Years back I worked as a 3rd party auditor (prior to becoming an SQF Auditor) for an auditing company that had gotten one of those gigantic supermarket auditing contracts and I found myself auditing a different food or packaging company on a daily basis all over the country.
Our audit format was developed in conjunction with the chain and the auditors as well as the auditing company - it was I still feel to this day the best all around audit format to follow, rather stringent but at the same time it allowed good auditors to not have to get into grey areas and the auditors could remain firm in application by at the same time fair.
I'm saying all of this because we found the closest format for an audit to be the one done by AIB.
However, this is where is faltered - I don't know if it was AIB or the the training of their Auditors - but, we were almost routinely coming up with grades/scores on facilities that were in many cases substantially lower than what AIB Auditors had.
All of us got the point where we'd actually cringe when walking in a facility that proudly displayed their SUPERIOR AIB certificates on the wall, because we knew that if we did the job we were there to do, that at the end of the day it could be a rough outbriefing due to those inflated AIB audit certificates.
I think their watershed moment was when they had the Auditor that basically looked the other way and top rated Peanut Corporation of America.
Since those years, I'm not sure what AIB has improved on their so called standard.
All I know is that today I rarely see companies that tout AIB audits.