The IOAS does not directly provide accreditation against food safety schemes but works with the American National Standards Institute to provide a comprehensive service for certification bodies. The IOAS works as the assessor for ANSI which in turn makes the accreditation decision. A joint agreement with ANSI covers the following food safety schemes:
- British Retailers Consortium Global Standard Food (BRC)
- International Featured Standards (IFS)
- Safe Quality Food
- Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA).
The scheme owners are therefore a number of different organisations.
All schemes require compliance with ISO 17065. To provide efficiency and cost effectiveness in delivery, a joint ANSI/IOAS procedure has been developed. This procedure combines the current IOAS evaluation process, with several modifications including but not limited to the following:
- The evaluation process is carried out by the IOAS, and the accreditation decision is made by ANSI;
- The applicant certification bodies for all the above schemes need to have signed a license agreement with the scheme owner prior to application to the IOAS and ANSI;
- Applicant certification bodies that already hold ISO 17065 accreditation with the IOAS may add any of the above schemes as an extension of scope;
- Certification bodies apply to the IOAS, by using the normal application forms indicating the desired scope of ISO 17065 accreditation and where appropriate the detailed programme scopes;
- The application process also includes completion and submitting to the IOAS the ANSI application form, which is then reviewed by ANSI. Additional questions may be asked by ANSI, before decision to proceed with evaluation;
- Upon review of the pre-visit screening of the certification body quality system, ANSI defines the number of days for the site visit;
- All other accreditations with the IOAS follow a 4 year cycle, while the ANSI accreditation is a 2 year cycle so an adjustment of assessment and surveillance schedule is taken into account.
First steps to accreditation are as follows:
- Contact the IOAS and discuss your needs.
- Complete an application form to the relevant scheme owner(s)
- Complete a preliminary application form to ANSI.
- Complete the standard IOAS application form.
The IOAS/ANSI joint procedure provides full guidance on implementation of this scheme.
Fees for IOAS assessment for food safety schemes are available on request.
Gergana Nentcheva – email@example.com