BRC Certification FAQ
1. How do I prepare for certification?
It is a requirement of the BRC Standard that the site seeking certification have a purchased copy of the BRC Global Standard for Food Safety and that this purchased Standard be on location at the site to be certificated. Standards may be purchased directly from the BRC website or you may purchase your Standard from CERT ID LC.
CERT ID LC recommends that companies consider purchasing the BRC's Interpretation Guideline for BRC Food Safety Standard. This guideline is a helpful accessory to the Standard, providing clear descriptions of how to interpret each clause of the BRC Standard. Companies seeking certification for the first time have found the Guideline a helpful tool in preparing them for their audit. Guidelines can be purchased from the BRC website or are available from CERT ID LC.
A North America sample version of the BRC Global Standard for Food Safety is available as a free readable PDF. You may obtain your free sample version from the BRC website or you may contact CERT ID LC and request a free copy to be emailed directly to you. The free copy is provided by the BRC to allow your company to review the content of the Standard prior to purchasing your Standard. To receive your free PDF copy, contact CERT ID LC at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Do I prepare for my certification audit by attending training?
CERT ID LC recommends that BRC training be sought through a BRC approved training establishment (ATE). ATEs are licensed by the BRC and provide accurate information and training related to the BRC Standards. Training programs are designed by the BRC. This assures delegates attending training courses that the information they receive is accurate and in line with the BRC Food Safety Standard.
CERT ID LC can quickly connect you to a US based BRC licensed ATE. These experts will identify your BRC training needs, and fulfill your training requirements. They have undergone the BRC "Train-the-Trainer" program and are BRC registered ATPs (Approved Training Providers).
3. Would a pre-audit benefit my company in preparing for my certification audit?
You may find that a pre-audit would benefit your company. Pre-audits do not result in certification; however they provide you with a mechanism that allows you to determine whether you are prepared for an official BRC audit. For companies that are undergoing their initial audit (do not currently hold a BRC certification) an official BRC audit may be conducted and the company could elect to convert their audit to a pre-audit, scheduling their official audit at a later date. The option to convert to a pre-audit is also an alternative solution for companies that desire an opportunity to obtain a possible higher grade on the official certification or may be an option for those companies conducting a pilot audit which would be used to determine readiness for other company sites seeking certification in the future. Whatever the purpose, a pre-audit may be a solution in preparing your company for your certification. CERT ID LC can help you determine whether a pre-audit best fits you in preparing you for your certification audit.
4. What category, products and scope should be considered when preparing for my audit?
It is important that you identify the appropriate food category you are seeking certification against. The BRC Standard has divided the food industry into 18 specific food categories. Categories provide the food industry with a mechanism to group certain foods of similar type and food safety risk. Categories also assist certification bodies in matching auditors with specialized knowledge and experience within these category types. The BRC Standard lists the 18 categories and food types related to each category in the appendix of the Food Safety Standard. Companies should reference the Standard and identify which category their products would be associated with.
Products to be certified should include products that are "handled" at the site seeking certification. All products are not required to be included in the scope of the certification, however, products that are to be omitted MUST be disclosed and identified on the certification certificate as an exclusion to the scope.
The scope of the certification is determined from the food category associated with your products and includes the products and the "handling" of these products conducted at the site to be certificated. CERT ID LC can help you categorize your products and determine your scope. It is the responsibility of CERT ID LC to approve and verify the category, scope, products, and processes of your site to be certified. This is accomplished through the certification process.
5. What is the duration of audit days for my on-site audit?
The BRC requires that the audit duration be determined by using a basic formula based on the number of employees, size of the production facility, and number of HACCP plans. Other factors can affect the audit duration by +/- 0.5 to 1 day, however the basic formula can provide companies a good estimate of the number of days needed to complete the audit visit. CERT ID LC can assist you in determining the estimated audit duration. It is the responsibility of CERT ID LC to verify the formula used to determine the audit duration is appropriate for the site to be certificated. More information HERE.
6. Is CERT ID LC experienced in the certification process?
Yes. CERT ID LC has extensive experience in third party certification, such as BRC certification. For more than a decade we have provided certification programs globally for growers, agricultural processors, food ingredient producers, food and feed manufacturers, animal producers and food retailers.
Further, we are accredited through ANSI (American National Standards Institute) and we have a 5-Star Rating with the BRC, their highest rating possible. We have BRC registered auditors who have also completed CERT ID’s rigorous training program. All our U.S. auditors have completed a BRC third party auditor (TPA) course and hold a BRC TPA certificate. The Auditor's TPA certificate number is included on your certification certificate.
7. Where do I obtain a CERT ID LC Certification application?
Thorough preparation and an accurate application are the keys to success in achieving BRC Certification. CERT ID LC or your Account Representative will provide you with an application and answer any question you may have regarding preparation and completing your application.
Once you have completed your application, CERT ID LC will process your application and get you on your way to meeting your certification goals.
Call us today if you have further questions, or would like more information about how you can achieve BRC certification:
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