Obtaining certification against a BRC Global Standard may represent a major challenge to some companies. It is therefore essential that companies interested in becoming certificated consider carefully what needs to be achieved prior to arranging a certification audit.
Order a copy of the Standard and assess the compliance of your site to its requirements. The BRC have published guidance documents on best practice and on the use of standards for some sectors which may also be of assistance.
To assist in the implementation of the BRC Global Standards, the BRC has developed a wide range of practical training courses. Click here for further information.
Review your current systems and practices against the requirements of the Standard in order to identify areas which may need further work before undertaking a full audit. This can be carried out by your own site, by a consultant familiar with the BRC Standard or by asking a Certification Body to undertake a pre-assessment. Please note Certification Bodies are not able to provide consultancy although they can identify areas where further work is required.
Select an accredited Certification Body to carry out the evaluation on your site. Only Certification Bodies that are registered by the BRC can undertake audits. Certification Bodies can be selected by country by clicking here.
Certification Bodies will require details of your site and operation before being able to provide a quotation for the audit. Typical audit durations are indicated in the Standards.
A plan for the audit should be provided by your Certification Body to ensure that you and your team are properly prepared. The audit may be extended if staff or documentation is not available at the audit so preparation is essential. It is important that the site is in production at the time of the audit otherwise a further audit will be required.
At the end of the audit the Certification Body should provide a written list of any areas which need improvement in order to gain certification, this will also be discussed at the closing meeting. Where non-conformances have been identified, these must be addressed and suitable evidence provided to the Certification Body for assessment within 28 days. In some circumstances it may be necessary for the auditor to return to the site to check that appropriate corrective action has been taken.
The Certification Body will review the audit report from the auditor and corrective action documentation provided in order to make a certification decision.
The audit report and certificate (if applicable) should be issued within 42 days of the original audit date to the person who paid for the audit (usually the site). A copy of the report is automatically sent to the BRC to allow quality control checking of the Certification Body undertaking the audit. Certificated sites are invited to have site details placed on the BRC Directory website to advertise their achievements.
It is a principle of the BRC scheme that the audit report is owned by the company paying for the audit and copies can only be provided to other parties at the request of the owner (a copy is provided to the BRC and this is held confidentially). It is usual to authorise the release of a copy of the report and/or certificate for customers.