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Is a Partial BRC/IOP Audit Possible?


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JWB

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Posted 03 April 2006 - 09:24 AM

Hi Everyone,

As new as they come to forums, so please forgive me if I blunder my way through.

I'm the export manager for a Chinese flexible packaging producer who already has ISO 9000, 14000 and OHSAS 18000 and an award of "Excellent" from the American Institute of Bakery (AIB).

We now need to get BRC, but as there's no one who can audit it in China they need to fly someone over from the UK.

Our agents have informed us that our packaging has made it through the first round of testing and are awaiting the results of a second round of time delayed tests. The price has already been accepted so now we're in a rush to gather information on this "new" certification we need.

We got the quote (for BRC) back and it's quite hefty - especially if you compare all the similarities between the certs we already have and the BRC. Is it possible to have a partial audit based on what you aren't certified for whilst leaving out/paper-checking what you are already certified for from other certification bodies?

It just seems like a bit of a waste to have someone come over and check off what we already have checked off elsewhere, or am I missing the point completely?

I read somewhere that the producer can audit their own suppliers - does anyone have any experience (first or second hand) with this and that it is indeed acceptable? The timeline we got from the company who will do the audit was also more than we thought it would be, so hopefully this could speed things up?


Thanks for a great site!

Cheers,

JWB



Simon

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Posted 03 April 2006 - 07:35 PM

Hi JWB,

No matter what other certificates are held BRC Certfication requires every clause of the standard to be audited at every audit. It's a pain, but unfortunately there's no getting around this.

I don't know which Certification Body has quoted you, but there are several in the UK, some of whom (I'm sure) have auditors based out in the Far East. Also there is a massive difference between the prices they charge; ranging from around £600 - £1,000+ per day (plus expenses) for essentially the exact same service and certificate.

Also some cert bodies can offer combined audits against BRC/IOP and ISO 9001:2000 so this could help to cut cost and your time.

My advice is to shop around, there is a full list of cert bodies with contact details available on the following web page: http://www.saferpak....c_suppliers.htm

Hope this helps.

Regards,
Simon


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Charles Chew

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 06:05 AM

I am all in agreement with Simon here. Shop around :beer: I know some major CBs offer BRC audit in China so if you hunt them down, you will probably get a decent deal. Seriously consider Simon's idea of doing parallel audits to save cost.

If some one were to tell you that initial BRC audit MUST be carried out by a UK based Auditor, I think its crap. ALL BRC Auditors are subject to the same registration criteria and merits. The only difference that stands between them is their audit experience and they are indeed a decent number of BRC auditors with siginificant experience in China.


Cheers,
Charles Chew
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JWB

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Posted 06 April 2006 - 08:54 AM

Hi guys,

Thanks for the replies :beer:

Just want to clarify what you're saying: While we're at it getting the BRC we might as well renew our ISO?

Also, you reckon there are BRC auditors to be found in China. This would be very good news indeed as the company quoted for an extra 3 man days due to the travelling involved which could probably be argued either way.

Got a few more questions that I hope you don't mind helping me with:

1) How long (on average) from the point where a company is hired until we receive the cert?
2) How many days to do a 65 000 square foot plant?


Thanks for the leads on the site - if anyone wants to recommend someone in China, pls feel free to do so. Not sure if it's allowed on this forum though, but I've had a look around and it seems that that would be what the private message system is for?

Again, Simon and Charles, thanks for your comments. I'll be sure to stick around and lurk in the corners and maybe post once in a while with some advice rather than just asking questions.

Cheers,

JWB



Simon

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Posted 06 April 2006 - 09:57 AM

Hi JWB,

Just want to clarify what you're saying: While we're at it getting the BRC we might as well renew our ISO?

Yes some of the Certification Bodies for BRC Packaging offer dual audits e.g. BRC/ISO 9001:2000. It makes sense as there is a lot of overlap on such things as document and data control etc. The audit may take longer, but at least it's all done in one hit and should work out more cost-effective.

Also, you reckon there are BRC auditors to be found in China. This would be very good news indeed as the company quoted for an extra 3 man days due to the travelling involved which could probably be argued either way.

I'm not 100% but I'm pretty sure there are. If not based in China definitely the Far East.

1) How long (on average) from the point where a company is hired until we receive the cert?

This issue was discussed in a previous thread on these forums and I think the average was shown to be 8-12 weeks - some CB's perform very poorly in this area. After the audit you have 28 days to close out any corrective actions and submit your CA report and supporting evidence to the CB, this is a requirement of the standard. The CB then have to verify the Corrective Action.

The quicker you submit your corrective actions the better and I would also specify in your contract with the CB a maximum of 28 days for them to verify your corrective actions and delivery the certificate to you. This way the maximum time it could take is 56 days (8 weeks).

Following an audit how long does it take to get your certificate - poll and discussion

2) How many days to do a 65 000 square foot plant?

No idea you would have to ask; but it may well be more days on the first audit and less on subsequent audits.

Thanks for the leads on the site - if anyone wants to recommend someone in China, pls feel free to do so. Not sure if it's allowed on this forum though, but I've had a look around and it seems that that would be what the private message system is for?

I will PM you with my recommendation.

Regards,
Simon

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