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My SQF auditor was being audited during the audit


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#1 LisaZ


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Posted 13 June 2018 - 06:33 PM

We just completed our annual SQF  version 8.0 audit.  We were informed several months ago that our auditor would be audited for the duration of our audit.  They call it a "witness audit".  Our CB is NSF.  This was his third year at our facility.  Has anyone else had a witness audit scheduled during their audit?  We found our auditor to be less flexible, less interactive and far more strict than in his prior two years. 


I look forward to your responses! 

#2 SQFconsultant



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Posted 13 June 2018 - 07:32 PM

As an SQF Auditor (former, now a consultant) there was and is still  a requirement for another SQF Auditor to do these witness audits to ensure that everything is up to SQF standards in application and practice by the Auditor doing the audit.  In effect the witness auditor is required to complete a report on the auditor that did your audit.


There is nothing unusal here.


And there is noting like being a highly experienced auditor and having a witness auditor looking over your shoulder during an audit - which might be why it was the way it was, but hopefully it did not impact you in an extremely negative way.  In addition the jump from 7.2 to 8.0 added increased pressure on SQF auditors which would also add to being a bit more "stressed."


As to flexibility that is grey to me. I always felt and still do that an Auditor should be firm but fair, if you call that flexibility then so be it.

Warm regards,


Glenn Oster


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#3 Gerard H.

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 06:47 AM

Dear Izitiello,


This is a quite common phenomenon indeed. I already received about 5 of such witness audits in several companies and for different certification schemes.


There is a prescription for the certification bodies to carry out a certain percentage of witness audits. Of course, it's an exam for the auditor.


Kind regards,


Gerard Heerkens

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#4 Hoosiersmoker


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Posted 21 June 2018 - 06:30 PM

Our last auditor was accompanied by an other auditor. We were told that as our program auditor they cannot consult. HOWEVER the person auditing him is independent of our actual audit so I asked her several questions during the audit about specific questions I had our program auditor could not answer. I also think the fact that your auditor was more strict, less flexible is that opportunities for improvement are no longer allowed. Where before you might have gotten a suggestion to improve in an area it is now a deduction for non-conformance.

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