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Are there any differences between Certification Bodies?

SQF Certification

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#1 MW1414


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Posted 07 January 2020 - 07:32 PM

My company is currently in the process of selecting a CB for initial SQF Certification. My question is, is there really a difference between all of the certification bodies other than price? I've currently gotten four quotes for certification and two of the four quotes are comparable, while the other two are decently far apart. My GM is interested in the cheapest quote, but I'm not sure this is the best way to go. Does anyone have a preference for what CB to use? Any particularly good experiences with certain ones?

#2 The Food Scientist

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 08:30 PM

From my experience.


The only difference would be price and service quality.


We had a CB that took them FOREVER to send us our SQF Certification! They kept saying oh we're still reviewing. bla bla and it was frustrating for us to wait because we had customers requesting. So we stopped using them and moved to another which cost slightly more but gave us the best quality when it comes to a timely review and sending us our certification. Even their sign up process was smooth.


Other than that price would differ slightly.

Everything in food is science. The only subjective part is when you eat it. - Alton Brown.

#3 MW1414


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Posted 07 January 2020 - 08:40 PM

My thinking here is you kind of get what you pay for...at least I would imagine anyway. A bigger, more recognized auditing company with a good reputation within the food manufacturing industry is probably going to be the better bet versus a smaller type auditing company right? 

#4 SQFconsultant



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Posted 07 January 2020 - 09:20 PM

As a former SQF Auditor who worked as both an employed and contract auditor I can tell you there are major differences in CB's and price is but one consideration.


You get what you pay for. 


Not all companies treat their Auditors fairly - some pay badly, while others on both ends of the $$$ scale are decent.


There is nothing worse than having planned out an audit along with all travel expenses already paid out and get a note the client canceled the audit -- the company kept the cancelation fee and the Auditor gets left out in the cold.


These days, we recommend one company to our clients and it is not because their Auditors are easy or because they are the cheapest - We find that their Auditors are firm but fair, they treat them with respect and have on-going calibration meetings to keep everyone on track.  


As to pricing they are somewhere in the area of $8000 for the first year + travel fees, etc.


Like our SQF consulting company, when someone tells us they are looking for the cheapest, we tell them it won't be us - we won't be the highest, nor the lowest - just the best.


I've sat in on enough SQF audits to know who treats their auditors well enough where it reflects in the work the auditor does - if your boss wants the cheapest prepare yourself for mayhem.

Kind regards,


Glenn Oster
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