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Due to the outbreak of corona virus, our scheduled unannounced IFS audit can't be performed, causing pause of certification


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#1 Mandark

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 08:05 AM

Hi, 

 

I would like to ask your opinion regarding the following statement from our CB. Our certificate is valid until May 2020

 

Due to the outbreak of corona virus, our scheduled unannounced audit can't be performed. 

 

Currently, we already get the approval from BRC to have the remote audit for ONLY BRC Scheme but unfortunately IFS does not allow any CB to have remote audit  because IFS has mention as remote audits are only suitable for document inspection and do not allow for the reliable auditing of the production site.

 

The existing IFS certificates remain valid until the end of their term and will then lose their validity. Due to not possible to extend IFS cert basing on remote audit (this is IFS decision at the moment), you can consider to pause IFS certification audits on a risk-based basis until the coronavirus epidemic is contained and we will  schedule IFS  on site audit together with BRC on site audit which hopefully before your IFS certificate expiry date. But we would also highlight that your IFS certificate expiry date will remained and worst case your IFS certificate will lose the validity if we cannot do the IFS onsite audit before your expiry date. 

 

 

Regards, 

Mandark

Can 



#2 pHruit

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 09:11 AM

If IFS has no facility for temporary extension via remote audit then there isn't a lot that you or your CB can do. Maybe this will prompt IFS to look at this for future implementation, but that's unlikely to happen on the sort of timescale that would help in your situation.
I think all you can reasonably do in this position is maintain your BRC via the extension the CB has offered through the remote audit, and refer your customers to that - it does at least mean that you have continuity of GFSI-benchmarked certification for the time being. I'd also be inclined to request a formal statement from your CB on their letterhead, as that is likely to be useful to send to your clients with the explanation about what could potentially become a gap in your IFS certification.



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#3 Mandark

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Posted 16 March 2020 - 08:29 AM

Attached are the statements from IFS.



#4 SQFconsultant

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Posted 18 March 2020 - 08:56 PM

If you can not do with your IFS being in effect with continuity - do this --

 

1. Find a CB that can get the audit done within the time you need it so that  you do not have a continuity issue. Don't book it yet, just confirm they can do so.

2. Contact IFS directly an inform them of the situation posed to you by your CB.

3. Tell IFS that unless they give you a certification extension of let's say 90 days that you will locate a CB that can get the audit done.

4. If IFS grants an extension they will inform the CB and there you go - if they don't go to step 5.

5. Contact the CB that said they get the audit done.

6. Have the new CB contact your current CB to get everything turned over to them.


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#5 bnue

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 01:38 PM

Our CB is AIB and unfortunately they did not allow us to postpone the audit when there was lockdown in effect and they charged us the full cost of the audit as we notified them of the cancellation within 14 days instead of stipulated 21 days. This was very disheartening especially when I spoke with several other CB's and learnt that  they were very understanding of this unique situation and actually worked with their clients to reschedule the audits at no additional cost at a later date.

 

Can anyone help guide how we can change CB's? This is a new IFS audit cycle for us, the last one (three consecutive audits) occurred in 2019 May. 



#6 FurFarmandFork

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Posted 11 May 2020 - 05:28 PM

Can anyone help guide how we can change CB's? This is a new IFS audit cycle for us, the last one (three consecutive audits) occurred in 2019 May. 

 

 

 

Contact the new CB first, they will be more than happy to help you with the process of switching to them so the can get your business!


Austin Bouck
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#7 Tresa

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Posted 13 May 2020 - 02:45 PM

Hi,

 

Due to corona virus outbreak we can not perform our audit and I need to communicate our CB for extension of the certificate.

Does anyone could help me what should be the formal statement or reasonable explanation for CB to accept the extension?

I would appreciate your help.



#8 pHruit

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Posted 13 May 2020 - 02:54 PM

Hi,

 

Due to corona virus outbreak we can not perform our audit and I need to communicate our CB for extension of the certificate.

Does anyone could help me what should be the formal statement or reasonable explanation for CB to accept the extension?

I would appreciate your help.

 

My understanding was that IFS (you've posted this in an IFS-based topic, so I assume that's the certification you're considering) have taken the position that they are not issuing extensions to certificates: https://www.ifs-cert...quences__EN.pdf

They are offering a "remote surveillance check", but passing this doesn't appear to grant the 6-month certificate extension, unlike some of the other GFSI-benchmarked schemes.

 

Before worrying about formal statements, I'd simply give your certification body a call and discuss it with them - they'll ask if they need a formal statement to follow up the discussion, and will probably be able to give you guidance on what they need this to cover, but my experience recently has very much been that cert bodies are very aware of the current situation and probably not expecting to be able to do any physical audits for the time being, at least in many countries.

You may even find they contact you proactively about it, although if you're getting close to when your audit is booked for then I wouldn't wait for that!



#9 Tresa

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Posted 13 May 2020 - 03:04 PM

 


Edited by Tresa, 13 May 2020 - 03:08 PM.


#10 Tresa

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Posted 13 May 2020 - 03:06 PM

My understanding was that IFS (you've posted this in an IFS-based topic, so I assume that's the certification you're considering) have taken the position that they are not issuing extensions to certificates: https://www.ifs-cert...quences__EN.pdf

They are offering a "remote surveillance check", but passing this doesn't appear to grant the 6-month certificate extension, unlike some of the other GFSI-benchmarked schemes.

 

Before worrying about formal statements, I'd simply give your certification body a call and discuss it with them - they'll ask if they need a formal statement to follow up the discussion, and will probably be able to give you guidance on what they need this to cover, but my experience recently has very much been that cert bodies are very aware of the current situation and probably not expecting to be able to do any physical audits for the time being, at least in many countries.

You may even find they contact you proactively about it, although if you're getting close to when your audit is booked for then I wouldn't wait for that!

I am sorry for the confusion, but we have SQF audit, that we need to have reasonable explanation for CB



#11 Charles.C

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Posted 13 May 2020 - 03:13 PM

I am sorry for the confusion, but we have SQF audit, that we need to have reasonable explanation for CB

 

suggest to start a new topic in the sqf Covid forum.


Edited by Charles.C, 13 May 2020 - 05:55 PM.
emended

Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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