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4 Ways On How To Do The IFS Certification By Yourself (Number 2 Is Our Favourite)

Every food or beverage product seeks to get the IFS certification (International Featured Standards) to reach a global market and remain relevant and competitive in this industry. Certification adds a measure of quality control in the practice of IFS by providing a way to recognize those who have demonstrated the capacity to safely and effectively use the model.

Let’s help you get through the process below:

1. Preparation of An Audit for the IFS Certification

Before your food or beverage product gets audited for IFS certification, it must meet the requirements and standards (IFS Logistics, IFS HPIC, IFS Food, etc.) of IFS. The standards and requirements can be downloaded from www.ifs-certification.com to get a detailed understanding of the process. After studying the standards, carry out a full evaluation of your product to meet them. 

If, for some reason, a section of your production arm lags, ensure you double up your efforts before the audit. Carrying out a pre-audit using the IFS standards is a wise choice as it helps increase your chances of becoming IFS certified. Utilising the IFS software, auditXpress in carrying out your internal audit would also help brief your manager and operators on what to expect.

2. The Contractual Agreements From Your Certification Body

As expected, your preferred certification body coordinates the audit or inspection of your food or beverage product. Note that only IFS-approved certification bodies are licensed to carry out the audits for your IFS certification not individuals. You can get a verified list of IFS CB in your country from the website. The closest to Nigeria are in Ghana and South Africa. The certified auditors come to carry out scope or technology tests on your product. 

The assigned auditor drafts a contractual agreement between your product (food or beverage production) and the CB detailing the scope of the inspection. The Quality Assurance Management section of the IFS is responsible for drafting the agreements to ensure its integrity against possible on-site unregistered audits. Your agreements would be drafted in your preferred language. The approved languages are the standard International languages of English, Spanish, French, etc.

3. Duration of The Audit

The IFS is very specific about the audit duration to guarantee quality and help you get back to your day-to-day activities. The number of operators, number of product scopes, and the number of “P” (Processing) steps are determining factors of the duration of the IFS-approved audit. Depending on the materials of your food or beverage product, the scope and audit could take longer. 

However, the IFS Certification Body has a maximum duration that’d be communicated to your company when accepting the invite for the audit. To achieve a comprehensive audit, a few other determining factors come into play as drafted on the contractual agreements. Factors like the size of the company, non-conformities present after the last audit, and the number of service providers on board.

4. Audit Time Schedule, Quality, & Certificate Approval

The IFS certification body is responsible for drafting the audit schedule following the details of the audit scope. Expect unpredictability in the occurring events during the audit as this affects the quality of inspection and report submitted to the CB. 

To get the best results from the audit, ensure the appropriate personnel is present on the scheduled dates of the audit. Upon approval, your company receives a message from IFS congratulating you on the success of the audit and certification process. 

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