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Monitoring Activities

Monitoring activities are in place to oversee the performance of the SQF professional, certificate and audit experience. Activities include witness audits, review of audit reports and the monitoring of certification body (CB) performance. The expectation is that all are executed as outlined in the SQF Code and Auditor and CB Criteria.

The SQF Certificate

An SQF certificate is issued to suppliers that receive an E, G or C rating on their SQF audit. To maintain certification, the supplier must undergo an annual recertification audit as well as comply with the expectations outlined in the SQF Code. Supplier certificates may be suspended and in some cases withdrawn from the SQF Program when they do not meet code requirements. Below are outlined the provisions for suspension and withdrawal of a certificate. Any supplier that has their certificate suspended or withdrawn from the system will not be listed on the SQFI website as a certified supplier.

SQF Certificate Suspension and Withdrawal (Part A, 4.6, 4.7)

SQF certificates shall be suspended when the supplier a). Fails to permit the re-certification audit, surveillance audit or unannounced audit; b). Receives an “F-fails to comply” rating during any SQF audits; c). Fails to take corrective actions; d). Fails to take corrective action within the timeframe specified, or e). where in the opinion of the certification body (CB), fails to maintain the requirements of the SQF Code.

 SQF certificate shall be withdrawn when the supplier a). Fails to submit an approved corrective action plan as defined by the certification body, or take approved corrective action as determined by the CB within the time frames specified; b). Has falsified its records; c). Fails to maintain the integrity of the SQF certificate; or d). Has an administrator, receiver and manager, official manager or provisional liquidator appointed over its assets or where an order is made or a resolution passed for the closure of the supplier (except for the purposes of amalgamation or reconstruction) or the supplier ceases to carry on business or becomes bankrupt, applies to take the benefit of any law for the relief of bankrupt or insolvent debtors or makes any arrangement or composition with its creditors.

Tracking SQF Certified Suppliers

SQFI provides a database of all SQF certified suppliers that hold a current SQF certificate. Any supplier that is suspended or withdrawn from the program, or a supplier that fails to renew their registration with SQF, will be removed from this listing. Click here to search for an SQF certified supplier.

Food Safety Incident and Product Recall Tracking

The SQF certified supplier is required to notify both SQFI and the designated CB, within twenty-four (24) hours, in writing at when there is a food safety event at the facility that requires public notification, such as a Class I or Class II recall (US), or the receipt of a regulatory warning letter. The CIP tracks all recalls for SQF and non-SQF certified suppliers and provides an annual summary to SQF stakeholders outlining the total number and top categories of those recalls.

CB monitoring and report

The SQF licensed certification bodies (CBs) are monitored by SQFI to ensure compliance with the SQF Code, CB Criteria and International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 17065. Accreditation assessment results are reviewed and supplier surveys are issued to identify the strengths and opportunities for improvement. SQF provides each CB with a quarterly report that summarizes the feedback and results of the CB activity. A copy of each survey is also provided. The report provides a summary of audit information, auditor performance, SQF certified supplier recalls, and rating and scores from the SQF Supplier Survey.