How should companies go about achieving SQF certification?
The first step is to familiarize yourself with SQF and then the certification process. The best way to accomplish that is by visiting the SQF Institute website. Once there, the following information will stare you right in the face.
How to Achieve Certification from the SQF Institute:
1. Learn About the SQF Standard
There are several ways on how to learn to implement the SQF system in your company. Based on your level of expertise, the follow options are available:
• Attend an on-site “Implementing SQF Systems” training course through a licensed SQF Training Center (Recommended);
• Take the online “Implementing SQF Systems” training course provided by LearnSomething;
• Train yourself by utilizing the SQF documents available for free on our website;
• and/or take the SQF online exam.
2. Register Your Company with our Online Assessment Registration System (Quickfire Registration)
The registration fee to our Assessment Database is based on the gross sales of a company. Click here to view our Registration Fee Structure.
3. Designate an employee as the SQF Practitioner
This individual will serve as your company’s internal expert on SQF. Further information on the requirements for an SQF Practitioner is available in section 8.2.1 of the SQF 1000 or 2000 Code.
4. Choose Your Level of Certification
There are three levels of certification for each SQF standard (SQF 1000 and SQF 2000). Level 1 is mainly for low risk products and it incorporates fundamental food safety controls. Level 2 is a certified HACCP food safety plan that is benchmarked by GFSI. Level 3 is a comprehensive implementation of safety and quality management systems that incorporates Level 2. In many cases, a supplier’s customer has already designated a minimum level of certification.
5. Obtain Proposals from Potential Certification Bodies
Contact a license Certification Body directly to obtain quotes on an SQF audit. Click here for the duration outline of a general SQF audit.
6. Conduct a Pre-Assessment (Optional)
Either an SQF auditor or your SQF Practitioner can identify the “gaps” between your program and the desired level of SQF certification.
7. Choose a Certification Body and Schedule an Audit Use the licensed Certification Body directory to find a Certification Body that can conduct an audit in your country.
8. Certification Body Conducts Initial Certification Audits:
• Document review
• Facility Assessment
If you want to learn more about reinforcing the use of standards in your sourcing efforts, please contact a SafeSourcing customer services representative.
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