In October 2020, IFS published a new version of the Food Standard – Version 7. In this article we’ll look at an overview of what’s changed.

What’s changed?

There have been many, many changes to the Standard, which has meant that nearly every clause has been impacted.

Many of the clauses have been combined, which means that although the requirements are still the same, the number of them have reduced. Because of this, it now means that failure to meet one of the requirements, will result in a greater reduction in percentage score.

The majority of the changes are only small amends to wording. But there seems to also have been a general increase in the level of detail in the clauses, to add more clarity to what is required.

IFS have provided a checklist which shows the changes from Version 6 to Version 7, and we have converted this document to excel so it is editable and we’ll use this document in the coming weeks to highlight the major changes in requirements to you. In the meantime, please feel free to download our work in progress copy.

When do the changes take effect?

Audits can be carried out on the new version of the Standard from 1st March 2021 and all audits will be audited to the new Standard from 1st July 2021.

GFSI 1 in 3 unannounced audits

To comply with the GFSI Benchmarking Requirements for 2020, at least one of the IFS audits must be unannounced during a 3-year period. IFS have taken the approach to set the requirements for an unannounced audit, so that they follow the audits in unannounced assessment option. This is outlined in the Standard under section 2.4.2 on page 24.

Changes to the scoring system

There is now a new level of scoring, previously there was just 3 levels of score, plus a major and knock out (KO).

Now there are 4 levels of scoring, which makes a lot of sense.

Result Explanation Points
A Full compliance 20 points
B Point of attention as it may lead to a future deviation 15 points
C Part of the requirement is not implemented 5 points
D The requirement is not implemented -20 points
Major A Major non-conformity can be given to any regular requirement (which is not defined as a KO requirement).

Reasons for Major rating are:

  • There is a substantial failure to meet the requirements of the Standard, which includes but is not limited to food safety and / or the legal requirements of the production and / or destination countries.
  • A process is out of control which might have an impact on food safety.
Major non-conformity will subtract 15 % of the possible total amount; the certificate cannot be issued.
KO (scored with a D) The requirement is not implemented KO non-conformity will subtract 50% of the possible total amount; the certificate cannot be issued.


Previously there was no 15 point score, which means you were either fully compliant or part of the requirement wasn’t implemented. There was no room for where a requirement had been implemented, but it wasn’t working quite right.

Are you IFS certified?

If you currently work to IFS Standard and would like us to cover any specific changes to the Standard first, please let us know by putting your thoughts in the comments box below.

We have been also asked to write a summary of the steps to be taken to move from BRCGS to IFS, so we’ll be looking at that, as soon as we can for you.

Have your say…

4 thoughts on “What’s changed in IFS Version 7

    1. Oh my goodness, in theory it should be next August (2021) if it follows the previous pattern. Not sure anyone is ready for Issue 9?!?!

  1. There have always been 4 levels of scoring, it was for the KO requirements where there are only 3, the C does not exist, as indicated in the IFS Food 6.1 version of November 2017
    best regards

    Part 1 Scoring a requirement as a deviation
    In IFS Food, there are 4 scoring possibilities:
    Scoring with:
    A: Full compliance with the requirement specified in the Standard
    B: Almost full compliance with the requirement specified in the Standard,
    but a small deviation was found
    C: Only a small part of the requirement has been implemented
    D: The requirement in the Standard has not been implemented

    KO requirements shall be evaluated according to the following scoring
    Chart N° 3: Scoring for KO requirement
    Result Explanation Awarded scores
    A Full compliance 20 points
    B (deviation) Almost full compliance 15 points
    C (deviation) Small part of the requirement
    is implemented
    No “C” scoring is possible
    KO (= D) The requirement is not
    50 % of the possible total amount
    of points is subtracted => No
    certificate awarding is possible

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