Food safety in times of Corona – New BRCGS audit protocols

Constanze Illner Food Safety & Hygiene, News

The confidence of consumers and customers in food safety must be maintained at all times, and perhaps even more so at times of crisis. Standards and certification continue to play a key role here. But what to do if auditors cannot perform their audits due to travel restrictions and hygiene measures? For those cases, BRCGS has developed three certificate extension procedures: BRCGS072, BRCGS Certificate Extension PLUS (077) and the Covid-19 Additional Module. In this article, we will describe the features and the differences between these three protocols.

In these unpredictable times, it can be a challenge for scheme owners, certification bodies and suppliers to ensure food safety. It is essential for everyone to continuously adapt to the unusual circumstances. In order to meet the new requirements and to ensure food safety even without an on-site audit, BRCGS has developed three audit protocols, which we would like to briefly present to you.

Certificate Extension in Accordance with BRCGS072

The first certificate renewal protocol that BRCGS developed in response to COVID-19 is called BRCGS072. The programme is applicable to sites that are operational, but where a physical audit cannot occur before the audit due date.

The protocol prescribes a risk assessment by the responsible certification body, in order to evaluate whether the validity of the certificate can be extended. In addition, the certification body must have an interview with the site and review the procedures in place to establish the impact of COVID-19 and the effective implementation of the emergency response plan. Please note that certificates may only be extended by the current certifying body.

Through a successful BRCGS072 assessment, locations achieve a GFSI-compliant certificate extension of 6 months. As soon as the location is accessible again, the complete on-site audit must be carried out. You can download the BRCGS072 protocol here.

BRCGS Certificate Extension PLUS

The BRCGS Certificate Extension PLUS program takes BRCGS072 one step further and is aimed at sites that hold a certificate for the BRCGS Food Safety Issue 8 standard. After consultation with leading brands and industry stakeholders, BRCGS has recognised that there is a growing need for additional assurance, over and above the certificate extension process BRCGS072. The BRCGS Certificate Extension PLUS program addresses the needs of the stakeholders and enables a more extensive evaluation process and in-depth audits compared to the extension process described above.

The BRCGS Certificate Extension PLUS program consists, among other things, of a complete self-assessment and is based on the use of remote audit technologies. In addition to the requirements of BRCGS072, the new program includes a remote site review and interviews with management.

With a successful Certificate Extension PLUS assessment, locations obtain a GFSI-compliant certificate extension of 6 months and also receive a certificate for participating in the BRCGS Certificate Extension PLUS program. As soon as the location is accessible again, the complete on-site audit must be carried out. The BRCGS Certificate Extension PLUS program can only be audited by the certification body that has already carried out the previous BRCGS Food 8 audit.

You can download the Certificate Extension PLUS document here.

Covid-19 Additional Module

The Covid-19 Additional Module can be used to check how risks for product safety and quality, which arise from Covid-19, are managed. The module also reviews the legality of the measures. The module is available to all suppliers, regardless of whether they are currently certified. It includes a remote interview and document review, remote site review, and executive interviews.

You can request the Covid-19 Additional Module here.

What DQS can do for you

DQS is your competent partner for certificate extensions according to BRCGS072 and BRCGS Certificate Extension PLUS. We also carry out Covid-19 Additional Module Assessments.

With smooth audit planning, experienced auditors and meaningful audit reports, we accompany you through the entire certification process. As the founder of DQS Remote, we are among the global leaders regarding remote audits. Use our expertise! More information can be found here.

Do you have any questions? Then contact us!

Further information

Do you have any questions about the corona requirements of other standards? You can find the current summary here. Sign up for our monthly newsletter to receive regular updates.

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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