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SQF Certification Extension for COVID-19

sqf extension covid-19

Best Answer Marcos77, 20 August 2020 - 05:41 PM

Thanks everyone for the replies.  We have taken many of the above suggestions, but I do not feel comfortable at this time sharing the details of our experience since my original post because of the scope of what it all entails.

 

I will say that I have spoken with many different CB's in the last few weeks, and I believe we were just stuck with a bad apple, because all the other CBs have been very professional and helpful.

 

I guess its a lesson of buyer beware.  Do your research on CBs before choosing one.  There seems to be a lot of good help out there for those of us that take this seriously.

 

Also, thanks everyone for sharing your experiences with requesting extensions.  This has helped us greatly in making our decisions going forward.

 

You all are the best, thanks for being there for me!

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#1 Marcos77

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Posted 06 August 2020 - 03:10 PM

We have an SQF re-certification audit coming up and had just noticed the SQF certification extension for COVID-19 was available.  I contacted our CB, and they told me that SQF wasn't really granting extensions unless there is some kind of "national shut down, or the airlines aren't running."

 

Now, we were curious about the extension because we are trying to keep our employees safe, not because we don't feel ready for the audit.  But the conversation very quickly turned into a sales pitch for the software that our former consultant group, who is associated with our CB, had sold us in the past. We decided this year not to go with the software, and we have been working really hard to make sure we have everything we need, but I was told that without the software, our audit would be a "bloodbath." I was told that our last few audits were not "real SQF audits," though we were certified every year.  I don't know what to make of that statement!

 

So I guess I am wondering if anyone else has any experience with certification extensions.  Is it really that difficult of a process, or is our consultant group/CB just trying to scare us into buying their software again? 

 

We are going to go ahead and have the audit as scheduled even though most of our staff is working from home and we only have a limited amount of production staff on site everyday.  But now I am not sure I can trust our CB to be honest and fair with us, and this has left me unsettled.



#2 jalex194021

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Posted 06 August 2020 - 03:35 PM

Sounds pretty fishy. Our audit just took place in late June, the audit was done in person. I was informed that they could do a 6 month extension, but who knows what will be happening in 6 months from now, maybe fire breathing hummingbirds! The auditor did say that they are having a hard time scheduling everyone who wanted the extension, just get it done, then you can get ready for SQF 9.0!!!!!



#3 Marcos77

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Posted 06 August 2020 - 03:51 PM

Sounds pretty fishy. Our audit just took place in late June, the audit was done in person. I was informed that they could do a 6 month extension, but who knows what will be happening in 6 months from now, maybe fire breathing hummingbirds! The auditor did say that they are having a hard time scheduling everyone who wanted the extension, just get it done, then you can get ready for SQF 9.0!!!!!

Yeah, I'm pretty sure I was just getting pushed by a salesman, but was wondering what experiences others may have had.  I appreciate the info about the scheduling problems, that does make sense. I feel pretty confident about the audit, but was more reaching out to the CB out of curiosity.  But fire breathing hummingbirds... that's another thing! 

Thanks!



#4 The Food Scientist

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Posted 06 August 2020 - 06:27 PM

That's strange. 

 

We asked for an extension due to COVID-19 and that we were shut down for a whole month and that most of our employees work from home, they sent us a risk assessment to complete and from there they approved our extension. 


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


#5 SQFconsultant

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Posted 06 August 2020 - 07:11 PM

You said in part:

"But the conversation very quickly turned into a sales pitch for the software that our former consultant group, who is associated with our CB, had sold us in the past. We decided this year not to go with the software, and we have been working really hard to make sure we have everything we need, but I was told that without the software, our audit would be a "bloodbath." I was told that our last few audits were not "real SQF audits," though we were certified every year.  I don't know what to make of that statement!"

 

...............................................................

 

I am so sick and tired of hearing about B A D Certifying Bodies.

 

We've been in SQF as consultants and auditors for over 15 years now and know a few things --

 

I see garbage like this and it's got me up, waving my arms at you and screaming - FILE A COMPLAINT WITH SQFI RIGHT NOW.

 

Give a verbatim response from the CB, everything they said, names, etc.

 

If this happened to a client of ours I'd be telling them to dump the CB, file a complaint, tell SQFI you want another CB.

 

Please don't allow anyone from this CB to ever come to your facility again - you will not get a fair audit - this is a bad company.

 

I am sure SQFI would be very interested in this part... "I was told that  our last few audits were not "real SQF audits" ---- and then right after chatting with SQFI I would be contacting my attorney and demanding full reimbursement from the CB for all of their services - if the audits weren't real - why did you have to pay anything?

 

Yeah, I'm hot!


Edited by SQFconsultant, 06 August 2020 - 07:14 PM.

Kind regards,

 

Glenn Oster
 
 
GOC GROUP / +1.800.793.7042 / Food - Food Packaging - Food Storage/3PL

SQF, BRC & IFS System Development, Implementation & Certification Consultants

Serving Small-to-Large Businesses | International Cross-Border Acceptance

Auditor Training | eConsultant | GFCP | 50% Reduction for C-Currencies

http://www.GlennOsterConsulting.com  -- 

 

 

SQF, BRC & IFS System Developments - it's what we do everyday!

https://glennosterco...-development-pr

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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#6 alemv15

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Posted 06 August 2020 - 08:49 PM

You said in part:

"But the conversation very quickly turned into a sales pitch for the software that our former consultant group, who is associated with our CB, had sold us in the past. We decided this year not to go with the software, and we have been working really hard to make sure we have everything we need, but I was told that without the software, our audit would be a "bloodbath." I was told that our last few audits were not "real SQF audits," though we were certified every year.  I don't know what to make of that statement!"

