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SQF Level 3 Requirements


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FlotoYo

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Posted 10 September 2021 - 05:01 PM

Hi! We are looking into getting our level 3 certification. We have been level two certified for three years.

We're reading the Quality Code Module 2, and it doesn't seem all that challenging to adjust our SOPS for it, but I always thought Level 3 was REALLY difficult to get. Can anyone tell me in plain language, what the requirements REALLY are? How hard is it? There's NO definition for "quality" in the code, can it truly be as easy as that? Do WE as the business get to define what our Quality standards are? HELP APPRECIATED!



TimG

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Posted 13 September 2021 - 05:54 PM

Ok, I've been out of the SQF game for a few years. Didn't they get rid of the levels?

 

Back when I looked into taking our plants from level 2-3 (5-8 years ago) the biggest changes were:

  • Writing the quality program to be similar to the current HACCP program
  • The increased focus and documentation on quality control points (QCP's) and Critical QCP's (I think they called these CQP's at the time?)
    • training, recordkeeping, all akin to the level of our current CCP's
  • Step up in management commitment to adhere to all new quality requirements (this one would have probably been easier than it seemed, the lab manager, who was my equal in terms of FSP ownership, was pushing the COO harder then I thought was needed, probably to shut the whole thing down in its infancy)

 

At the time there was a cheat sheet circulating about the required changes when going from 2-3 that I thought was put out by SQFI.



Ryan M.

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Posted 13 September 2021 - 06:36 PM

Yeah no more levels.  It is just FS and FQ.  FQ doesn't impact your scoring at all.  In my view it isn't really worthwhile unless you have significant quality issues that you cannot seem to get addressed, or it is a customer requirement.  If neither are the case there is really no added benefit and you just increase the cost of your certification.

 

In fact, I've been evaluating our SQF at our plants and eliminating the FQ aspect since it doesn't really provide us any real benefit.  I just can't get a straight answer if any of our customers require it.



TimG

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 03:32 PM

Yeah no more levels.  It is just FS and FQ.  FQ doesn't impact your scoring at all.  In my view it isn't really worthwhile unless you have significant quality issues that you cannot seem to get addressed, or it is a customer requirement.  If neither are the case there is really no added benefit and you just increase the cost of your certification.

 

In fact, I've been evaluating our SQF at our plants and eliminating the FQ aspect since it doesn't really provide us any real benefit.  I just can't get a straight answer if any of our customers require it.

 

They will wait until you eliminate the FQ programs and then you'll get a call from the owner on a Friday at 5 as him (or her), the product manager, and the owner of BigCustomerX are sitting on the golf course. "What's this I hear about you thinking of eliminating FQ, no don't do that it turns out we need it for BigCustomer X. Have a good weekend!"

 

This is the way



Ryan M.

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 11:29 PM

They will wait until you eliminate the FQ programs and then you'll get a call from the owner on a Friday at 5 as him (or her), the product manager, and the owner of BigCustomerX are sitting on the golf course. "What's this I hear about you thinking of eliminating FQ, no don't do that it turns out we need it for BigCustomer X. Have a good weekend!"

 

This is the way

 

Ha...maybe...I'm having our CS team look at the customer contracts so if that happens we can say, "Well....wasn't in the contract so...sorry".  But honestly, most customers don't look past the certificate date.



Hoosiersmoker

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Posted 16 September 2021 - 03:10 PM

FQ is a marketing tool at best. If you don't already have a comprehensive QMS you're probably not going to survive anyway. It's also a way for SQF to make more money (adds 1/2 to 1 full day to your audit).






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