2016-01 – Unannounced audits for EU listed operators
Date issued: October 2016
- To clarify and set parameters within the export chain for conducting “unannounced audits” on certified operators.
- Changes to European laws require unannounced inspections along with a host of other audit and risk assessment processes to be implemented by European Commission listed control bodies.
- Audits conducted by the department have highlighted occurrences whereby only a partial unannounced audits were performed by the organic inspector. Justifiable reasons for a partial audit could not be provided to the departmental auditor.
- Unannounced audit means a systematic and objective review of all aspects of a certified operation with no prior notice; based on the general evaluation of the risk of non-compliance with the organic production rules, taking into account at least the results of previous controls, the quality of products concerned and the risk for exchange of products.
- An unannounced audit can be a “partial audit” provided that all components of the certified operation are audited in the 12 months period.
- Certification decisions should not be based on findings of a partial audit.
Approved certifying organisations must:
- audit all key aspects of a certified operation within a 12-month period.
- have a documented scheduled for announced and unannounced audits.
- have a policy and instructional material to ensure organic inspectors record details where an audit cannot be fully completed.
- not grant or issue a certificate of compliance to an operator that was not audited completely during a 12-month period.
The full notice can be viewed here: http://www.agriculture.gov.au/export/controlled-goods/organic-bio-dynamic/organic-notices/2016/2016-01