What is BRCGS certification?
BRCGS is an internationally recognized standard for food safety benchmarked to the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). BRCGS certified manufacturing facilities demonstrate compliance with comprehensive food safety initiatives, including an audited HACCP plan, documented quality management system, demonstrated environmental controls for products, a culture of quality and personnel trained in sound food handling practices.
Why get a BRCGS certification?
The BRCGS Global Standards are used by suppliers in over 100 countries to protect food safety during the manufacture, storage and distribution of food and food packaging materials. BRCGS Certification helps companies demonstrate compliance with the GFSI and gain access to top U.S. and EU retailers.
Is BRCGS certification only for companies located in Europe?
No, BRCGS started in Europe under the name British retail consortium. BRC has become BRCGS and is now a globally recognized food and safety certification program.
Are there specific benchmarks or minimum requirements that need to be achieved in order to receive BRCGS certification?
Yes – the BRCGS START! Program is a great place to start if you are looking into growing into certification. You can also schedule a Pre-assessment to determine your audit readiness.
What is BRCGS START! Program and how is it different from BRCGS certification?
BRCGS START! Program is the beginner level program, designed to help small and medium size operations to work towards aligning with the BRCGS Food Safety Certification. BRCGS START! is not GFSI recognized but puts you on the path to achieve a full GFSI certification. BRCGS food safety certification is GFSI benchmarked.
Are there different BRCGS certification categories?
Yes – BRCGS food safety has 16 categories. BRCGS also offers other standards including packaging, gluten free, storage and distribution.
What BRCGS standards does SCS certify to?
SCS can certify to the following BRCGS Global Standards: Global Standard for Food Safety, Global Standard for Packaging and Packaging Materials, and Global Standard for the Gluten-Free Certification Program.
How do I prepare for my BRCGS audit?
Your company will need to prepare and supply SCS with background information prior to the audit, including:
- A summary of critical control points (CCPs)
- The process flow diagram
- A simple site plan
- The management organizational chart
- The list of products or product groups included within the audit scope
- Typical shift patterns
- Production schedules, to allow audits to cover relevant processes (e.g., night-time manufacture)
- Recent quality issues, withdrawal or customer complaints and other relevant performance data
What can we expect during a BRCGS Food Safety Certification audit?
A week or two before the audit, the auditor will reach out with you to confirm the scope and the audit plan. The auditor will arrive at the agreed upon time as laid out in the audit plan. An opening meeting will be conducted, during which time the auditor will again go over the audit plan. The auditor will spend 2-3 days on site and will spend a percentage of that time on the production floor, a outside survey of the building and the balance of time will be spent on document review.
How long will the BRCGS audit take?
Audit length is determined by the size of the facility and the number of processes being audited between 2 and 4 days
Can we bundle BRCGS with other GFSI or food certifications so audits can take place at the same time?
Yes – SCS can bundle some services to streamline your audit experience.