Although the goals of the different GFSI schemes are the same, they use different means to achieve certification. The basis of each audit is very similar, but the criteria they follow and their evaluation levels are different.
For IFS, there is a rating and scoring system that BRC does not have. The differences between them lie in cultural issues. For example, according to Kassa, Silverman and Baroudi. (2010), BRC makes it possible to certify a supplier with significant dissatisfaction, provided that such supplier produces objective evidence that it has remedied such disagreement within 28 days. In contrast, IFS does not allow certification if there is any type of nonconformity (Crandall et al., 2017). Asimple suggestion would be to visit the websites of potential GFSI schemes acompany is considering.
(Labs, 2014) suggest that information a firm shouldlook for on a scheme’s website includes a copy of the code for the type of GFSIaudit, guidance document(s) explaining what is required to comply with thecode, a listing of approved certi?cation bodies for the scheme, etc. Potential certi?cation bodies:Correspondingly, companies shouldvisit the websites of potential Certi?cation Bodies (CB). That can help in con?rmingthat the certi?cation body is approved to conduct audits for their type ofoperation. Learn what services the certi?cation body offers, like consulting,pre-audits and audits (Crandall et al., 2012). Most certi?cation bodies provideconsulting in numerous areas, aside from preparing for a GFSI audit.
They willalso conduct pre-audits in which they visit and conduct an unof?cial pre-auditand provide audit results. Crandall et al. (2017) found that this allowscompanies to learn what specific de?ciencies are so they can correct them beforean of?cial audit. Jacxsen et al. (2015) state that combining a pre-audit withconsulting services not only permits the identification of specificdeficiencies, but it offers opportunities for advice on how to correct them aswell. Of course, the certi?cation bodies do conduct of?cial audits for thescheme they represent. If possible, it is beneficial toselect a certi?cation body with which a firm already has a relationship (Labs,2014)— perhaps an organization that has conducted third-party GoodManufacturing or Food Safety Audits for the company.
Certification Bodies tendto be very busy, so it is recommended to schedule certification audits well inadvance. Also, Jacxsens etal. (2015) found that it is important to strategize when to schedule the ?rstof?cial audit because, most likely, it will determine the time each year thatthe firm will have the annual GFSI audit. Generally, a yearly GFSI audit iswithin a 60-day window of 30 days before to 30 days after the original auditdate (Crandall et al., 2017).
Therefore, it is wise to discuss this with the CBbefore scheduling the ?rst of?cial certification audit.