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How long does it take to become SQF Certified?

Getting ready for registration involves building your Food Safety Management System, documenting that system, and implementing it throughout your organization.

A 2012 survey of certified companies showed an average of 8-12 months to prepare for certification. Details

Based on information from our visitors and customers, the average time for implementation is approximately one year, however the time frame will vary depending on your organization's specific circumstances. Your timeframe maybe shorter or longer than average.

For example, consider:

  • Do you have a Food Safety Management System or parts of a system in place?
  • How much time can personnel devote to working on the Food Safety Management System development each week?
  • What tools or assistance will you use?
  • How many products, product groups or process lines do you have?
  • How complex are your processes?

As you plan your project you will need to think about those questions. You can measure your current Food Safety Management System against the SQF requirements by performing a Gap Analysis.

A Gap Analysis is an audit you perform to see what parts of the SQF Code you already are complying with. It is useful information for planning a timeline for your project.

You will also want to determine how much time will be spent on the project by internal people. Will they be able to spend 5 hours a week on the project? One hour a week? Answer this question so you know what internal resources are available.

Look for tools or assistance to help make your project efficient and effective. A professionally designed and documented SQF Food Safety Management System will save you a tremendous amount of time spent designing your system by trial and error and documenting the system.

By using a professional system you will have a system of procedures that are designed to give you running head start at a well designed, time tested Food Safety Management System. Our systems have been used in thousands of companies from a variety of industries, all over the globe.