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tgf

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Posted 10 June 2021 - 02:08 AM

Hello all, I'm after some clarification re SQF auditing frequency. Our last few audit scores have been as follows: March 2019 - 82 (complies) - next audit within 6 months September 2019 - 87 (good) - next audit within 12 months. Our next audit after this was scheduled for September 2020, but with our state closing down to international and interstate travellers, the audit got postponed several times, and we finally managed to get it done in April 2021. We came away with only 2 minor non-conformances, so should still be on a 12 month audit schedule. I have just received the certificate, which states that our next audit is due in September 2021 (so only 5 months from our last audit). When I questioned this with the certifying body, their answer is that 'the original audit cycle will revert after the extension of the 2020 audit, and we are still scheduled to be audited bi-annually". None of this makes sense to me; firstly, our last 2 audits have had a 'good' score, which to my understanding means annual audits. Secondly: our most recent audit was in April 2021 - whilst I understand that this audit should have taken place sooner, the situation in April 2021 was such that there were only 2 non-conformances noted (not in September, but in April, if you understand my thinking). Do I have any chance in challenging this with the certification body (who have been pretty useless so far in their communications tbh) or do I just grin and bear and prepare for another audit way sooner than we should?

 



tgf

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Posted 10 June 2021 - 06:36 AM

I'm unsure on how to edit my post, so I'll just add:

 

When I say: "Do I have any chance in challenging this with the certification body.." I mean challenging the scheduling of the next audit in September 2021 and pushing for an audit in March/April 2022 (so 12 months from the last audit).



SQFconsultant

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Posted 10 June 2021 - 10:50 AM

They need to stay in cycle, has nothing to with good audit standing and all the other gook. Enjoy the audit and if you dont like the cb change them.


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Ryan M.

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Posted 10 June 2021 - 12:25 PM

Only reason to be audited 6 months is if you are required to do a surveillance audit.  However, with the mess of the pandemic a lot has been shifted around.  What you can do is contact SQF directly and explain the situation to get their guidance.

 

What you could do is press the CB to see if you can change your audit date to April versus September.  Of course the CB has a vested interest in coming back out in 6 months ($$$$$).  I think petitioning to change your audit date would be your best bet and can work.

 

About 7 years ago I changed the audit date for the facility I was in.  It was a process, but it started with the CB.  I requested the change due to personnel and audit timing around the holidays.  A vast number of key personnel / managers would be on vacation during that timespan.  And you have a better position to petition for an audit date change than I did.



jkoratich712

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Posted 10 June 2021 - 03:47 PM

We were told by our CB that the auditing cycle doesn't change just because we had an extension due to the pandemic. Therefore, if we would have done a full 6 month extension we would have went 18 months between audits and then only 6 months until the next one. Based off that, we chose to get our auditor in as soon as we feasibly could (audited in June 2020, rather then in March 2020. Certificate didn't expire until May - so only 30 days past) so that our next audit would still be 11+ months out. 



tgf

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Posted 11 June 2021 - 12:49 AM

Thanks for your replies, all. 

 

I now understand 'the audit cycle' - although it seems rather non-nonsensical to me that any deviation would be such a big thing.

 

It has taken us well over 2 months from audit to receiving the certificate, with a lot (and I mean: A LOT!) of chasing up and pushing from our end, so my confidence in the CB isnt very high. I'll get in touch with SQF as Ryan suggested and see where we go from there.



Spidey

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Posted 11 June 2021 - 02:09 PM

I know this might sound crazy, but 6-8 weeks sounds about right for the duration between audit and receipt of the certificate.  I had my audit the week of Thanksgiving (end of November) and didn't get my certificate until the middle-end of January.  CB's have a lot that they have to do on their end before we get certificates on our end.

 

Thanks for your replies, all. 

 

I now understand 'the audit cycle' - although it seems rather non-nonsensical to me that any deviation would be such a big thing.

 

It has taken us well over 2 months from audit to receiving the certificate, with a lot (and I mean: A LOT!) of chasing up and pushing from our end, so my confidence in the CB isnt very high. I'll get in touch with SQF as Ryan suggested and see where we go from there.






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