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Tips on BRCGS Certification

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gina0509

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Posted 07 August 2023 - 02:57 AM

Hi all,

Hope everyone is doing well! I am new to this forum. I work for a very young and very small Lupin product manufacturing company. We are HACCP certified. We are now looking into BRCGS certification. 

Would anyone here have experience with how BRCGS certification works for first time applicants. As you all know, HACCP requirements is not as stringent as GFSI requirements. We have few Fundamentals in place. But not all. If we start implementing them now and looking at getting audited in November, how do they verify the effectiveness or what do they base their conformity or non conformity status on? I mean for most its an annual review. So between the time fundamentals/ PRPs are implemented and we ask for GFSI audit, there will not be any chance for an annual management review or any of the annual reviews. So how does the certification process work? Can anyone please advise. Thanks



Tony-C

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Posted 07 August 2023 - 03:15 AM

Hi Gina,

 

:welcome:

 

Welcome to the IFSQN forums.

 

Based on requirements for new facilities a minimum of 3 months’ full compliance would be required prior to a certification audit. I would also arrange a Senior Management Review before the audit, you don’t need to wait a full year.

 

In preparation for your audit it is strongly recommended that the site is assessed against the BRCGS Global Standard for Food Safety Issue 9, this can be in the form of a self-assessment as per Part III Audit protocol, 1.2 Self-assessment of compliance with the Standard

It is essential that Standard and any current position statements, all of which are available on the BRCGS website.

The Standard should be read and understood and a preliminary self-assessment * should be conducted by the company against the Standard to prepare for the audit. Any areas that need to be improved to meet the requirements should be addressed by the company to prevent a non-conformity being raised at the audit.

Alternatively, you could ask your proposed certification body to carry out a pre-assessment.

 

* BRCGS Auditor Checklist & Site Self-Assessment Tool is provided on the BRCGS Guidance Webpage can be used to carry out your self-assessment. I have attached a copy below.

 

Attached File  f904a-auditor-checklist-site-self-assessment-tool-english-version 1.docx   236.03KB   17 downloads

 

Kind regards,

 

Tony


Edited by Tony-C, 07 August 2023 - 03:22 AM.


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kingstudruler1

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Posted 07 August 2023 - 05:15 PM

Tony's comments are quite relevant.   You are probably pushing the timeline.  You need to have all of the reviews / assessments completed even if the fundamentals are not a year old.   

 

 how do they verify the effectiveness or what do they base their conformity or non conformity status on?   Do you meet the standard, that is it.   

 

Get the checklist Tony linked.   This IS the audit.  In my opinion, should be your internal audit form.  For every line of the checklist, ask yourself how am I going to prove to someone that we meet the criteria? (what policy, procedure, record, observation proves we are compliant).   Complete the checklist, correct deficiencies, then do it again.  and again.  


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gina0509

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Posted 09 August 2023 - 11:11 AM

Thanks so much for the guidance. We dont have a full time QA. I work part time and i am focused only on getting Audit ready. Our products are in high demand. But we are just 4 people in the company. Between my boss who owns the company and me, we share all the duties. We have passed our HACCP certifications every year. But complying with BRCGS requirements is really a lot!! Trying our very best.

I know this is probably a vague question. But would you know if there might be some PRPs that we can omit? We are classed Low Risk. We dont use any animal product.



BGAQA

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Posted 16 August 2023 - 01:22 AM

Welcome gina0509,

Our company works in a similar space as yours and I have taken the company from HACCP to BRC (AA+ last year).

 

I agree with the advice above 100%, including that getting your system in place by November would be a very severe challenge.

 

You won't be able to skip entire PRP's* but there will be individual parts of the code that do not apply to your business. In my system, we acknowledge those parts of the standard and then demonstrate why they are not applicable. In some cases, this can be one sentence, while others require a risk assessment or another more involved demonstration as to why that part of the standard is not applicable.

 

*the only exception I can think of is if your company does not engage in traded goods, then you could skip section 9.



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