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In preparation for the new GFSI Guidance Document Version 7, which will ask for the implementation of an unannounced audit tool within food safety schemes, IFS created the IFS Food audit protocol.

This protocol will be an integral part of the current IFS Food version 6 – April 2014 Standard, and is meant for unannounced audits.

This additional part 5, “IFS Food audit protocol for unannounced audits”, will allow companies to choose one of the two options: “announced audit” or “unannounced audit”.

If the option “announced audit” is selected, the company will be audited according to standard IFS Food 6 rules.

Alternatively, if the option “unannounced audit” is selected, the company will be audited by its Certification Body without prior notice within the time window of [- 16 weeks; + 2 weeks] from the audit due date. The unannounced audit process will follow the existing IFS Food 6 rules with few modifications.

Unannounced audits will be applicable from 1st of October 2016 and from this date, registrations to IFS unannounced Food Checks will stop.

Registrations for IFS unannounced Food Checks received until 30th of September 2016 will be performed in the timeframe of the certification cycle of the company unless the company decides to cancel its registration in favor of the unannounced regular IFS audit.

In this case, company shall directly send an email of cancellation to IFS office, e-mail address: foodcheck@ifs-certification.com putting in copy its certification body.

You can download the IFS Food audit protocol for “unannounced audits” here.

It is also available in French, Italian, German, Spanish and Dutch on the IFS website.