August 2020

Understanding FSSC Partial Remote Audit Process

Learn about the audit requirements, process and items that can be reviewed in the FSSC Partial Remote Audit.

To determine if a remote audit is a viable solution, an assessment is sent to the site prior to audit scheduling to ascertain:

  • Does the site permit remote audit activity?
  • What information and communication technologies (ICTs) will be utilized?
  • Does the site have the ability to provide a representative capable of communicating in the same language as the auditor?
  • Can both the site and certification body (CB) perform remote activities using an agreed upon ICTs?

A Supply Chain Food Safety Client Information form is then completed, reviewed and approved by the technical manager before scheduling can proceed. If not approved, a full on-site audit will be required.

  • Focus on ISO 22000 standard
  • Management/key personnel interviews
  • Trace exercise

If any non-conformances (NCs) are issued during the remote audit, a normal response time is applied to closing the NCs. The auditor will verify the remote audit NC implementation during the on-site audit.

  • Implementation/verification of food safety management system (including HACCP).
  • Prerequisite programs (PRPs)
  • Physical inspection of the production process
  • Any remaining requirements not covered in the remote audit.
  • Partial remote audits are voluntary, not mandatory.
  • The remote audit must occur first (unless as part of an unannounced surveillance audit)
  • Maximum time between the remote audit and on-site audit cannot exceed 30 calendar days
    • 90 days allowed in case of serious events (FSSC provides examples in Annex 9 Appendix 1)
  • The on-site audit cannot be less than one day and must be at least 50% of audit duration.
  • Unannounced surveillance audits may use a two-step process, but the on-site portion will be conducted first with the remote portion completed within 48 hours of the on-site audit.
  • Non-conformances may be issued during both audits, with normal response time applied to both audits separately.
    • NC raised during the first audit may have grading elevated if more evidence is found during the second audit