The action started in December and applied to BRC Global Standards for Food Safety; Packaging and Processing Materials; Storage and Distribution and Agents and Brokers.
BRC Global Standards previously told us there was ‘no single incident but an accumulation of issues’ that led to suspension due to poor performance.
Audits permitted in certain countries
Bureau Veritas may now do BRC Global Standards audits in Argentina, Denmark, France, Italy, Poland, Spain, Thailand and UK with systems and training improvements being assessed.
The firm will not be permitted to do audits for new clients until the suspension is lifted.
We have contacted the company for comment.
Suspension for specific standards and regions will be lifted once evidence has been presented to BRC Global Standards to demonstrate certification processes are being operated satisfactorily and are robustly controlled.
BRC GS told FoodQualityNews that Bureau Veritas has taken the opportunity of the suspension to do additional refresher training and review processes for the management of BRC GS audits.
“Bureau Veritas are a global certification body. We agreed with Bureau Veritas a phased lifting of suspension so that we can all be satisfied that the changes to the management of the audit process are working effectively. The countries where there had been few or no issues were selected initially.
“As soon as we are happy that the changes made by Bureau Veritas have delivered the expected improvements we will fully lift the suspension.
“The process from audit to certification typically takes six weeks because sites must correct any issues identified at the audit and provide evidence of this before a certification decision can be taken.
“We will not be in a position to fully assess the benefits of the changes until the full audit certification cycle has been completed.”
Integrity of BRC GS scheme
Karen Betts, BRC Global Standards compliance manager, has been working with Bureau Veritas and accreditation bodies, UKAS, ENAC and PCA, to review certification processes.
This is to ensure additional safeguards to protect integrity of the BRC Global Standards scheme.
Bureau Veritas will be subject to additional surveillance by BRC Global Standards and accreditation bodies in the short term but they may issue accredited certificates once the accreditation bodies have completed their process to lift suspension of accreditation.
The BRC GS compliance team will review audit reports, timeliness of them and certification.
Sites will be contacted by Bureau Veritas to confirm whether it is able to do the audit.
These locations may need to make arrangements with an alternative BRC Global Standards accredited certification body where Bureau Veritas is not permitted to do it.