July 25, 2018
8 Steps to SQF Food Safety Certification
If you produce your product in your own facility, it is critical that you have your certification program plans underway.
Take a look at these 8 steps and contact our team if you have any questions on getting started.
How to Achieve Certification:
1. Learn About the SQF Code
There are several ways to learn how to implement the SQF program within your food business. The following options are available:
- Attend an SQF Information Day; a day-long, in-person informational seminar designed to introduce food suppliers at all levels of the food chain to the benefits of food safety and quality certification.
- Attend an on-site “Implementing SQF Systems” training course through a licensed SQF Training Center;
- Take the online “Implementing SQF Systems” training course provided by Alchemy;
- Train yourself by utilizing the SQF documents available for free on our website;
- and/or take the “Implementing SQF Systems” online examination.
2. Register Your Company with our Assessment Database
The registration fee for our Assessment Database is based on the gross sales of a company. Click here to view our current registration fee structure.
3. Designate an Employee as the SQF Practitioner
This individual will serve as your company’s internal expert on SQF. Further information on the requirements for an SQF Practitioner are available in sections 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206 of the SQF Code, Ed. 7.2.
4. Choose Your Level of Certification-or Area of Certification for Edition 8.
There are three levels of certification for the SQF standard. Level 1 is mainly for low risk products and it incorporates fundamental food safety controls. Level 2 is a certified HACCP food safety plan that is benchmarked by GFSI. Level 3 is a comprehensive implementation of safety and quality management systems that incorporates Level 2. In many cases, a supplier’s customer has already designated a minimum level of certification.
5. Obtain Proposals from SQF Licensed Certification Bodies
Contact a licensed Certification Body directly to obtain quotes and details on the SQF certification audit.
6. Conduct a Pre-Assessment (Optional)
Either an SQF auditor or your SQF Practitioner can identify the “gaps” between your program and the desired level of SQF certification.
7. Choose a Certification Body and Schedule an Audit
Use the licensed Certification Body directory to find a Certification Body that can conduct an audit in your country.
8. Certification Body Conducts Initial Certification Audits:
- Document review
- Facility assessment
Certification steps are also located in Part A of the SQF Code, Ed. 7.2.
Download our 8 Steps to SQF Food Safety Certification info-graphic for a visual representation of this process!