Since the publication of the IFS Food Standard Version 6 in January 2012, many of our clients have been wondering when version 7 will follow. According to the latest information released, Version 7 will be published in the first quarter of 2020.
As far as the timeline is concerned, at the moment of writing the first IFS Stakeholder consultation is ongoing. All national and international IFS Working Groups have been asked for their feedback about the changes in the new version.
In the third quarter of 2019, pilot audits will take place. A number of companies with different product/tech scopes have been selected for test audits and will be audited against the new draft checklist.
The second public consultation will take place in the fourth quarter of 2019. All stakeholders will have thirty days to give feedback on the new standard. You can access the consultation on the IFS website.
Publication is scheduled for the first quarter of 2020. After the release, organisations will have nine month to implement the new/or modified requirements before the new version will come into force.
IFS Food 7 – Changes
At the moment it is too soon to confirm any of the changes, as the discussions are ongoing. However, IFS has already stated its main objectives for the new version:
• The new version shall ensure that all requirements are appropriate for the current state of the industry.
• IFS Food 7 shall place more emphasis on product/process related audit methodology to allocate more time in production, adapting the evaluation by restricting documentation review to the essentials only.
• The focus needs to be on the importance of food safety and quality through simpler and more descriptive phrasing.
Thus, the main objective is that IFS Auditors should spend more time in the production area than before.
As one of the leading certification bodies for the IFS Standards, DQS will continue to update its clients on the revision process and the main changes. To stay abreast of the changes, subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.