FSSC 22000: Transition to Version 4 – Here’s how it works
With over 13 000 certified sites across the globe, FSSC 22000 has firmly established itself as one of the leading food safety certification schemes. In order to stay in tune with the changing expectations of all stakeholders, a new version of the scheme was published in December 2016. As one of the leading certification bodies for the FSSC 22000 scheme, we will be happy to guide you through the transition to Version 4. In this document, you will find an overview of the transition rules as well as the main changes in the new version.
Understanding the main changes
The main reason to revise the existing scheme has been to align the FSSC 22000 scheme with the benchmark requirements of the GFSI. With the publication of the GFSI Guidance Document Version 7 expected in the fall of 2016, two main changes to the scheme had become necessary in order to maintain status as a GFSI-benchmarked scheme: the introduction of an unannounced audit scheme as well as requirements for the prevention of food fraud. We have compiled an overview of these and other changes, which can be found here.
Transitioning to Version 4: The so-called Upgrade Audit
Certified sites will need to transition to Version 4 with a so-called upgrade audit, which replaces the regular surveillance or recertification audit. Please note the following points:
- Timeline: From January 1, 2018 onwards, all FSSC audits will be conducted according to Version 4. Transitioning to Version 4 before January 1, 2018 is not possible.
If in order to maintain your certificate a surveillance audit is due in 2018, this surveillance audit will be replaced by the upgrade audit. After a successful upgrade audit, you will receive a Version 4-certificate for the remaining validity period of the replaced certificate.
If your Version 3-Certificate expires in 2018, the recertification audit will be replaced by the upgrade audit. After a successful upgrade audit, you will receive a Version 4-certificate with a validity of three years.
- Audit Type: In Version 4, it is mandatory for at least one of the two surveillance audits to be unannounced. The upgrade audit, however, will always be an announced audit.
- Audit Duration: Regardless of whether the upgrade replaces a surveillance audit or a recertification audit, the audit duration of the upgrade audit will be increased by 0.5 audit days. This is a requirement of the Foundation FSSC 22000.
Initial Certification to the New Scopes
The new version of the FSSC 22000 scheme now also covers the following scopes:
- Transport and Storage
For these scopes, the possibility already exists to seek certification in the course of 2017.