Published: 25 June 2014
Achieving certification against a GFSI-recognised scheme
Certification to a GFSI recognised scheme is achieved through a successful third party audit against any of the schemes that have been recognised by the Global Food Safety Initiative.
To become certified to a GFSI recognised scheme:
- Identify the scope/-s based on the type of activity/-ies of your operation.
- Contact the GFSI recognised scheme owner/-s that cover your scope to determine which of the schemes fits best with the type of activities that your company carries out.
- Request from the selected scheme owner an approved list of certification bodies that can carry out audits against their schemes, or
- Contact your preferred certification body and find out against which GFSI recognised scheme they can offer an audit.
To become certified to a GFSI recognised scheme you should also consider the below aspects:
- Get a copy of the selected scheme. Go through the requirements and identify any gaps in your food safety management system between where you are and where you need to be. Some service providers offer consulting services and might guide you along the way.
- There is a cost to achieving and maintaining certification. Make sure that you have an adequate budget.
- Decide on your Certification Body. The scheme owner will have a list of those that operate in your scope and region. Your Certification Body will not be able to advise you on how to achieve certification. Their role is to undertake an audit and measure your system against the scheme requirements.
- Meet with your technical service provider. Agree on a work plan to take you towards certification.
- Build your capability by attending an introductory training course. These are run by the schemes.
- A pre-audit may benefit your company. They provide you with a mechanism that helps you work out whether you are prepared for an official audit. Your technical service provider will be able to advise on this.
- Once certified, maintain your quality management system in line with the requirements of the scheme.