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).
simple suggestion would be to visit the websites of potential GFSI schemes a
company is considering. (Labs, 2014) suggest that information a firm should
look for on a scheme’s website includes a copy of the code for the type of GFSI
audit, guidance document(s) explaining what is required to comply with the
code, a listing of approved certi?cation bodies for the scheme, etc.
Potential certi?cation bodies:
Correspondingly, companies should
visit the websites of potential Certi?cation Bodies (CB). That can help in con?rming
that the certi?cation body is approved to conduct audits for their type of
operation. Learn what services the certi?cation body offers, like consulting,
pre-audits and audits (Crandall et al., 2012).
Most certi?cation bodies provide
consulting in numerous areas, aside from preparing for a GFSI audit. They will
also conduct pre-audits in which they visit and conduct an unof?cial pre-audit
and provide audit results. Crandall et al. (2017) found that this allows
companies to learn what specific de?ciencies are so they can correct them before
an of?cial audit. Jacxsen et al. (2015) state that combining a pre-audit with
consulting services not only permits the identification of specific
deficiencies, but it offers opportunities for advice on how to correct them as
well. Of course, the certi?cation bodies do conduct of?cial audits for the
scheme they represent.
If possible, it is beneficial to
select a certi?cation body with which a firm already has a relationship (Labs,
2014)— perhaps an organization that has conducted third-party Good
Manufacturing or Food Safety Audits for the company. Certification Bodies tend
to be very busy, so it is recommended to schedule certification audits well in
advance. Also, Jacxsens et
al. (2015) found that it is important to strategize when to schedule the ?rst
of?cial audit because, most likely, it will determine the time each year that
the firm will have the annual GFSI audit. Generally, a yearly GFSI audit is
within a 60-day window of 30 days before to 30 days after the original audit
date (Crandall et al., 2017). Therefore, it is wise to discuss this with the CB
before scheduling the ?rst of?cial certification audit.