Bakers Journal

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SAI Global offers training on new BRC standards


August 31, 2011
By Bakers Journal

August 31, 2011, Toronto – SIA Global is now offering training on the new British Retail Consortium (BRC) Global Standard for Food Safety Issue 6.

Published in July 2011, BRC Issue 6 will be used for all audits from Jan. 1, 2012. Certificates issued against Issue 5 will be valid for the duration indicated on the certificate. The sixth edition has been developed based on opinions and consultation of senior representatives from major retailers and food service companies. The main focus of the new issue has been on the development of ideas to extend the reach of the standard, provide options to differentiate the performance of sites and encourage a consistency of audit.

Compared to BRC Issue 5, key changes for Issue 6 include increasing focus on good manufacturing practice, renewed requirements, reduction in the number clauses and consolidation of some requirements. There is also an expanded section on foreign body control and further development of the unannounced audit scheme.

One of the main objectives is to direct the focus of the audit towards the implementation of good manufacturing practices within the production areas. Issue 6 attempts to rebalance the audit process by increasing the amount of time spent by the auditor within the processing areas. These proposed changes by Issue 6 include a two-point audit checklist, a change in the balance of the number and depth of requirements, a new more customer focused audit report and greater emphasis on standardizing best practices.

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The requirements of the Issue 6 Standard are based on previous issues with a continued emphasis on management commitment, a HACCP-based food safety program and supporting quality management system.

Furthermore, the use of unannounced audits by customers is becoming increasingly common and seen as providing a greater challenge and more realistic assessment of sites’ day-to-day standards. For Issue 6, two options of unannounced audits were developed, both of which will be voluntary. Option one is a full unannounced audit similar to Issue 5. Option two divides audit into two parts: unannounced, which is based on factory operations and good manufacturing practice, and planned audit, based on a review of documented systems, procedures and records carried out at the usual audit due date.

Besides Improvements of Standard itself, Issue 6 also requires continued improvement in all key areas, including training. A new range of training courses have been developed to provide information for both auditors and manufacturing sites. The courses are available from the BRC and the international network of BRC approved training providers (ATPs).

Gordon Hayburn, Technical Director (Agri-Foods) at SAI Global, is one of the 10 Principal Trainers identified by the BRC for the roll out of the Train the Trainer course for this standard worldwide. The BRC recognizes this as the best way to get consistent and high-level training delivered to all of those responsible for auditing and further training against this standard. Mr. Hayburn will be teaching the first BRC Issue 6 public courses offered by SAI Global starting in the beginning of October 2011. Exact dates and locations will be announced soon.