The journey to certification
Developing your food safety system to SQF Code requirements is an achievable goal for your organization. The first steps to developing and implementing an SQF system include;
Step 1: Downloading the SQF Code, applicable resources and training for your organization from the SQF website
Step 2: Register your company in the SQF database
Step 3: Designate an employee as an SQF Practitioner who will be your internal expert on SQF to guide the development, documentation and implementation of your SQF food safety system
The applicable SQF Code for your organization will detail all of the requirements and practices that need to be included in your documented food safety system to achieve certification to SQF. Working with the designated SQF Practitioner, you will need to document new policies and procedures or revise your existing documentation against the requirements of SQF to add additional information that may be required. Once this is completed you can progress on your journey to SQF certification.
Step 4: Choose your type of certification from a choice of Food Safety Fundamentals, HACCP based Food Safety Plans (GFSI benchmarked) or Comprehensive Food Safety and Quality Codes. This will depend on your industry and also if you voluntary elect to have an annual unannounced recertification audit. Refer to the SQF unannounced audit protocol. Sites that choose this option shall be recognized on the SQF certificate as an "SQFI select site." All other sites will have one (1) unannounced recertification audit every three (3) years. This audit will take place within a 60 day window, which is calculated as 30 days either side of the ‘date of next audit’. Please click here to download form to provide your blackout dates.
Step 5: Ask BSI for a quote for your certification audit
Step 6: Conduct an optional pre-assessment audit to identify any gaps between your system, practices and the SQF Code to prepare for your certification audit. Self-assessment checklists are available on the SQF website.
Step 7: Schedule a certification audit with BSI
Step 8: Complete your certification audit inclusive of a documented review and facility assessment
Obtain your SQF Certificate when your organization demonstrates C-Complies rating or greater with no outstanding non-conformances.