BRCGS Storage and Distribution Certification

If you play a role in the supply chain and aim to ensure the excellence and safety of your food, packaging, or consumer products, it is most likely that the BRCGS Storage and Distribution certification caught your attention at some point. Perhaps you are wondering about its nature and the steps to acquire it? You are in the right place to find out everything there is to know about it.

What is the BRCGS Storage and Distribution certification ?

The acronym BRCGS, which translates as "Brand Reputation through Compliance of Global Standards", guarantees the brand’s reputation by respecting international standards. BRCGS certification for storage and distribution represents an international standard, approved by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), designed to ensure the quality and safety of products through their storage and distribution in the supply chain.

It targets companies engaged in the storage and/or distribution of food, packaging or consumer products, at all levels of the chain, from primary production to retail point of sale.

Certification is based on key principles that include :

  • Product quality and safety management
  • Control of operational risks and hazards
  • Training and competence of staff
  • Traceability and incident management
  • Management of subcontractors and suppliers
  • Maintenance and hygiene of premises and equipment
  • Vehicle and transport management
  • Protection against fraud and malice

By obtaining BRCGS certification for logistics storage and distribution, companies attest to their adherence to legal and regulatory standards, thus meeting the expectations of customers and consumers regarding the quality and safety of products. This certification opens the door to international recognition, offers a competitive advantage, stimulates continuous improvement and contributes to the reduction of costs and losses.

Which organisations offer the BRCGS Storage and Distribution certification ?

To obtain the BRCGS Storage and Distribution certification, it is essential to turn to an accredited certification body. It will conduct an in-depth audit of your product quality and safety management system, based on the BRCGS standard. Although many organizations offer this service, their skill levels, reputation, cost and quality of service vary. Here are some essential criteria to consider when choosing :

International recognition

Opting for an internationally recognized certification body is essential. This means that it must be accredited by a body that is part of the multilateral agreement of the International Accreditation Cooperation (IAAC). Such recognition ensures worldwide acceptance of your certification, demonstrating that the chosen organization follows strict international standards of quality and impartiality.

Experience and expertise

It is equally important to choose an organization with solid experience and expertise specific to the field of storage and distribution. Learn about the number of BRCGS audits they have completed, the qualifications and training of their auditors, as well as their in-depth knowledge of the specifics of your sector, including local regulations and requirements.

Value for money

The cost of certification can vary greatly depending on several factors such as the size and complexity of your business, the number of sites to audit, etc. It is therefore essential to compare offers and request detailed quotes. Keep in mind the added value that the organization can offer, such as advice, training, personalized follow-up, exemplary responsiveness and guaranteed customer satisfaction.

Some examples of certification bodies

Here is a short list of reputable certification bodies for BRCGS Storage and Distribution certification, to help you with your decision :

  • LRQA : Internationally renowned certification body, accredited by UKAS, offering face-to-face or remote audits, training and gap analysis.
  • FoodChain ID : Based in the United States and accredited by the ANAB, this organization offers audits, training, tests and specialized consulting services.
  • BRCGS : Creator of the repository, also offering audits, training, publications and dedicated events.

What are the specific requirements of the BRCGS Storage and Distribution certification for my industry ?

BRCGS certification for storage and distribution is suitable for a variety of products, including food, packaging, and consumer products. Depending on the type of product handled, specific requirements, set out in the BRCGS repository, must be met. Examples of requirements by product type include:

Food products

For food products, it is essential to :

  • Preserve the cold chain and monitor the temperature of perishable products.
  • Avoid cross-contamination between allergenic and non-allergenic products.
  • Ensure the traceability of each product and batch in the supply chain.
  • Effectively handle food safety incidents and inform customers.
  • Comply with local regulations and customer requirements regarding product labelling and composition.

Packaging products

For packaging products, it is important to :

  • Protect these products from damage, dust, moisture and pests.
  • Distinguish between food contact packaging products and others.
  • Ensure full traceability of products and batches.
  • Effectively manage and communicate product quality incidents.
  • Comply with local standards and customer specifications on materials and marking.

Consumer products

For consumer products, it is crucial to :

  • Protect items from damage, theft, tampering and pests.
  • Isolate hazardous or sensitive products from other items.
  • Maintain strict traceability of products and batches.
  • Respond quickly to product safety incidents and inform customers.
  • Observe local regulations and customer criteria in terms of compliance and labeling.

In addition to these specific requirements, general standards of the BRCGS reference system must also be complied with, in particular concerning :

  • Product quality and safety management.
  • Control of operational risks and hazards.
  • Training and assessment of staff skills.
  • Maintenance and hygiene of premises and equipment.
  • Transport and vehicle management.
  • Supervision of subcontractors and suppliers.
  • Prevention of fraud and malicious acts.

To validate the BRCGS certification requirements specific to your sector, specialized partners, such as those offered by Yvea, can offer you tailor-made solutions. Yvea assists you in the development and maintenance of your quality and product safety management system, through consulting, training, audits and certifications of its partners.

What are the steps to obtain a BRCGS Storage and Distribution certification ?

Acquiring the BRCGS Storage and Distribution certification requires careful preparation and careful monitoring. Discover the essential steps to achieve this goal :

Step 1 : Download the repository and interpretation guidelines

The BRCGS repository for logistics storage and distribution is a key document defining the criteria to be met to be certified. The interpretation guidelines accompany this repository, facilitating its understanding and practical application. These documents are available for download on the official website of BRCGS or via that of your certification body.

