Update as of 5th January 2021
Following last night’s (4th January 2021) announcement there is no change to our operation. We will continue to operate onsite audits as the preferred option to maintain sites in certification.
Sites may elect to have a full onsite audit or reduce onsite time by having a blended audit.
Sites in the unannounced programme may elect to have an announced audit or remain in the unannounced programme. Sites electing to move to an announced audit are encouraged to do this in consultation with their customers.
Where it is not possible to host an onsite audit the certificate extension process remains an option for eligible sites. The process and costs involved are detailed on our application form. Please be aware it is not possible to extend a certificate that has already been extended.
The last tool that we have in our armoury is a fully remote audit, whilst this option is fully accredited it is not GFSI recognised and therefore it is essential that sites check the acceptability of this option with their customers. The fully remote option is only possible where sites have the ICT capability to live stream the facility inspection (full coverage across the production facility). Fully remote audits remain the only option available to sites that have had an extension and are not able to host an onsite audit (full onsite or blended).
Where sites have already had a certificate extension, we strongly advise that an onsite audit (full onsite or blended) is undertaken around month 3 or 4 from the previous re-audit due date, this allows for some contingency should sites have a COVID case / outbreak.
COVID-19 Audit Protocol
Our COVID-19 Audit Protocol provides a framework for sites and auditors to work safely together during onsite audits.
We require a clearance period of 14 days from a single case of COVID on site and 28 days from a cluster / outbreak.
If we are unable to undertake planned audits due to COVID we will work with you to select the best option to maintain the site in certification.
If you have an upcoming audit and are concerned about the COVID status of the site please contact your Client Services contact to review and discuss options. In the week before your planned audit your auditor will contact you and ask you to complete our COVID questionnaire.