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Is an Unannounced Audit completely unannounced?

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karlieh

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Posted 15 November 2022 - 12:51 PM

This year we will be having an unannounced audit, and I was wondering if it truly is unannounced or if they give you a little heads up (example: a week before they come).

 

 



olenazh

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Posted 15 November 2022 - 12:58 PM



Setanta

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Posted 15 November 2022 - 01:17 PM

You did not specify what standard you were being audited against, but with SQF and I believe BRC unannounced means unannounced. One day in your audit window, they will show up. It's annoying but IME it does happen in the first 4 weeks of the window.


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Scotty_SQF

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Posted 15 November 2022 - 01:26 PM

It's unannounced.  Actually in my experience they showed up more toward the middle.  I understand the reasoning for unannounced, but honestly they give you an 8 week window when they can show up, so to me, facilities still have time to prepare.  If you have an audit that is anything over two days, the nice thing is that if they don't show up by Wednesday that week, you know they won't show up that week.  I have also heard of some sites reaching out to local hotels and providing the name of the auditor and asking these hotels to call them when that person checks in.  I personally have never done that and feel it is a bit shady, but to each their own.



Scampi

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Posted 15 November 2022 - 02:24 PM

Our unannounced SQF was completely unannounced and was in the 2nd last week of our window

 

 

The idea is the auditor will actually see how the plant looks and runs 99% of the time without audit prep happening


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MDaleDDF

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Posted 15 November 2022 - 02:37 PM

Our last FFSC 22k was unannounced, and they showed up near the end of the window, but I'd be ready for them whenever if I were you.   We run every day like there's  an auditor coming in.   Everyone pops in now....   FDA, Dept of Ag, MIOSHA, etc, so we have to be ready at all times for an inspector.



SQFconsultant

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Posted 15 November 2022 - 03:25 PM

Scotty_SQF wrote:

"I have also heard of some sites reaching out to local hotels and providing the name of the auditor and asking these hotels to call them when that person checks in. I personally have never done that and feel it is a bit shady, but to each their own."

....

Started laughing when I saw tbis - I worked as a hotel QA Auditor for the franchisor and my boss was a former Holiday Inn Manager who told the nearby roafway toll takers that if they saw one of the Holiday Inn corporate green cars cone thru that had the QA logo on the side to immediately call him because it gave him at least 20 minutes heads up befor the auditor walked into the lobby.

The toll collectors were rewarded with a weekend stay with meals included.

20 minutes is not a lot of time but his team still could key in on auditor hot buttons.


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Glenn Oster

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https://t.me/MVIdigitalwarrior

Miss Frankie

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Posted 15 November 2022 - 03:49 PM

Our last FFSC 22k was unannounced, and they showed up near the end of the window, but I'd be ready for them whenever if I were you.   We run every day like there's  an auditor coming in.   Everyone pops in now....   FDA, Dept of Ag, MIOSHA, etc, so we have to be ready at all times for an inspector.

 

As it should be!  

I have been working on that since I started here, telling them that we should always be audit ready.



MlissaB

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Posted 15 November 2022 - 08:13 PM

Our sites are BRC certified and we've had four unannounced audits this year from early in the window until late (4 month window for BRC). One unannounced was the Mon morning after the requested black-out dates. 

 

We also requested just a 1-hour heads up because one QM is responsible for multiple sites and lives 45 minutes from the site with the unannounced audit and we were told that was not possible because they have 30 minutes from arrival until they need to be on the production floor starting their walk-through. Apparently even one hour is too much of a heads up.



Venkateshkini

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Posted 16 November 2022 - 04:25 AM

Depends on your relationship with Auditor / Auditing agency.

 

Strictly speaking an Unannounced audit is completely unannounced. We had auditors who came at late evning also without any information.

 

Whereas in some companies i heard that auditors inform one day before audit to FSTL / company representative



Scotty_SQF

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Posted 16 November 2022 - 12:51 PM

BRC has a four month window for unannounced audits?!  Wow, to put things outside of work on hold for four months is asking a lot, with not allowing quality teams take any time off and such.  Makes me more glad that SQF is only a 60 day window.



Hoosiersmoker

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Posted 21 November 2022 - 07:03 PM

Unannounced is unannounced! This year our audit window was from Oct 8 through Dec 8. I had a colonoscopy scheduled on Oct 12th and had already prepped for it on the 11th and the morning of the 12th. The auditor was here at 8:00am on Oct. 12th! My boss called me in a panic and "asked" me to come in. Long story short I came in and we received a 97 on our audit. Your auditor can show up on any date within that window, early or late.



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Abby7

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Posted 23 November 2022 - 10:43 PM

I agree - unannounced is unannounced.

We had our unannounced SQF audit Oct. 26-27, 2021. This was at the end of our 60 day window.

We didn't receive any emails or other communications from the CB or auditor with the audit plan or any asking about personal protective equipment or our Covid procedures etc.   Also didn't get any reply from an email just wanting to confirm we were actually scheduled.

It was a long 6-7 weeks.   :headhurts:



Ryan M.

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Posted 24 November 2022 - 04:45 PM

As others have said it depends on your relationship with your auditor (if you have used them before) and the certification body.  But, unannounced audits are exactly that, unannounced.  You will get a defined window and possibly some black out dates depending on your operation.  It can be annoying if your plant isn't audit ready daily, or if you have personnel who need to be involved at other locations.

 

In one of our sites last year the auditor did not show up for the unannounced audit window!!  Everyday we were ready, but it was very annoying and embarrassing to be honest because all the personnel at the site were asking me what happened.  The certification body said, "oops! There was an emergency and we have to reschedule.  It will be another 60 day window."  I wasn't having that and negotiated it down to a couple weeks.  Utterly ridiculous it happened, and no, it is not normal.

 

As long as the plant is ready daily it really isn't a huge deal.  Last unannounced the site got a 98, another site got a 90, but different auditors, different sites, different times of year.

 

Oh, also for SQF you have 60 minutes from the time the auditor arrives to when he needs to go into the facility.  The last auditor kept trying to get in earlier before we were ready (not all key personnel at the site).  I asked him, "I thought we had 60 minutes?" and he said, "Yes, but I'd like to get in earlier."  I was polite and informed him he needs to wait for other personnel and we could review any documents in the meantime.  He ended up waiting and getting some coffee and we chatted.

 

These any type of audit is really like a box of chocolates, even with the same auditor....you really don't know what you are going to get.


Edited by Ryan M., 24 November 2022 - 04:47 PM.




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