The new version was published in October 2020. The new version of this standard gives more clarity about what is expected from auditors when they perform an IFS Assessment. The requirements now have a more prescriptive nature, and the new structure makes it easier to work with the standard. IFS has put more emphasis on the on-site evaluation and less on documentation. The assessment checklist has been aligned with the GFSI Benchmarking Requirements version 2020.1, FSMA, and EU regulations. You can download all relevant scheme documents here https://www.ifs-certification.com/index.php/en/standards/4128-ifs-food-standard-en
IFS Food Version 7 main changes
- Increased focus on the on-site assessment, less on documentation
- New wording: the audit becomes an assessment, to highlight the product and process approach of IFS in keeping with ISO/IEC 17065.
- 15 % less requirements
- Improved structure of the certification protocol tailored to the IFS stakeholders’ needs
- Better defined scoring system (download the brochure “IFS Food Standard Version 7 Scoring System Driving continuous improvement” here https://www.ifs-certification.com/images/standards/ifs_food7/documents/IFS_Scoring_Brochure_FoodV7_EN.pdf)
- Clearly structured assessment report with standardized sections
- Every third IFS certification assessment will be unannounced (download the fact sheet here https://www.ifs-certification.com/images/standards/ifs_food7/documents/IFS_Fact_Sheet_Unannounced_Assessments_and_Audits_EN.pdf)
- Food Safety Culture has been incorporated into the requirements (download the fact sheet here https://www.ifs-certification.com/images/standards/ifs_food7/documents/Fact_Sheet_Food_Safety_Culture_EN.pdf )
- The new definitions on outsourcing clarify different management modalities.
- A valid GLN (Global Location Number) becomes mandatory for suppliers in the European Economic Area (EEA) and United Kingdom (see details here https://www.gs1-germany.de/en/gs1-gln-for-ifs-certificates/ ).
- Additional tools to support quality managers of certified companies, e. g. new e-learning courses, updated IFS auditXpressXTM Software and IFS Audit Manager App for internal auditing
IFS Food version 7 assessments can be performed from 1st March 2021. The implementation will become mandatory for all certified companies as of 1st July 2021. In the following cases, exceptions have to be made.
- Assessment of multi-location companies with central management where the assessment of the central managing site is performed before 1st March 2021. All efforts shall be made that the assessment of the central managing site is performed after 1st March 2021 according to IFS Food version 7. In case this is not possible, justification shall be provided to IFS by the certification body.
- Follow-up assessment when the connected “main” assessment took place before 1st July 2021 (and was performed according to V 6.1)
- Extension assessment when the associated “main” assessment took place before 1st July 2021 (and was performed according to V 6.1)
The general admission of the aforementioned exceptional situations, which permit the use of IFS Food version 6.1 after 1st July 2021, will terminate on 30 th June 2022.
If the assessment window for unannounced IFS Assessments starts on 1st May 2021, then the assessment shall be made according to IFS Food version 7. As of January 2021, at least every third IFS Certification assessment shall be unannounced. It is the certification body’s responsibility to make sure this rule is fulfilled.