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Can the Quality Manager/SQF Practitioner conduct a total audit?


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#1 lara_80

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Posted 20 November 2019 - 01:24 AM

We do monthly inspections which are cross departmental and normally we have someone from another facility come in to do a total internal audit but that is not possible this year. I am new to this company and I am used to doing the total internal audit myself as I am a trained auditor. I am currently the Quality Manager/SQF Practitioner for the facility. I do not think it is a problem with me doing the total audit but I others seemed concerned because its supposed to be cross functional and we are going for a SQF Quality certification this year as well. To me, while I am the Quality Manager I am auditing the facility which is responsible for carrying out the functions and the cross functionality should not be an issue especially since all of our monthly inspections are cross functional. Is there any auditors that have input on this issue?



#2 GMO

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Posted 20 November 2019 - 12:50 PM

I'm not familiar with SQF but a basic premise of most auditing standards is that you don't audit your own work.  I accept that it's inevitable to a degree that you will use a procedure written by you or your team at times in an audit and it's unrealistic to rule out the QM as an auditor completely but doing a full site audit yourself seems like you risk not being objective on areas which are well within your remit, e.g. if you are also HACCP team leader. 

 

Any SQF experts on here like to wade in?



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#3 SQFconsultant

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Posted 20 November 2019 - 01:01 PM

No, this will be an issue - it does not fall on 1 person to do the yearly audit, this should be more than 1.

 

I see this heading for issues at audit time.


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#4 Timwoodbag

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Posted 20 November 2019 - 02:53 PM

2.5.5.4 Where practical staff conducting internal audits shall be independent of the function being audited.

 

Sounds to me like it is practical for other people at your company to get involved, since that is already what you do 12 times a year.  

 

Also, the company has paid for an outsider in the past, so it is not a resource crunch either.  


Edited by Timwoodbag, 20 November 2019 - 02:54 PM.


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#5 Hoosiersmoker

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Posted 21 November 2019 - 04:49 PM

I guess I'm confused. You are responsible for conducting internal audits (I'm guessing what you refer to as monthly inspections) regularly taking into account all necessary elements and, where possible, the people performing those should not audit (inspect) areas for which they are directly responsible as part of their normal job. However, as the Practitioner you are responsible for auditing your entire food safety management system to ensure it is accurate and working correctly. You may NOT however conduct a certification audit on your own facility. That must be done by a 3rd party. In our situation, inspections are considered as internal audits as they take into consideration all elements of internal audits and they are processed/reviewed as such to address any nonconformances identified. Hope this makes sense.



#6 QAGB

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Posted 21 November 2019 - 05:04 PM

I guess I'm confused. You are responsible for conducting internal audits (I'm guessing what you refer to as monthly inspections) regularly taking into account all necessary elements and, where possible, the people performing those should not audit (inspect) areas for which they are directly responsible as part of their normal job. However, as the Practitioner you are responsible for auditing your entire food safety management system to ensure it is accurate and working correctly. You may NOT however conduct a certification audit on your own facility. That must be done by a 3rd party. In our situation, inspections are considered as internal audits as they take into consideration all elements of internal audits and they are processed/reviewed as such to address any nonconformances identified. Hope this makes sense.

 

 

I think the confusion is because the OP is the QA Manager AND the SQF Practitioner. The SQF Practitioner would coordinate internal audits against the SQF standard (which are different than monthly GMP inspections), and may also do them as well (as long as they aren't auditing their own work). However, as QA Manager, I see a great bit of conflict with conducting internal audits. This would have to mean that the OP would be auditing a lot of their own work; which cannot be done. I would think that the OP should look to have another person as the main SQF Practitioner.



#7 svelasan

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Posted 07 December 2019 - 12:20 AM

I got a Minor NC on my desk audit because I was also doing the complete internal audit myself, I'm the QA Manager and the SQF Practitioner. The auditor asked me: if you are responsible for the verification and validation of the SQF system how are you auditing yourself? I included our Operations Manager as a member of the Internal Auditing team and that was accepted. 






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