SQF Certification Audits
Initial Certification to SQF
To become certified you will need to choose an accredited certification body for your organization, as well as the SQF Level for certification and the scope of the certification. Certification companies are listed on the www.sqfi.com website.
Once you have implemented the system your certification body will perform a document review or “desk audit” to determine readiness for your next step, the On-site Audit. If the audit identifies areas of the system that do not comply with the SQF Code, you will need to correct nonconformance before you will be recommended for certification. Once those are corrected and verified your company will be recommended for certification. The system will then be monitored by your auditor through surveillance audits.
The SQF Certification Audit:
The certification audit is a two stage process. It consists of a desk audit (offsite) where the auditor reviews your organization’s SQF Documentation, including the food safety plan, to see if it meets requirements, and determines readiness for the onsite audit. The auditor may issue nonconformance at this stage. If nonconformances are issued during the desk audit, they must be addressed before the onsite audit.
The onsite certification audit is then conducted. The amount of time the auditor will spend at your facility is determined by the “Audit Duration Guide” four and in Part A of the SQF Code (available for free download from www.sqfi.com/sqf-code-downloads ) During the certification audit the SQF Auditor will examine your SQF System to determine:
- If the system has been implemented effectively
- If there is evidence of Management Commitment to the maintenance and improvement of the system
- If activities comply with regulatory, customer and SQF requirements
Findings are categorized as:
Minor Nonconformity, must be corrected within 30 days and will be verified at the next audit
This is a nonconformance to the documented system or to the SQF Code that does not cause an immediate food safety risk or indicate ineffective implementation of a system element.
Major Nonconformity, must be corrected and verified within 14 days of the finding. A Major nonconformance is a nonconformance to the documented system or to the SQF Code that could cause an immediate food safety risk or indicate ineffective implementation of a system element.
Critical Nonconformity, results in a suspension of certification or failure of the certification audit. A critical nonconformance consists of a loss of control at a critical control point, prerequisite program or other process step that could cause a significant risk and product safety is compromised or any falsification of records.
SQF audits are scored. Depending on the number and types of nonconformances identified during the onsite audit, the facility is given a score of E- Excellent, G- Good, C- complies or F- fails to comply. The score issued affects what type of follow-up audit you will have (re-certification after 12 months, or surveillance after 6 months)
The SQF Surveillance and Re-certification Audit
Once certified, your certification body will audit to ensure that your organization continues to comply with requirements, conducting surveillance audits at a frequency determined by your performance in the certification audit.
SQF Online Training
SQF Practitioner Training & Implementation Package
Fulfill the SQF Edition 9 training requirements for an SQF Practitioner. Learn the requirements of SQF. Work with the requirements in interactive exercises to understand how to implement, document, and audit an SQF system.
SQF for the Practitioner + HACCP Certification Training Package
Perfect for the SQF Practitioner: Training on SQF Requirements and HACCP.
Master the SQF Edition 9 Code Requirements. This course is for management, Food Safety team members, and anyone who wants to understand the requirements of the SQF Food Safety Code.
SQF Internal Auditor Training
Gain the qualifications you need to become an SQF 9 Internal Auditor and audit your company's SQF system effectively and with confidence
Food Safety Culture
Learn how to measure and improve your company’s food safety culture. This course covers concepts and actions you can take to embed food safety more fully into the behavior, beliefs, and attitudes of all employees at your organization.
SQF Template Package
Learn to plan and document your Food Safety Management System with SQF Manual, Procedure, and Form Templates. The templates are downloadable and ready to customize for your organization.
SQF Premium Training & Implementation Package
This cost-saving training package includes training for your SQF Practitioner, food safety team, internal auditors and employees.
SQF Corporate Training Package
This cost-saving training package for larger or multi-site companies includes training for your SQF Practitioner, food safety team, internal auditors, and employees.
Food Safety Culture Maturity Assessment Tool
Measure your organization’s current food safety culture maturity to get a clear picture of what is going well and where improvement is needed. Learn what steps you can take to make improvements in all the components that drive food safety culture.
Production Workers: GMP Essentials
Get your production team the up-to-date essential food safety GMP training they need and your business deserves.