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On 3 November 2020, the Foundation FSSC 22000 has published Version 5.1 of its FSSC 22000 certification Scheme. The main reasons for an updated version are compliance with the latest benchmarking requirements of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and strengthened requirements for Certification Body (CB) performance as part of continuous improvement.

Raising the bar

GFSI published its latest Benchmarking Requirements (version 2020.1) at the GFSI conference held in Seattle this year. Key changes include requirements specific to multi-site certification, product design & development, and food safety culture. The Scheme has, therefore, been updated to ensure compliance with these changes.

The GFSI food safety culture requirements specify elements related to employee communication, training, and performance measurement. Since the ISO 22000:2018 standard already covered these topics, the Foundation has released a guidance document to demonstrate how these food safety culture requirements are being met.

In addition, the Foundation has also raised the bar concerning the performance of new and existing CBs. It results in strengthening the Integrity Program requirements for licensing and ongoing performance of Certification Bodies (CBs) to ensure the Foundation will only work with committed partners. Both initiatives will be managed and implemented under the Foundation’s Integrity Program.

“The Scheme has shown steady growth over the last decade, which has resulted in global coverage. This tipping point has accelerated the focus on certification integrity to protect the reputation of the growing FSSC brand. Working closely with licensed CBs that have demonstrated commitment to raising the bar is a logical result of this.”
Aldin Hilbrands, Technical Director

Remote audits

We believe that remote auditing (full or partial) is a vital component of the auditing future and trust that this will bring some relief to an already challenging situation while ensuring a robust audit and certification process. With the launch of partial remote auditing (see Annex 9 of the Scheme) and full remote auditing (see Addendum to the Scheme), the Foundation is anticipating the future of audit delivery and the widely shared vision that the use of big data solutions, new online verification technologies, and ongoing limitations of traveling will have a permanent impact.

Although the full remote auditing option is currently not GFSI recognized, it has broad support from our industry stakeholders and CB partners. It follows the GFSI benchmarking requirements except those for the on-site audit delivery process. The FSSC 22000 full remote audit option provides a voluntary alternative to our certified organizations covered by the Scheme governance and results in accredited certification.

More information

The Scheme documents are available through the Scheme section of our website to download free of charge.