and said they have never experienced this kind of audit and it is not very popular. They also told us for companies of our size it is very difficult to go unannounced so that has made me anxious.

 

Regards,

IL



#4 trubertq

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 12:32 PM

Oooh,you need to get your other 2 managers up to speed, and preferably another member of staff, say a supervisor or a line leader. What happens currently when you are away?


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#5 Irishlass105

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 12:35 PM

Oooh,you need to get your other 2 managers up to speed, and preferably another member of staff, say a supervisor or a line leader. What happens currently when you are away?

 

All our audits are announced and any unannounced I have been on site so it has not been an issue to date. We have been lucky that it has worked out the way it has I suppose.

 

I am thinking of getting a consultant to come in and complete audits and the other managers have to complete it with them instead of me to test them and the system.



#6 Tony-C

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 01:04 PM

Hi IL,

 

I think that most people want to get the audit over in one go and so decide not to split them.

 

As truebertq has said getting the other 2 managers on board would be ideal, finding the time to do that training is another thing ......... :uhm: 

 

It must be quite difficult with a one person QA team, would the cost of using a consultant be better spent on an additional employee that you could train up?

 

Kind regards,

 

Tony



#7 FurFarmandFork

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 04:21 PM

We regularly talk about the "Furfarmandfork got hit by a train" scenario in management to prepare for events like these.

 

To start, I have a master index of all my controlled documents "SOP's", and I added an extra column called "in support of SQF codes" where I indicate all the portions of the code the SOP helps address. This way, if I'm out and someone unfamiliar is presenting documentation, if they're stumped they can search for the portion of code that's being audited and get sent in the right direction.

 

They second thing I do is when I have my annual "SQF systems review", I use the SQF checklist to go through and address how my current systems/paperwork address each requirement and do a gap analysis. Rather than just identify the gaps, I go through the exercise of identifying just which procedures support each requirement and write it down. This is good for me, but also provides a template of "answers" to each portion of the code when an auditor asks, so someone other than me could use that as a direct reference.

 

The audit still wouldn't go quite as well without me (after all, that's why I'm here!), but these resources would help anyone stumble through and understand my thought process if I chose to jump the tracks that morning. :) I imagine you could do something very similar with BRC.


Austin Bouck
Owner/Consultant at Fur, Farm, and Fork.
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.

#8 Ryan M.

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 06:26 PM

Excellent timing!  I'm working on this very thing.  As Tony mentioned using the standard and linking that to the location of the documents/records is one of the most effective ways.

 

Since all of our records are available electronically my template for this will go down our SQF standard and have a "supporting documents" column with a hyperlink to each file and then a "supporting records" with a hyperlink to the applicable records folder to show the "proof".  For us, this will create a document that doesn't need a whole lot of revision, but is very powerful where almost anyone can step into it and take it on.



#9 Tony-C

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 07:06 PM

To be honest I'm not one of these people that are in the mode that 'I'm indispensable' but here are where my documents are....... but a guide is useful.

 

Management is about teamwork and as we all know 'there is no I in TEAM'. I prefer to train/develop people and select someone as a natural replacement then train and mentor them. In this case it would be one of the other managers.

 

This policy has worked and the sites that I worked at have achieved the same result whether I was present or not. The only difference would be in challenging any non-conformances.

 

Kind regards,

 

Tony



#10 mgourley

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 07:57 PM

I have used something very similar to what Ryan described. It's a little bit of work to set up, but works like a charm.

 

Marshall



#11 J0hn

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 03:01 PM

In my quality manual there is 3 small columns on the far right hand side relating to BRC clause, another customer clause and the third column is our internal document reference.

 

Procedures start with PR

Forms start with FM

Risk assessments start with RA

etc.

 

So (in theory) it should be easy to find the correlating document.

 

John






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