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ISO 22000:2018 Transition Guidance for Clients

Transition guidance plan

NQA considers ISO 22000:2018 to be a long-awaited revision due to its structure alignment with other international standards and the introduction and also clarification of significant terms and requirements.
It is our goal to ensure that we perform value added audits that establish an organization’s level of conformity to the standard and in doing so, help our clients understand both the intent and the philosophy behind the changes.

NQA’s philosophy is to maintain a simplistic transition approach that is easy for our clients to comprehend and apply. Our goal is to provide you with the guidance and tools to make the transition from ISO 22000:2005 to ISO 22000:2018 as smooth and cost-free as possible. 

The overall allowable transition period was originally three years; but that transition period has since been extended by six months due to the COVID pandemic. As such, the current transition period deadline is now December 31, 2021.


Step 1: Transition Guidelines - ISO 22000:2018

Organizations will have 3 years from the date of the standards publication to transition their FSMS to become compliant to the new standard.

All current existing certificates to ISO 22000:2005 will expire three years after release and publication of ISO 22000:2018 (19th June 2018), with the transition deadline being no later than 31st December 2021.

Transition from ISO 22000:2005 to ISO 22000:2018 may be accomplished during a single visit. A minimum of one day additional time shall be added to the duration to effectively evaluate the changes and effectiveness of implementation.

If a client’s ISO 22000:2005 certificate expires before they are able to fully transition to the ISO 22000:2018 standard, they may be re-registered to ISO 22000:2005 (subject to a cut-off period to allow for subsequent transition).

A new certificate to the 2018 version will be issued when it can be satisfactorily shown that a client has fully met the requirements of the new standard. As is the current practice, all major non-conformities must be formally closed out and corrective actions for any minor non-conformances must be received and accepted by NQA, prior to issuance of a certificate.

Prior to the Transition Audit being undertaken, clients are required to complete the NQA ISO 22000:2018 Gap Analysis Document. Clients are also encouraged to complete an internal audit and management review against the new standard, as this exercise serves both to ensure that all requirements have been addressed in the management system and to provide easy reference to these requirements during the transition audit.

As a minimum, the client must have completed a formal gap analysis using the document mentioned above and reviewed the output with Top Management at management review or an equivalent mechanism.

Step 2: Your transition process

Based on the three-year transition timeline, we have developed the following transition process for organizations that currently have a registered ISO 22000:2005 system with NQA:


  • Transitions will be conducted at the time of annual surveillance or recertification audit.

  • Additional mandatory time will be added to the audit duration in order to allow the completion of a full and effective transition assessment against the new standard requirements.  

  • The additional time will be a minimum of one day. Additional time will be determined according to unique criteria of the organization. This will be determined by NQA. To find out your specific transition audit duration please talk to a member of the NQA team.  

  • If successful, NQA will issue a new certificate with the valid until date (VUD):

    • At a surveillance audit - this will reflect the previous certificate

    • At a re-certification audit – this will reset the three year certification cycle

    • It is likely that a number of certificates will have a valid until date that has been restricted to less than 3 years by the end of transition period. In this circumstance, when the client successfully transitions their system, the 22000 certificate will re-instate the remaining cycle duration. This will return the client to their previous 3 yearly cycle.

  • FSSC 22000 will align to ISO 22000:2018 structure with the release of FSSC 22000 Version 5 by May 2019. All audits against FSSC V4.1 will cease on 31st December 2019 and consequently, version 5 transitions will take place in 2020. However, if they wish to do so, FSSC certified organizations may apply for transition to ISO 22000:2018 in 2019; do not hesitate to contact us for further details with regard to FSSC 22000 certification.

Please note: At the point of scheduling your transition audit you will be informed of the additional days required and therefore the audit duration and cost. This will be determined by NQA and applies to all organizations.

Step 3: Inform NQA

We need to know when you wish to transition from ISO 22000:2005 to ISO 22000:2018. Please help us to plan your forthcoming transition audit by informing us of your decision by emailing us contact us.

Step 4: Gap analysis tool

The NQA ISO 22000:2018 Gap Analysis Document provides a simple framework for evaluating your FSMS against the requirements of ISO 22000:2018. The document highlights:

  • The new concepts introduced in ISO 22000:2018 and the related clauses, processes and functional activities

  • The new and amended clauses between ISO 22000:2005 and ISO 22000:2018

Please complete each table by recording the evidence acquired from one full internal audit against the requirements of ISO 22000:2018. Complete all sections prior to your transition assessment and ensure it is available for your assessor at the opening meeting.

Additional support

We are here to support you throughout the transition process. If you have any questions or need any help we can support you with:

  • Technical Advice. Please call us with any questions you have.

  • Pre-Assessment / Gap Analysis. We can provide a Pre-Assessment or Gap Analysis of your revised Food Safety Management System to determine the level of compliance of your FSMS to the requirements of ISO 22000:2018.

  • Guidance documents. Download key concepts and gap guides from here. 

  • Webinars. Join us online to get first hand advice from our technical experts. Register to attend here.

If you have any questions or just want to speak to someone regarding your transition please contact us.