 

...............................................................

 

I am so sick and tired of hearing about B A D Certifying Bodies.

 

We've been in SQF as consultants and auditors for over 15 years now and know a few things --

 

I see garbage like this and it's got me up, waving my arms at you and screaming - FILE A COMPLAINT WITH SQFI RIGHT NOW.

 

Give a verbatim response from the CB, everything they said, names, etc.

 

If this happened to a client of ours I'd be telling them to dump the CB, file a complaint, tell SQFI you want another CB.

 

Please don't allow anyone from this CB to ever come to your facility again - you will not get a fair audit - this is a bad company.

 

I am sure SQFI would be very interested in this part... "I was told that  our last few audits were not "real SQF audits" ---- and then right after chatting with SQFI I would be contacting my attorney and demanding full reimbursement from the CB for all of their services - if the audits weren't real - why did you have to pay anything?

 

Yeah, I'm hot!

I agree!!! report them.



#7 Hoosiersmoker

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Posted 12 August 2020 - 05:40 PM

That's the definition of conflict of interest. It's like having a consultant come in and create your system then come in 6 months later and perform your re-certification audit... guess what YOU PASSED!



#8 El Molino

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Posted 12 August 2020 - 08:19 PM

Isn't SQF an approved GFSI scheme? I would go even higher and get GFSI to decertify the CB!! All CB's should be accredited to the same code!



#9 YNA QA

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Posted 13 August 2020 - 12:24 PM

We have our interview with an auditor next week to determine if we can push our SQF audit back 6 months.  SQFI sent out an e-blast mid June and July that explained that if your company wasn't allowing visitors or not operating at a normal level due to Covid-19 restrictions, then you could apply for the extension.  You will go through a 2 hour "audit" to determine if your facility meets criteria to get pushed back.

 

Our work population is up in age, and we've pretty much caught off all visitors except absolute essential, so we are hoping this works out for us.  

We have an SQF re-certification audit coming up and had just noticed the SQF certification extension for COVID-19 was available.  I contacted our CB, and they told me that SQF wasn't really granting extensions unless there is some kind of "national shut down, or the airlines aren't running."

 

Now, we were curious about the extension because we are trying to keep our employees safe, not because we don't feel ready for the audit.  But the conversation very quickly turned into a sales pitch for the software that our former consultant group, who is associated with our CB, had sold us in the past. We decided this year not to go with the software, and we have been working really hard to make sure we have everything we need, but I was told that without the software, our audit would be a "bloodbath." I was told that our last few audits were not "real SQF audits," though we were certified every year.  I don't know what to make of that statement!

 

So I guess I am wondering if anyone else has any experience with certification extensions.  Is it really that difficult of a process, or is our consultant group/CB just trying to scare us into buying their software again? 

 

We are going to go ahead and have the audit as scheduled even though most of our staff is working from home and we only have a limited amount of production staff on site everyday.  But now I am not sure I can trust our CB to be honest and fair with us, and this has left me unsettled.



#10 The Food Scientist

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Posted 13 August 2020 - 02:55 PM

We have our interview with an auditor next week to determine if we can push our SQF audit back 6 months.  SQFI sent out an e-blast mid June and July that explained that if your company wasn't allowing visitors or not operating at a normal level due to Covid-19 restrictions, then you could apply for the extension.  You will go through a 2 hour "audit" to determine if your facility meets criteria to get pushed back.

 

Our work population is up in age, and we've pretty much caught off all visitors except absolute essential, so we are hoping this works out for us.  

 

2 hour audit to get granted extension? 

 

All we did is fill out a risk assessment form and got approved and that's it. No 2-hour audits. 

 

Guess depends on risk. hmm


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


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#11 YNA QA

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Posted 13 August 2020 - 03:13 PM

Our CB told us this was the process that SQFI laid out.  I have a feeling that this is CB implemented.  We've had instances with them recently where they have told us that "yes GFSI/SQFI may say that "xyz" is acceptable per code, but WE prefer this".

 

The 2 hour seems to be pretty standard- show us your covid response, show us how you're protecting your facility, show us your HACCP plan, your SQF Managment review, internal audits, annual challenges etc.

 

Items that we obviously keep up on, so it should be a quick document share.

 

We're low risk, so I can't imagine what a high risk plant has to go through.

 

 

2 hour audit to get granted extension? 

 

All we did is fill out a risk assessment form and got approved and that's it. No 2-hour audits. 

 

Guess depends on risk. hmm



#12 oigdaym8

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Posted 13 August 2020 - 04:49 PM

Any chance you will share which CB you are having trouble with? I am beginning the process of looking into CBs and would appreciate any input. 



#13 Marcos77

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Posted 20 August 2020 - 05:41 PM   Best Answer

Thanks everyone for the replies.  We have taken many of the above suggestions, but I do not feel comfortable at this time sharing the details of our experience since my original post because of the scope of what it all entails.

 

I will say that I have spoken with many different CB's in the last few weeks, and I believe we were just stuck with a bad apple, because all the other CBs have been very professional and helpful.

 

I guess its a lesson of buyer beware.  Do your research on CBs before choosing one.  There seems to be a lot of good help out there for those of us that take this seriously.

 

Also, thanks everyone for sharing your experiences with requesting extensions.  This has helped us greatly in making our decisions going forward.

 

You all are the best, thanks for being there for me!







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