Getting Started with GFSI Certification
Basic Steps for Preparing for SQF, FSSC 22000, or BRCGS Implementation
1. Designate and Train the Food Safety Team Leader (also known as SQF Practitioner, BRCGS HACCP Team Leader)
- Hold a management meeting and designate the Food Safety Team Leader. The person that is managing food safety is a good choice (Food Safety Manager, HACCP Coordinator, Quality Manager ‚any of these may be a good choice for this responsibility)
- Train the Team Leader- Recommended Online Training Programs: Complete FSSC 22000 Training Package, SQF Complete Training Package for Practitioners, or BRCGS Complete Training Package
- If the Team Leader is not already trained in HACCP, sign the practitioner up for a HACCP Certification Course. Choose a classroom course or an online course.
2. Train the management team
- The management team completes training on the system elements so they are informed of what the system requirements are.
- Sign the management team up for Understanding FSSC 22000 Mastering SQF, or Mastering BRCGS. These courses explain the requirements of the Food Safety Management Systems.
3. Assign an individual or a team to implement and document each required process. Provide the team with the procedure template, implementation plan, and gap information.
- Team Leader completes their training
- Team Leader downloads procedure templates, forms templates, and implementation plans to provide to those implementing the process.
- Team Leader schedules the implementation teams, and assigns a target timeline.
- Teams review the implementation plan and customize the plan and schedule based on the gap results and information from the leader.
- The Team Leader will review the implementation plans and provides feedback to the team.
- The team customizes the procedures and forms as needed for the organization, and implements the process by training employees and making necessary changes to existing processes. The team submits documentation to the Team Leader.
- The Team Leader and management review the documentation and recommend changes as needed. Once finalized the Team Leader and management approve the documentation.
4. Train your audit team
- Designate 2-6 people (or more) depending on the size of your facility.
- Assign Online Internal Auditor Training to each person.
5. Conduct training for production employees.
6. Start your internal audits and management review meetings following the processes defined in the new procedures based on the templates provided and customized by your teams.
7. Have your document reviewed by the certification body you have selected.
- Correct any findings and address any opportunities for improvement that the auditor has identified.
8. Continue internal audits and management reviews.
9. Have your certification audit, and celebrate your results!