20 November 2019
The BRC have recently announced to Certification Bodies that audit durations will be increasing for audits from April 2020.

What is the BRC Global Standard?

The BRC Standard for Food Safety was founded in 1996 by retailers who wanted to coordinate food safety standards across the supply chain. The BRCGS for food safety work towards quality, safety and operational criteria for manufacturers to achieve their legal obligations.

The standard is divided into nine sectors:

  1. Senior management commitment
  2. The food safety plan – HACCP
  3. Food safety and quality management system
  4. Site standards
  5. Product control
  6. Process control
  7. Personnel
  8. High-risk, high care and ambient high-care production risk zones
  9. Requirements for traded products

The BRC Global Standard for Food Safety Standard has descriptive requirements for the process and hygienic control which is used as a guideline for how food safety should be addressed.

Where this works for some sites, others may need the flexibility to implement processes which suit them. Once certified with a BRCGS the certificate is valid for 1 year and details of the audit grading is achieved.

What is FSSC 22000?

The Food Safety System Certification, FSSC 22000, is an internationally accepted certification scheme based on a combination of ISO 22000 sector specific PRP’s and FSSC additional requirements.

FSSC 22000 has been developed in response to customer demands for a recognizable standard against which a food safety management system can be audited and certified.  

FSSC 22000 has been developed for the certification of food safety systems, which guarantees the safety of products during primary production of animal products, manufacture of perishable animal and/or vegetable products, products with a long shelf life and other food ingredients like additives, vitamins and bio-cultures, animal food and feed production and food packaging manufacturing, and recently included catering, retail/wholesale and transport and storage services.

If your customers specify that you must hold a GFSI Certification; FSSC 22000 is a great alternative option for you!

Benefits of FSSC

FSSC 22000 provides a framework to which you and your organization can develop a food safety management system, the standard is not too descriptive and therefore allows your organization to have the flexibility to choose the best way to control your system.

Other benefits include:

  • Reduce food safety breach investigation time

  • Meet customer requirements and have a service that is dependable and can be relied on

  • Recognised internationally and accepted throughout industry supply chains

  • Independent verification against a globally recognised industry standard speaks volumes

  • Understand how statutory and regulatory requirements impact your organization and its customers

  • More procurement opportunities

Audit process

An example of a BRC audit would be of a small site with around 50 employees and 10K sq. m, 1 HACCP would be 18 hours annually. However a FSSC audit would be for year 1 = 18 hours and years 2 & 3 = 12 hours.

The standard also easily integrates with other existing management systems your organization may already have, such as ISO 9001 or ISO 14001.

An FSSC Certificate is valid for 3 years and there is no grading.

Below shows the certification process to achieving the FSSC certification. Clients transitioning from another GFSI Certification Programme do not require a stage 1 audit; they can proceed directly to stage 2:

If you would like to discuss the benefits of implementing FSSC 22000 in your organization with NQA please feel free to contact us on the information below.

For more FSSC 22000 information please click here.