Not sure how long the objective evidence has been on the code but before I was in my current job they had consultants doing the internal audits and for no issues they wrote "no issues" and they never got an NC. I guess it is getting more strict now.
I see it as a way of them trying to help us look exactly at what the auditors will be looking for and hence helping us in getting less NCs. BUT yes we are pretty much making their job easier as well lol.
They made the change going from 8.1 to 9.0:
18.104.22.168 The methods and responsibility for scheduling and conducting internal audits to verify the effectiveness of the SQF System shall be documented and implemented. Internal audits shall be conducted at least annually. The methods applied shall ensure:
i. All applicable requirements of the SQF Food Safety Code for Manufacturing are audited as per the SQF audit checklist or similar tool;
22.214.171.124 The methods and responsibility for scheduling and conducting internal audits to verify the effectiveness of the SQF System shall be documented and implemented. Internal audits shall be conducted in full and at least annually. 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;
ii. Objective evidence is recorded to verify compliance and/or non-compliance
They changed the code number for the internal audit requirement, added the ii objective evidence requirement, and didn't clearly show that change in their own guidance documents.
Summary of changes:
• Moved 2.5.4 Product Sampling to 2.4.4.
• Added staff conducting internal audits shall be independent of the function being audited.
I've made the same "no issues" mark in a number of client records over the past few years, and this caught me even completely off guard. We've had to notify all the plants for the company I work for now aware of the change, and a couple scrambled to make sure the self-audits were properly filled out. It literally gives the auditor a road map to travel down and make their job easier, and lets them hit us on our own handiwork if something is amiss.