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Is a Pre-Assessment Audit Right For You?

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Is a Pre-Assessment Audit Right For You?

If you are seeking your initial GFSI benchmarked certification and aren’t sure if you’re ready, a pre-assessment audit is a great tool to verify your preparedness.

What is a pre-assessment?

You can think of a pre-assessment as a “practice audit.” It will provide an expanded review of your facility’s program and procedures as they relate to the audit scheme. Our qualified auditors assess the performance of key food safety measures in your operating processes. Non-conformances are identified, and your site uses this information to identify corrective actions prior to the certification audit.

What are the benefits of a pre-assessment?

A pre-assessment will satisfy the requirements for a full internal audit for SQF, BRC, and FSSC 22000. Some entities prefer third party pre-assessment vs. an internal preparatory audit because the team can remain focused – the auditor and auditee can avoid getting sidetracked with daily work if a third party leads the assessment. It is also valuable to have an unbiased party review the programs and processes that the local team implements. One recent client had this to say: “The pre-assessment was extremely beneficial in terms of helping define the roadmap ahead to certification. It gave our company the opportunity to improve upon our current programs and focus on areas that we may have not identified prior to the audit. I highly recommend participating in the pre-assessment as it will give you the chance to work hand in hand with your certification body and your team through the entire process, leaving you that much more prepared.”

We are already certified. Can a pre-assessment help us?

In most cases, a pre-assessment is used in order to prepare for your initial audit. In a few cases, a pre-assessment for certified sites can be a way to gain new insight and keep your team on its toes. Ideally, you are already fostering a strong food safety culture and continuous improvement through regular internal audits. If time or resources are limited, this is a feasible and worthwhile supplement to your internal audit program. If you are looking at expanding your certifications, a pre-assessment may be your next step. Are you adding gluten Free Certification? Working toward the SQF Quality Code in addition to SQF Manufacturing Certification? The pre-assessment audit is a perfect benchmark to assess your readiness.

When is the best time for a pre-assessment?

Scheduling your pre-assessment about six months before your audit will allow your team plenty of time to correct any gaps the pre-assessment reveals. If capital improvements are required, you may want to pad that lead time a little more. Planning ahead will put you in a less rushed position so you can enter the audit with preparedness and confidence.

How do I get started?

Contact our auditing group below to get started with scheduling a pre-assessment for your facility!


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