Safe Quality Food (SQF) Certification
GFSI-Level Food Safety Management System
What is Safe Quality Food (SQF) Certification?
Provide globally recognized food safety assurance to your customers through SQF certification. Producers, manufacturers, processors, and retailers can all participate in this world-class, GFSI benchmarked certification. Demonstrate the rigor of your HACCP-based food safety plan under the current SQF Food Safety Code, or go one step further by meeting the additional quality management system requirements of the Quality Code.
Why Choose SCS?
Companies of all sizes, from small and medium-sized operators to international companies, have chosen SCS as their certifier of choice. With over 30 years of HACCP food safety management and auditing experience, SCS Global Services provides expert SQF certification services. Moreover, we offer a wide range of food industry certifications, and can help you earn recognition in multiple categories from safety to sustainability.
- Program Details
- Program Documents
SQF is designed for use by all sectors of the food industry, from primary production, manufacturing, and processing to transport, storage, distribution and retailing. The current standard applies to all industry sectors. Go to www.sqfi.com.
SQF is a HACCP-based standard for control of food quality and food safety. The scope of SQF certification is site- and product-specific. Compliance with the following mandatory system elements is required for certification: management commitment, document control and records, specification and product development, food safety fundamentals and plans, SQF system verification, product identification, trace, withdrawal and recall, food defense, identity preserved foods, and training.
SCS can help you pursue the appropriate level of SQF certification. GFSI recognizes Food Safety Code and Quality Code certificates:
- Food Safety Fundamentals: Entry level for new and developing businesses covering only GAP/GMP/GDP requirements and basic food safety elements.
- Food Safety Code: Recognizes suppliers that have implemented a HACCP food safety plan in addition to meeting fundamental requirements.
- Quality Code: Recognizes suppliers that have implemented a HACCP-based food quality plan in addition to food safety code system elements.
Audits are required every 6-12 months to maintain certification; frequency is based on the audit score rating.
SCS can walk you through a pre-assessment process. Pre-assessment is a non-scored mock audit designed to assess the level of your preparedness for a certification audit. Ask about combining a pre-assessment with your initial audit for greater efficiency.
Apply for Auditing
Fill out an SCS Application form. This provides us with the details of your site and operation. SCS returns a proposal for your approval with a suggested scope of work, timeline, and quote. To initiate the certification process, return a signed Work Order, and register and select SCS with SQF in their online assessment database.
Schedule the Audit
SCS assigns an auditor and audit dates are proposed. Once an audit date is confirmed, an audit plan is provided to ensure that your team is prepared.
An on-site audit of your operation is carried out to ensure that your operation complies with the SQF Standard. A team meeting is required at the beginning and the end of the audit. At the conclusion of the audit, the auditor explains the audit results, including any non-conformities.
Complete Corrective Actions and Technical Review
Identified non-conformities must be addressed and evidence of correction provided to SCS within 30 days. The auditor reviews and closes out non-conformities as warranted. Once this process is complete, the auditors submit an audit report.
Make Certification Decision
SCS conducts a final technical review of the audit report and Corrective Action documentation, then makes the final certification decision.
If certification is granted, SCS issues the certificate and final report to the facility/operation and sends a copy to the SQFI, and your company is listed in the SQFI Directory.
SQF certification through SCS provides numerous benefits:
- Limit Risk - Minimize the potential for food safety incidents and recalls.
- Become a Preferred Supplier - Many retailers require SQF certification for their manufacturers and suppliers.
- Competitive Edge - Assure your customers that food has been produced, processed, prepared and handled in accordance with rigorous standards.
- Improvement over Time - Demonstrate continual improvements to quality and safety processes.
- Professional service - SCS is known for our thorough and timely audits.
- Combined services - Take advantage of our broad food and agriculture certification expertise, from safety to sustainability, to earn recognition for multiple achievements most cost-effectively.
SCS is an SQF Training Center offering a full line-up of food safety training solutions in a variety of formats including live and online self-paced trainings delivered by experienced industry professionals. Private onsite trainings and webinars can be customized for your company, saving time and expense.
Do you meet the SQF Practitioner requirements?
- Full-time employee able manage the SQF System?
- Completed a sixteen hour examinable HACCP course? View Course Or, earn a HACCP certificate while fulfilling FSMA requirements View Course
- Understand the SQF Code and are able to implement and maintain the SQF System.
Register for the Implementing SQF Systems course and prepare! View Course
Does fulfilling the requirements make me a Practitioner?
No, a person must be appointed Practitioner by their company.
Learn more about SQF training Here
Additional recommended training for SQF
- Facility appropriate HACCP training, IHA Approved 16 hours:
- HACCP for Processors in person or online.
- HACCP for Packing, Storage, and transport.
- Onsite training is available for all courses – contact your SCS Representative or Training
Horario de cursos ofrecidos en México - HACCP, SQF, GLOBALG.A.P.
Horario de cursos ofrecidos en los Estados Unidos.
SQF is the only GFSI-recognized standard that incorporates a QUALITY certification component. SQF is also the only program, recognized by GFSI that is headquartered outside of Europe. SQF improves process management by helping to proactively identify and manage risk so as to avoid stock recoveries, market withdrawals and rework.
There are several costs associated with becoming SQF certified, including registration with the SQF database, the certification audit, and SQF Practitioner training (optional). Fees vary somewhat depending on the extent of your operations. Contact your SCS representative, Bernadette Goldstein, [email protected], 510.452.6825, to discuss pricing details.
Due to the growing demand for SQF certification, please be prepared to schedule an audit at least 2-3 months in advance.
An FSC, or food sector category, is a food industry classification established by SQF. Determine your company's classification by viewing the listing of SQF Food Sector Categories.
The SQF self-assessment checklist is available on the SQF website.
An SQF practitioner is an individual designated by a supplier to develop, validate, verify, implement and maintain a supplier SQF System. As a part of each audit, SCS verifies that the SQF practitioner meets the following requirements:
- Employed full time at the supplier company with the responsibility of managing the suppliers' SQF System
- Completed a HACCP training course, and has experience and competency in implementing and maintaining HACCP-based food safety plans
- Understands the SQF Code and the requirements to implement and maintain SQF systems relevant to the Suppliers Scope of Certification. Implementing the SQF Systems online with its examination fulfills this requirement.
This depends on the nature and size of the organization and the level of certification requested. For example, a vegetable growing and packing audit at SQF Food Safety Fundamentals may take less than one day, whereas a complex manufacturing facility audit at SQF Food Safety and Quality Code may take 2-3 days to complete.
Food Safety and Quality Code certified companies are granted authorization to use of the SQFI logo on any internal materials. The SQF logo can be obtained from SQFI at [email protected]
Food Quality Code certified companies are additionally granted permission to use of the SQF logo (the SQF shield) on any products and marketing materials. The SQF logo can be obtained from SCS upon completion of your audit.
How does SQF differ from other food safety certification programs?
How much does SQF certification cost?
How far in advance should I schedule my audit?
What is a food sector category (FSC)?
Where can I find the self-assessment checklist?
What is a SQF practitioner and how can I become one?
How long does an audit take?
Once certified, can I use the SQF logo? If so, what are the rules and restrictions?
Ready to start the process? Complete an Application.
Nov 20, 2020Video
SQF Edition 9: Changes & Updates to the StandardThis interactive webinar provides an overview of the updates and changes to the new SQF standard and helps prepare you…
Sep 19, 2017Webinar
The SQF Certification ProcessUnderstand the SQF Certification process