A customer has asked for GFSI Certification, what is that and what do we need to do?
If you have been asked to get “GFSI Certification” what you actually are looking for is a “GFSI Recognized Certification”. GFSI is an organization (the Global Food Safety Initiative) that benchmarks the various food safety certifications to determine which ones meet their requirements for acceptance. Three popular choices are: SQF, FSSC 22000 and BRC. Read more about GFSI and what it means to you.
We are a food packaging manufacturer, can we be SQF Certified?
Yes, food packaging manufacturers can be certified to SQF. These companies will use Module 2 and Module 13 of the SQF Code. Module 2 is required for all types of companies, and Module 13 is specifically for food packaging manufacturers. “Module 13: Food Safety Fundamentals – GMPs for Production of Food Packaging”
How do I choose a standard for GFSI recognized certification?
Review the available schemes. Identify the schemes that include your industry segment in their scope. The scope of SQF, FSSC 22000 and BRC include most types of food processing as well as food packaging manufacturers, and these three schemes are popular and well recognized.
The requirements of the different schemes are similar, but there are some variations in emphasis, detail, and prescriptiveness of the requirements and in the organization of the standard or code itself. One consideration when you are choosing a standard is what the customer uses, is used to, or prefers. If you have one client in particular requesting certification, you may want to see what scheme they are certified to; chances are they will be most comfortable with the scheme that they use in their facility.
Overall, the goal of GFSI is to make sure that the recognized schemes are robust and address all critical food safety elements. Any GFSI recognized standard will be a good choice.
What is the SQF Practitioner?
The practitioner is the person that has responsibility for making sure that the system is implemented and maintained. They are typically the project manager during the implementation phase, and the person responsible for overseeing the system once certification has been achieved. The SQF Code spells out specific responsibilities for the practitioner during implementation and after certification. Read more about the practitioner and watch a video explanation.
Management must designate a practitioner, and they must be an employee of the company. If you run multiple shifts or facilities it may be appropriate to have more that one practitioner. Make sure that the practitioner is available for the responsibilities assigned to them by the code. (Consider the hours available, the location etc.)
Do I (the Practitioner) need to take the Online Test?
There is no requirement for the online test. The requirement for the practitioner is to be trained and understand the requirements of the code, and to be trained in HACCP. Specific courses are not designated or required. The auditor will be evaluating the competence of the practitioner during the certification audit; they will be looking to make sure the practitioner understands the code.
How do I become an SQF Certified Lead Auditor?
If you are considering being a Certification Auditor and working for a Certification Body, download the requirements “Criteria for SQF Auditors” from the Professionals page on the SQFI site. You will need to take a five day “Lead Auditor Training Course” and a Certified HACCP Course. Lead Auditors must have completed 160 hours of food safety auditing, and have 5 years of food safety work experience. The “Criteria for SQF Auditors” gives the detail of these requirements and can be downloaded free at the SQFI website.
We have an old facility, can we still achieve certification?
As long as your facility meets the requirements in the Food Safety Fundamentals Module that applies to your industry, the facility should not stand in the way of achieving certification. For specifics, review the applicable Food Safety Fundamentals requirements by downloading the SQF Code free at the SQFI website. Look under the documents tab, and download SQF Code, Ed. 7. You will find sections for Site requirements and Construction and Control of Product Handling and Storage Areas. These sections are good points to start with to evaluate your facility against the requirements.
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.