Do you need professional certification for your food and beverage business? Are you looking to do trade abroad, and need a qualification that will save you from doing numerous qualifications in each country? If so, you need an internationally recognized BRC audit.
The BRC audit provides you with proof of a working standard, that increases the reputation of your business. Read on to find our guide to the BRC audit that you need to know.
What Is a BRC Audit?
The BRC is the food safety standard that judges food and beverage companies’ commitment to hygiene and industry best practices. These certifications are undertaken by third-party auditing bodies (CB), and upon successful conclusion, the audited company gains a certification.
During the assessment, the third party will look at a number of processes within your facility. These include inspecting records, process documentation, and your food manufacturing facility. They will inspect nine core areas.
What Are the Nine Core Areas?
The nine core areas start with the senior management’s commitment to health, hygiene, safety, and good practice. This is followed by an inspection of the food safety plan (HACCP) for your facility, and how it is used. Thirdly, the food safety and quality management system will be inspected.
Site standards, product control, and process control will follow. The inspection will conclude with a look at personnel, high risk, and care production zones, and the requirements for traded products.
Why Is It Important?
Accreditation is important as helps to instigate a program for mitigating risk. It is also a document that will attract business, as you have proof of the high standards your organization sets.
If these reasons are not enough, then knowing it is a globally recognized certification should be. BRC certification is part of the global food safety initiative (GFSI) meaning you will not have to go through numerous audits, as it is a highly recognized standard. It can be used around the world, particularly important if you are choosing to export your products.
This will also increase your brand awareness and credibility. It shows you have high standards in production, safety, and are committed to improvement.
How Should I Prepare?
Start with a self-assessment and audit. You can find an audit sheet on the BRC website, which will let you see what areas need improvement and work. Once you have this, make and implement the improvements as soon as possible.
Once you are ready, contact a CB from the BRC directory and arrange a date. Let your senior management know when this will be, as they should be present at the opening and closing of the audit.
Before the audit, gather all of your documentation and supporting evidence. Make sure you have copies for the auditor and prepare a folder to hand to them. Not only does this show that you are prepared, but it also saves them asking you questions and you having to find paperwork when the audit is taking place.
Once you complete the BRC Audit and assuming you pass, you can then begin to advertise your certification to potential or existing customers. Make sure you display it with pride in marketing materials.
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