FSSC 22000

New protocol FSSC 22000 version 4

Protocol version 4

The protocol version 4, what exactly?

Answer

The FSSC 22000 certification is managed by a protocol published by the FSSC Foundation, which defines the different requirements applicable to certified companies, certification bodies and accreditation services.   This protocol has evolved towards version 4 in order to be in line with the requirements of the GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative). FSSC certification is still based on ISO 22000 and the PRP standard. (Ex ISO TS 22002-1) (Food Manufacturing).

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Change for our company

What are the changes that will affect our company?

Answer

The main changes to consider are:

The implementation of new requirements for the establishment of a Food Fraud and Food Defense systems.

  • Mandatory conduct of at least one of the unannounced surveillance audits.
  • Increasing the duration of audits with an average 4 – 8 hours per year and per site.
  • A change in the definition of non-conformities, with the appearance of critical non-conformity and the disappearance of the notion of "remark" or "recommendation". The definitions of major and minor non-conformities remain unchanged.

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Mandatory changes

When will these changes become mandatory?

Answer

The version 4 protocol is applicable from 1st January 2018. This means that all the audits that will be carried out in 2018 will have to be done according to the new requirements.  

However, you can choose to "upgrade" your current certification to version 4, starting in October 2017.

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Validity of current certificate

Is my current FSSC certificate still valid? And until when?

Answer

Your current certificate remains valid until the new version 4 certificate is established.

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Next audit

My next audit, which is planned in 2018, is a surveillance audit, Should we do a re-certification for version 4?

Answer

If the 2018 audit is a surveillance audit (year 1 or 2), there is no requirement to recertify, but simply to perform the surveillance audit on dates agreed with your auditor, adding a few hours - more generally from 4 to 8 hours in order to audit the new requirements of V4. This audit will be called an "upgrade audit". You will receive a new contract demonstrating the additional time which will be valid for the balance of the initial certification cycle. Following this audit, if certification is maintained, ProCert will issue a new FSSC V4 certificate, with the same expiration dates as your current version 3 certificate.

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Unannounced audits

Should unannounced FSSC V4 audits be conducted?

Answer

The new   protocol requires that at least one of the surveillance audits be unannounced. The company may decide that the two surveillance audits are unannounced.

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Action plan still open

If the action plan has not yet been closed in a non-advertised monitoring audit, what happens?

Answer

The auditor will be able to renew the non-conformities still open in minor or major depending on the causes. We recommend that you close them within 6 months after the audit.  

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Combination with other types of audits

In general, can we continue to combine FSSC V4 audits with other types of audits, such as ISO 9001, ISO 14001, BRC or IFS?

Answer

Completely. The FSSC audits according to version 4 can be combined as usual, while respecting the specifications and requirements of the FSSC protocol. So these ISO type audits will be conducted as unannounced audits. This question must be still clarified before a new certification contract.

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Combination with other types of audits for "unannounced" audits

We have subscribed to the "unannounced" option of the IFS and BRC audits, can they be combined with the FSSC V4 audits?

Answer

FSSC surveillance audits can be combined with an IFS and / or BRC audit, but recertification audits will always be announced and therefore can not be combined with an unannounced audit.   Here is an example of a certification cycle:

  • 2018: Two different audits; An announced FSSC recertification audit and another IFS and / or BRC unannounced audit.
  • 2019 and 2020, one audit per year, combined FSSC / IFS/BRC unannounced audit.

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Central processes on headquarters & manufacturing sites

We have several manufacturing sites and a headquarters that manages the central processes, how will the unannounced audits be organized?

Answer

The head office that manages central functions or processes will always be audited normally, with an announced and planned audit. The production sites will have unannounced audits as required by the FSSC V4 protocol. It is recommended that the head office audit be carried out first.

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