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Internal Audit vs Gap Analysis for SQF

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NorCalNate

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Posted 14 February 2023 - 05:13 PM

On my company's annual Verification/Validation calendar we indicate "Internal Audit" and also "Gap Analysis". Does SQF require an independent Gap Analysis in addition to the internal audit requirement? To me it seems the Internal Audit would take care of the Gap Analysis. Help appreciated!



jdpaul

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Posted 14 February 2023 - 05:16 PM

A system audit would cover the sections of the SQF code - if the gap analysis did the same thing then that would be duplication. Every benchmarked GFSI scheme that I am aware of requires auditing of the system to ensure continued performance and upkeep. You could supplement your internal audit with an external audit to get a different perspective but It is not necessary.


Edited by jdpaul, 14 February 2023 - 05:19 PM.


NorCalNate

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Posted 14 February 2023 - 05:19 PM

Yes, our internal audit is auditing our Facility and process against each individual part of the SQF code, line-item by line-item. As I suspected the IA would make the Gap Assessment unnecessary.



Brothbro

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Posted 14 February 2023 - 05:20 PM

I agree with jdpaul, my understanding is that SQF requires you have an internal auditing system in place. A gap analysis typically means a review of your system by a 3rd party to identify gaps vs the code. While useful, it is not required. Gap analysis is most usually performed by companies looking to become certified for the first time. Depending on how confident you are in your internal auditing program however, they can still be quite illuminating. 



Kara S.

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Posted 14 February 2023 - 06:34 PM

I define these terms as follows...

 

Internal Audit: You are auditing your facility based upon your policies and procedures as written.

 

Gap Analysis: You are auditing your facility's policies and programs to determine if they comply to a regulation/code/standard. So if you find something that does not fully comply that is a gap. 

 

Either way - you can do this yourself. I have found that most people look for an external resource if they are struggling to solve an issue, unsure how to improve their processes, or need expert opinion to get a project approved by corporate. 


Kind regards, 

 

Kara

Food & Beverage Industry Consultant

IFSQN Business ListingLinkedIn  |  Webpage

 

 


Tony-C

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Posted 15 February 2023 - 06:36 AM

Hi NorCalNate,

 

There is no requirement for a gap analysis although it is recommended prior to certification in Step 6: Pre-assessment Audit (optional):

A pre-assessment audit is not mandatory but is suggested as a way to provide a "health check" of the site’s implemented SQF Food Safety System. A pre-assessment audit may include an on-site or off-site review of your documentation and can assist in identifying gaps in your site’s SQF Food Safety System so that corrective action can occur before engaging the selected certification body for a full certification audit. The pre-assessment audit can be conducted using a variety of means, such as internal resources, a registered SQF consultant, or a registered SQF food safety auditor.

 

SQF Food Safety Code: Food Manufacturing Issue 9 - 2.5.4 Internal Audits and Inspections (Mandatory)

2.5.4.1 The methods and responsibility for scheduling and conducting internal audits to verify the effectiveness of the SQF System shall be documented and implemented.............The methods applied shall ensure:

i. All applicable requirements of the SQF Food Safety Code: Food Manufacturing are audited per the SQF audit checklist or a similar tool; (Checklists available from SQF here)

 

The best plan in my opinion is to ensure all the SQF requirements are incorporated into your internal audit programme and covered throughout the year. You could breakdown the SQF checklist and incorporate that into relevant internal audits or generate your own internal audit checklists including the requirements of the SQF Code.

 

So yes, in summary the “Internal Audit would take care of the Gap Analysis” given the correct incorporation of the SQF Code requirements into the programme. I personally like to complete a full “Gap Analysis” prior to scheduled surveillance/recertification audits for peace of mind.

 

Kind regards,

 

Tony



Scotty_SQF

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Posted 15 February 2023 - 11:52 AM

Basically I think of a Gap Analysis is taking a scheme you are currently not audited against but want to be and seeing where you are at currently and what you need to get there. Internal audits are used to maintain adherence to the scheme you are audited to and the programs you have in place to support this.  





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