Agreement with QS on Unannounced Audits

Friday, December 21, 2018

We are happy that we have come to an agreement with QS (Qualität und Sicherheit) on the topic of unannounced audits.

In general, we see a tendency towards more demands for unannounced audits. In most Food schemes (FSSC22000, IFS, BRC) it is already common practice for almost all scopes. Also in Feed Schemes (OVOCOM, QS, FAMI-QS, EFISC), unannounced audits for producers are already mandatory. The pressure for this from both national governments/authorities and the retail is becoming more and more tangible. Unannounced audits are already ‘business as usual’ in our world of schemes and certification.

As GMP+ International, we value the mutual recognition with QS. It is very important for a lot of our customers. A lot of stakeholders and involved companies urge us to come to an understanding with QS. Therefore we will implement unannounced audits as follows: 

  • GMP+ International will make the unannounced audit mandatory for companies with a production scope (GMP+ B1 and GMP+ B2) for Germany and the rest of Europe. Therefore GMP+ C6 will be updated. In the Netherlands the unannounced audit is already mandatory.
  • The unannounced audit has to be implemented in the certification cycle of the GMP+ certified companies for Germany by 31-12-2019 and for the rest of Europe by 31-12-2020 at the latest.
  • The implementation of unannounced audits for producers outside Europe will be discussed with QS in a later phase.
  • GMP+ FSA certified companies do not need to send a special declaration / additional agreement to QS anymore. QS will terminate the additional agreements.

Together with QS we will align a smooth implementation. Therefore we will have a meeting with QS in January 2019.