This article is written to meet the following sections of the Standards:

BRCGS Food Safety Issue 81.1.9 Copy of the Standard
1.1.10 Audit scheduling
1.1.11 Attendance at audit
1.1.12 Non-conformances
1.1.13 Using the logo
4.2.4 Business registration
Part III Audit protocol
BRCGS Packaging Issue 61.1.6 Copy of the Standard
1.1.7 Audit scheduling
1.1.8 Attendance at audit
1.1.9 Non-conformances
1.1.10 Using the logo
Part III Audit protocol
BRCGS Agents & Brokers Issue 31.1.8 Business registration
1.1.9 Copy of the Standard
1.1.10 Audit scheduling
1.1.11 Attendance at audit
1.1.12 Non-conformances
1.1.13 Using the logo
Part III Audit protocol
BRCGS Storage & Distribution Issue 41.1.7 Copy of the Standard
1.1.8 Attendance at audit
1.1.9 X Business registration
1.1.10 Audit scheduling
1.1.11 Non-conformances
1.1.12 Using the logo
Part III Audit protocol
FSSC22000 Version Logo use
6.2 Nonconformities
7 Certification decision process
Annex 1 Scope
IFS Food Version 71.2.6 Notifying the Certification Body
1 The IFS Food Certification process
2 IFS Food Assessment realisation
4 Post IFS Food Assessment actions
SQF Edition Unannounced audits
PART A Implementing and Maintaining the SQF Food Safety Code: Food Manufacturing


Your solutions for managing your certification standard

Everything you need to gain and then retain your certification to BRCGS is here:

To make it super simple for you, we would recommend the eDocs and the super course – then you’ve got everything you need to comply with all of section 1 (including managing your certification standard).

The requirements

Information sources

The business must hold, understand, keep up-to-date with and action any changes to certification information sources, including:

  • The Standard.
  • Audit protocol.
  • Position statements.


Where required by law, the business and associated addresses must be registered with the appropriate local authority. Evidence of registration must be retained.

Audit scheduling

The business must ensure that certification is retained, in compliance with the requirement for audit frequency and certificate expiry laid out in the audit protocol (BRCGS Part III).

Management commitment

The business must comply with the audit protocol for the completion of the audit (BRCGS Part III), including:

  • The most senior manager must take part in the opening and closing meetings.
  • If the most senior manager is absent on the day of audit, a nominated deputy must attend.
  • Relevant departmental managers or their deputies must be available, as and when required.
  • Where compliance activities are managed by group, a responsible person must be available.
  • Where compliance activities occur off-site, a responsible person for that site must be available.


Management must ensure that non-conformances raised during the audit are managed in compliance with the audit protocol (BRCGS Part III). This must include using root cause analysis to prevent recurrences.

Certification logos

The site must only use the certification logo and reference the certification status, following the rules detailed in the audit protocol section (BRCGS Part III).

Meeting the legislation

The business must be registered (or approved by) the appropriate authority, where this is required by legislation. If the local authority provide evidence of this, it must be retained for audit.

Audit protocol

BRCGS Part III – audit protocol includes more information about audit protocol, including audit duration, grading and the types of audit available.

How certification schemes are governed

mini training - managing your certification standardGovernance is a critical part of certification, which ensures that all aspects of the process are conducted with integrity.

Governance is a complex and detailed subject, but all you need to know is the structure of the system. In the mini training for managing your certification standard, you learn the structure of the governance system and why it’s important to understand it.

Voluntary modules

Voluntary modules are additional requirements that can be bolted onto your main certification standard. Currently only BRCGS and FSSC 22000 have voluntary modules. A voluntary module is just that – voluntary, which means you can choose to add it to your certificate.

For example, BRCGS have a range of voluntary modules, which can be bolted onto your certificate, such as:

  • Traded products (Food Safety, Packaging)
  • Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) (Food Safety).
  • Meat supply chain (Food Safety)
  • Plastic pellet loss prevention (Packaging).
  • Wholesale module (Storage and Distribution).
  • Contract packing (Storage and Distribution).

In the mini training – managing your certification standards, you’ll learn about voluntary modules and when it’s important to bolt them onto your training - managing your certification standard


Once you’ve selected which certificate meets your needs, you then need to make sure that you define your scope of activity. This must include details of all the products and activities you want to be covered on your certificate. Because the scope just seems to be a description of your business, it’s often not given the attention it needs. However, it’s much more than that.

The scope is what will be printed on your certificate and if it doesn’t cover all the products and activities that you provide to your customers, it won’t meet your customer’s needs.

If you’re like us, you’ll have sat in many BRCGS audits and wondered by the auditor is so obsessed with the scope. It’s just a fancy statement that they write on the audit report – right? No, not quite. It’s actually really important. In the mini training on managing your certification standard, you learn the practical reasons why your scope is important and how to write one that adds value to your business.


The most senior person in the business must attend the opening and closing meeting for the certification audit. Relevant staff must also be available when needed during the audit.

The management team must make sure that root cause analysis is used, to work out what preventive actions are needed to rectify any non-conformances raised during the certification audit.

If the business, hub or depot, has a head office (or group function), someone from group must be available for the audits.

It’s up the management team to make sure that any announced recertification audits occur on or before the due date printed on the certificate. If the certificate is allowed to lapse, this will cause an automatic non-conformance on the next audit.

Your next steps

To make the process as simple as possible, we would recommend you complete the senior management commitment super course and use the senior management commitment eDocs. The eLearning and eDocs contain everything you need to comply with BRCGS section 1 for senior management commitment, which includes managing your certification standards.

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