Accreditation GFSI certification – What do they mean
Hello from the Food Bites Team,
Firstly, a huge “thank you” for clicking on the link and reading our Blog! It’s really the only way we feel we can stay in contact with everyone and hopefully you are rewarded with a nugget of wisdom every time.
The sun is rising earlier and although it’s still chilly, the orchards are in full bloom in our neck of the woods. We hope you are also starting to see the beginnings of Spring too…
Today we are going to unpack some sticky terms such as GFSI certification and accreditation and at the same time look at how you can verify the validity of your own food safety certification as well as that of your suppliers.
Accredited vs non-accredited:
Accreditation is the independent evaluation of certification bodies against ISO/IEC 17021 or 17065. These standards outline the requirements for bodies providing audits and certification of management systems, products, processes, or services. The requirements address aspects relating to impartiality, competence, and consistency.
Accreditation is not compulsory and non-accreditation does not by itself imply that a certification body is not reputable. However, by having accreditation, the Certification Body will be able to provide evidence of its competence, independence, and ability to deliver certification to an internationally recognised Standard.
Although companies may use an accredited certification body, it does not mean that the Certification Body is accredited for the all the Standards that are audited. If they are accredited for the Standard, it will appear on their accreditation schedule. The accreditation logo will also be displayed on certificates if accredited certification was performed.
The *Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) benchmarks various food safety standards with the aim of bringing a certain level of “harmonisation” between all of the standards out there. Included in the list of GFSI-approved standards you will find FSSC 22000, IFS and BRCGS (as well as many more). Audit to these standards may only be delivered by licenced certification bodies who are accredited and approved by the Scheme owners. If the Certification Body you are using does not appear on the official website of these schemes, they are not approved to perform such certifications. *Visit www.mygfsi.com to read more about the work that the GFSI are doing.
Verifying the validity of your own certification or that of your suppliers is actually very easy. Most scheme owners provide a public platform where all certifications can be reviewed. FSSC (https://www.fssc22000.com/certified-organizations/) and BRCGS (https://directory.brcgs.com/) maintain a register where you can search using the name of the company or a unique client code. It’s quick, simple, and very effective.
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Until next week…
Food Bites Team