WHAT ARE PROCEDURES AND WHY DO WE NEED THEM?
WHY DO WE NEED PROCEDURES?
- It demonstrates your understanding of requirements and your ability to comply with a particular legislative, food safety or quality standard, customer requirement or good business / industry practice.
- It provides an overview of how the particular process as a whole is managed and controlled and is written to guide the management team.
- It sets the standard of how a process should be managed and controlled.
- It provides transparency.
- It provides consistency, since all who read it should follow the documented process.
- It provides a valuable training and refresher training tool.
- Once documented, the process can be monitored and measured.
Procedures are requested during the first phase of your certification or surveillance audit. If you have adequately documented the required food safety and quality controls then this demonstrates your readiness for the second stage of your audit, the on-site inspection, which will verify that you have implemented all the controls required to manage food safety, quality and legality effectively.
WHAT DOES A PROCEDURE DOCUMENT LOOK LIKE?
There is no hard and fast rule as to how a procedure should look. You can decide on your own format. You can use words, flowcharts, tables, diagrams or maps or any combination of these. I like flowcharts, but you may prefer tables, whatever works best for you. The important thing is that the procedure needs to provide sufficient information to the reader, who needs to understand how the particular process is managed and controlled in order to achieve a desired output or result.