From the fall of 2016 onwards, certified sites will have the option to sign up for unannounced IFS Food audits. The IFS will update its audit protocol to include the possibility of replacing the announced certification audits with an unannounced audit scheme. The updated protocol is expected to be published in March 2016 and to come into effect six months later. As your preferred certification body for IFS standards, we would like to give you an overview of what to expect.
As with the BRC Food unannounced audits, the IFS Food unannounced audit scheme is voluntary. Certified sites that wish to opt into the unannounced scheme need to sign up in the IFS audit portal at the latest 16 weeks before the regular audit due date. The audit will then be conducted at a random point within the time window, which spans from 16 weeks before the due date until two weeks after.
Certified sites have the option to define certain dates where an audit is not possible, with a maximum of ten operational days, plus the periods where the site is not operational.
Unlike the unannounced audits that take place within the framework of the IFS Food Checks, these audits are not additional to the regular audits, but rather replace them. This also means that they cover all requirements of the IFS Food Standard. In contrast to the IFS Food Checks, the unannounced audits will be performed by the certification body of your choice.