Here at GFSI, the two questions we receive most often both have to do with the certification process – namely, “How do I get ‘GFSI certified?'” and ‘Is this standard GFSI-recognised?’ Today, GFSI Senior Technical Manager Marie-Claude Quentin is here to walk us through the recognition process in more detail, and explain how you can make sure that your business is certified to a GFSI-recognised programme.
Listen to her audio statement answering these question, or read the transcript below.
“Hi, my name is Marie-Claude Quentin, I am a Senior Technical Manager for GFSI. In the next few minutes, I will attempt to answer two of the most frequent questions we are asked: how do I get GFSI certified? And is this standard GFSI recognised?
First of all, it is important to know that GFSI does not certify. We are a benchmarking organisation; we assess food safety Certification Programmes and recognise those who satisfy all GFSI Benchmarking Requirements.
Food businesses can then get certified to a GFSI-recognised programme.
There is a range of such programmes. This means companies seeking certification have a choice and can select the programme that suits their individual situation best, depending on their core activity (manufacturing, transport, farming, distribution), their location, or which Certification Body they wish to work with for instance.
Now, not all certification programmes out there are GFSI-recognised, so how do you know which ones are?
The safest source of that information is our website. Simply go onto http://recognition.
Once there, you will see the logos of different Certification Programme Owners. If you click on any of the logos, a pop-up window will show you which programmes, including which version or issue, are GFSI-recognised. To ease out your search, you can also click on the industry sector of your choice first (just above the logos on the same web page) and see which Certification Programmes are recognised for that sector. For example, if you click on BI- farming of plants, you’ll see that CanadaGap, GlobalGAP, AsiaGap and SQF all own GFSI-recognised certification programmes. Again here, you just then need to click on any logos to check the recognised programme and issue or version.
If you wish to be certified to any of those GFSI-recognised programmes, you have a few options:
- contact a Certification Body of your choice and ask them if they carry out certification against any of those GFSI-recognised programmes, or;
- check on the website of your selected Certification Programme Owner for Certification Bodies auditing and certifying to the programme of your choice.
This year, we would recommend that you also confirm the conditions of your audit. As explained in a previous recording, GFSI does not recognise certificates based on full remote audits. If you are offered a full remote audit, even against a GFSI-recognised standard, your certificate will not be GFSI-recognised as the audit does not satisfy the GFSI Requirements on audit protocol.
You may be offered that part of the audit is carried out remotely, and this is acceptable to GFSI.
One last important aspect is which version of the Benchmarking Requirements the programmes are recognised against. GFSI published Version 2020 of the Benchmarking Requirements in March 2020; all Certification Programmes that you see on our website today are recognised against the previous version of the Benchmarking Requirements as we are in transition. Many Certification Programme Owners issued a new version or issue of their Certification Programme this year, partly to comply with the GFSI Benchmarking Requirements Version 2020, and applied to be assessed against those. Getting certified to those programmes in transition is fine, your certificate will be GFSI-recognised when we have completed the assessment of those programmes and confirmed that they satisfy Version 2020 of the Benchmarking Requirements.
You can check which programmes are already going through assessment by visiting our website. Simply go to benchmarking.mygfsi.com.
If you have any doubts, you can contact us on gfsinfo@
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