Central audit registration system needed
More and more certification institutions work with freelance auditors. These freelance auditors usually work for multiple certification bodies. As a result, an accredited central registration system is required for transparently reported audit time and audit activity. Where it is clear for which certification body which activity at what time was performed.
Too much freedom for freelancers
The freelance auditors are the certification cowboys of the Food market. The certifying bodies are currently giving them too much substantive and operational space in the performance of their duties. A major non-conformity during the audit means another day of extra billable work and “when in doubt” a customer immediately disapproving for IFS, for example, ensures that as a freelancer you do not lose your right to be an IFS auditor after an unannounced audit.
Many freelance auditors are also consultants, allowing them to pass the ball to each other. Sometimes freelance is 1 auditor and freelance 2 consultant and other times vice versa. Dubious certification activities can arise that are hidden from the view of the certifying party institution and accreditation, which ultimately benefits no one. These are things that do not benefit listed companies, but neither do the quality of the audit.
- The food company thinks it has got it right until the Food Safety Authority comes along.
- In the event of a proper accreditation inspection on executed billable hours, the certification body can also be suspended from issuing certificates, which means that suddenly a lot of GFSI approved companies are no longer certified.
- The level of audits is not improving, the freelance auditors are less independent because they are also entrepreneurs. (more billed hours is more money and rejecting a client may mean less work, because this client then wants another auditor).
These practices ensure that there is less and less trust in a certificate. Real-time Food Safety compliance is the future: as a food company, report the Food Safety standard on a daily basis.