In this article we’ll be continuing the comparison of BRCGS Standards to IFS, specifically comparing the Agents and Brokers Standards.
If you’d like read back over the previous articles on this topic you can do that here:
IFS Brokers comparison
Here is the comparison. To make it simple to digest, we’ll follow the same format and divide the information into three headings:
1. What’s new
2. What’s different
3. What’s not included
We’ll only be highlighting the big changes, and where the IFS Standard doesn’t cover a subject, it’ll be covered in, ‘Topics not included’. Where you’re covering small additional requirements in BRCGS, it means you’ll be over compliant for IFS, so we’re not going to worry about the little changes at this stage.
|What’s new||What’s different||Topics not included|
|1. Senior management commitment|
|Senior management need to ensure that the QMS is reviewed annually, and whenever there is a change. And, this must be data driven based on verification measures.There must be a procedure for reporting of incidents to customers, including regulatory notices.
The company must inform the CB of any changes that affects the certificate.
Job descriptions are needed.
|Topics for the policy include environmental responsibility and sustainability.||Culture
|2. Document management|
|A procedure which covers customer expectations and objectives.
Customer contracts are required.
|Amendments must be carried out by authorised personnel.|
|Procedure for management and verification of corrective actions.
There must be a procedure for management of non-conforming products and notifying relevant parties.
Complaints investigations are required.
|The term ‘corrective action’ seems to be used when referring to both corrective and preventive actions. However, the term preventive measures is also used, which is confusing.
There is no definition for preventive measures, but the definitions provided are:
Correction: Action to eliminate a detected non-conformity or deviation.
Corrective action: Action to eliminate the cause of a detected non-conformity, deviation or other undesirable situation.
|Customers need to be notified in the event of serious incidents.|
|5. Hazard analysis|
|A procedure which defines the hazard analysis method is required.
It is the company’s responsibility to ensure that their suppliers manage an effective hazard analysis plan.
|The HACCP team must have strong senior management support and be well known by staff.||The scope of the hazard analysis doesn’t mention quality.|
|6. Contamination control|
|7. Product development|
|A product development procedure is required.
The company must take responsibility of the overall development process.
The company must take responsibility of the product (i.e. not allow the supplier to take sole responsibility).
|8. Supplier management|
|The company must take responsibility for ensuring that materials and suppliers do not pose a risk to the product.
Product must be checked against specification at a frequency based on the risk of the supplier.
|All suppliers must be GFSI certified.|
|Testing in line with customer requirements must be conducted.|
|11. Product defence|
|Vulnerability assessment includes packaging.
Product defence lead and a vulnerability team is required, with defined responsibilities and training.
It’s the responsibility of the company to ensure that suppliers must complete the necessary risk assessments.
|14. Site standards|
|15. Microbiologically controlled facilities|
|17. Process control|
|Sample traceability must be maintained.|
|18. Storage & distribution|
|Logistics suppliers must be GFSI certified.|
- Like the food comparison IFS is a lot less wordy than BRCGS.
- The IFS Standard is proving to be very consistent across the different subjects. Because it’s based on risk, the application of the Standard is the same.
- IFS isn’t as prescriptive as BRCGS, so it’s open to interpretation (rightly or wrongly).
- There is no interpretation guide for IFS.
- The IFS Standard focuses much more on the site understanding their own risks and developing systems to meet them, rather than prescribing what’s right.
- For agents and brokers there is much more emphasis on ensuring the broker takes responsibility, rather than relying on the manufacturer. This means that the broker must act as a verifier to the supplier, checking and retaining evidence of the suppliers compliance.
What do you think?
So, what are your thoughts on IFS and the work that would be needed?
What do you think about the additional requirements?
What do you think about the topics that are not included?
Share your thoughts with your fellow techie’s and add them to the comments box below.
We've tagged this article as: audit protocol
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