FSSC 22000 Version 5 – The Main Changes and their Background

Constanze Illner Food Safety & Hygiene, News, Revisions

On June 3, FSSC 22000 published Version 5 of its certification scheme. One big reason for the revision is the publication of the standard ISO 22000: 2018 last summer, which is used as a basis for the GFSI benchmarked certification scheme. The new version includes mainly structural changes that we will present in this article.

First, we want to give you a quick overview of the FSSC 22000 framework. The standard consists of three components: ISO 22000, PRPs and the additional FSSC 22000 requirements. The international standard ISO 22000 forms the basis for FSSC 22000 and outlines the requirements for the development, implementation and maintenance of the Food Safety Management System (FSMS) as laid down in the standard ISO 22000:2018. This is the reason why the revision of ISO 22000 has such a big impact on FSSC 22000. The scheme specifies mandatory application of technical specifications detailing the prerequisite programs (PRPs). These PRP requirements are specified in the ISO/TS 22002-x series, NEN/NTA 8059 and/or the BSI/PAS 221 standards. FSSC 22000 additional requirements are related to the topics management of services, product labelling, food defense and food fraud mitigation.

In the new version 5 there is an optional quality management module, which includes all the integrable elements of ISO 9001 into the FSSC 22000 certification. This way it is possible to combine a Food Safety Management Certification with a Quality Management Certification.

FSSC 22000 is applicable for the following branches: food manufacturing, food packaging manufacturing, animal feed production, farming as well as transport and storage, catering and retail and wholesale. GFSI benchmark is valid for food manufacturing (C), animal feed production (D), transport and storage (G), food packaging manufacturing (I) and bio chemicals (K).

Changes in version 5

ISO 22000 is a cornerstone for FSSC 22000 – therefore it’s not surprising that all important changes in FSSC version 5 correspond with the changes in ISO 22000. For the sake of completeness, we will describe changes again but you can also consult our article regarding the changes on ISO 22000.

The new version adopts the so-called High-Level Structure (HLS), the common structure for all new management system standards. The adoption of a common structure throughout all standards facilitates the integration of various management systems. Users of ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 45001 will already be familiar with this structure. In practice, the change in structure will make it easier for organizations to combine ISO 22000 with other management system standards.

In accordance with the changes in ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015, the new version of ISO 22000 is also a risk-based standard. The standard will distinguish between risk at the operational level l (through the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point approach (HACCP)), as well at the strategic level of the management system and its ability to reach its specified goals as such.

The standard now consistently distinguishes two Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycles. The first applies to the management system as a whole, while the second, within it, addresses the operations described in Clause 8, which simultaneously cover the HACCP principles. This is illustrated in the graph below.

Additionally version 5 includes new definitions as well as further information regarding the different categories. It improves previous scheme requirements and enables integrated management system audits for FSSC 22000-Quality. Here you can download the standard free of charge.


• Audits against the FSSC 22000 Scheme requirements V4.1 are only allowed until December 31st of 2019.
• Transitioning to Version 5 is possible at the time of recertification or at the time of a surveillance audit.
o Transition at the time of recertification: after a successful audit, a certificate to Version 5 is issued with a validity of three years
o Transition at the time of a surveillance audit: the surveillance audit is replaced by a so-called upgrade audit. After a successful upgrade audit, your certificate to Version 4 is replaced by a certificate to Version 5, with the same expiry date
• Upgrade audits against FSSC 22000 Scheme requirements V5 shall be conducted between 1st January 2020 and 31st December 2020. (Under extraordinary circumstances, the V5 upgrade audit can be postponed to 2021, but this process shall be completed in accordance with the FSSC scheme requirements and before June 29. After that date, V4.1 certificates will expire and the organization will need to start over with the certification process as per ISO 17021 to re-gain certification.)
• The first audit against the new version shall be an announced audit
• All remaining V4.1 certificates will be automatically set to invalid by the Portal after 29 June 2021 and will thus no longer be visible in the list of certified organizations on the FSSC 22000 website.

DQS – Your partner for FSSC 22000 certification

DQS CFS is one of the leading certification bodies for management systems and sustainability standards and your natural partner for FSSC 22000 certification. With smooth audit planning, experienced auditors and in-depth audit reports, we will accompany you throughout the entire certification process.

Contact us if you have any questions about the revision, or register for our newsletter to receive regular updates on certification and standards.

Constanze Illner Administrator
Constanze Illner is Research & Communication Officer at DQS CFS GmbH
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Constanze Illner Administrator
Constanze Illner is Research & Communication Officer at DQS CFS GmbH
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