A food safety management scheme is ‘recognised’ by GFSI when it meets internationally recognised minimum food safety requirements, developed by multi stakeholders, which are set out in the GFSI Guidance Document | Benchmarking Requirements. GFSI is not a scheme in itself, and neither does it carry out any accreditation or certification activities.
Certification to a GFSI recognised scheme is achieved through a successful third party audit against any of the schemes listed as being recognised by GFSI. The third party companies that provide certification services are known as Certification Bodies (CBs). They are key stakeholders to GFSI and active participants, both in the professional network as well as in the GFSI Technical Working Groups. The Certification Bodies are authorised to audit against the recognised scheme through a formal agreement with the Scheme Owner (SO) combined with the scope of their accreditation.
Accreditation Bodies (ABs) are not-for-profit organisations, either government owned or under agreement with government, charged with ensuring that participating Certification Bodies in the country are subject to oversight by an authoritative body.
Accreditation Bodies may not be high profile in each country but they play a key role in the accredited certification process and ensuring international consistency in conformity assessment.