Step 2 : Complete a Self-Assessment

The self-assessment allows you to compare your product quality and safety management system to the requirements of the repository. This crucial step helps to identify your strengths and weaknesses, and to implement corrective actions if necessary. For this, you can use the self-assessment tool proposed by BRCGS or request an external consultant.

Step 3 : Complete Training

In-depth training on the repository, its specific requirements, audit methodologies and industry best practices is essential. Whether online or face-to-face, these courses are offered by BRCGS or accredited training entities. They are a solid preparation for the certification audit while contributing to the improvement of your performance.

Step 4 : Plan Certification Audit

The certification audit verifies the conformity of your product quality and safety management through a qualified external auditor, working for a certification body accredited by BRCGS. It is necessary to choose this organization among those recognized by BRCGS and request a quote. You must then arrange the date and location of the audit, considering the size and complexity of your site, which will influence the duration and frequency of the audits.

Step 5 : Complete the Certification Audit

An auditor verifies on site or remotely, depending on your choice and that of the certification body, all the crucial elements of your company. This includes reviewing your documentation, procedures, records, infrastructure, equipment, vehicle fleet, products, personnel, subcontractors and suppliers to ensure they meet the standards of the repository.

The assessment also covers risk management, incident response, traceability and continuous improvement. At the end of the audit, you receive a report detailing the strengths, areas for improvement, non-conformities and corrective measures to be applied.

Step 6 : Obtain Certification

Successful completion of the certification audit, signifying no major or critical non-conformities not resolved, or the correction of minor non-conformities in time, results in obtaining the BRCGS Storage and Distribution certification. You receive a certificate confirming your compliance with the required standards, valid for 12 or 18 months depending on your level of performance.

In addition, your certification is registered on the BRCGS website, making it accessible to your customers and partners.

How much does a BRCGS Storage and Distribution certification cost ?

The costs associated with obtaining a BRCGS Storage and Distribution certification vary depending on various factors, including :

  • The size and complexity of your organization
  • The volume and variety of products you store and distribute
  • The number and location of your sites to evaluate
  • The time and frequency required for audits
  • The certification body chosen
  • Desired additional services such as counselling, training, and gap analysis

Since there is no fixed price for this certification, it is recommended to request quotes from several certification bodies. This will allow you to compare their offers and select the most advantageous option in terms of cost and services offered.

Investing in BRCGS Storage and Distribution certification is beneficial and profitable for your business as it :

  • Reinforces international recognition of your commitment to product quality and safety
  • Opens doors to new markets and customers
  • Improves your operational performance and efficiency
  • Reduces the risk of contamination, fraud, loss or damage of products
  • Reduces costs and losses related to non-conformities or customer complaints

To minimize certification fees, consider working with specialized partners. They can offer you solutions tailored to your requirements and budget. Yvea, for example, is able to offer you its trusted partners who will assist you in the development and maintenance of your quality management system and product safety, offering consulting services, training, auditing and certification at advantageous rates (because negotiated).

How long does it take to obtain a BRCGS Storage and Distribution certification ?

The process of obtaining BRCGS certification for storage and logistics distribution varies from organization to organization, influenced by various factors such as the initial level of preparation, the speed of the chosen certification body, the duration and conclusions of the audit, as well as the management of non-conformities and necessary corrective actions.

Typically, the journey to certification can take three to six months from the moment you choose to get started. Here is a schematic of what these months might look like :

Month 1

Start by downloading the repository and its guidelines, do a self-assessment, select your certification body and request a quote.

Month 2

Attend specific training, implement corrective actions from your self-assessment and plan your audit.

Month 3

The certification audit is carried out, you receive the audit report and implement the required corrective actions.

Month 4

Corrective actions are verified by the auditor, leading to certification and receipt of your certificate. To speed up the certification process, consider :

  • Carefully prepare your audit by exploiting the resources offered by the BRCGS site or that of the certification body.
  • Choose a certification body recognized for its expertise, reputation and ability to provide fast and quality service in your sector.
  • Facilitate the work of the auditor by respecting deadlines and providing all required documents and access.
  • Quickly resolve any identified non-compliance, providing the necessary evidence to your auditor.

Is there a need to renew the BRCGS Storage and Distribution certification ?

The BRCGS Storage and Distribution certification requires periodic renewal to ensure compliance with standards and demonstrate your willingness to continually improve your practices. Here’s what you need to know about the renewal process :

  • The duration of the certification depends on your performance during the initial audit. There are three levels of performance: A, B and C, with level A being the top ranking, guaranteeing 18 months of validity, while levels B and C ensure 12 months of validity.
  • A new audit must be performed before your certification expires, under the same conditions as the first. It is preferable to choose the same certification body, unless there is a good reason to change it, and you must notify that body of any major changes in your operations or in your quality and safety management system.
  • If the audit is successful, you will receive a new certificate, validating your compliance for a duration similar to that of the first certificate, depending on your level of performance. This new certificate will also be accessible to your customers and partners via the BRCGS website.
  • Failure to audit, through major, critical or unresolved minor non-conformities, results in loss of certification. You will then have to take corrective measures and pass a new audit as soon as possible to recover it.

La procédure classique

Revue documentaire

Voici la liste des documents nécessaires pour l'ouverture du dossier :
Proforma ou facture finale
Fiche descriptive pour chaque code de nomenclature
Rapports de test ou certificats d'analyse pour chaque code de nomenclature
Certificat de qualité ISO 9001 ou équivalent
Déclaration d'importation à demander à votre acheteur (selon la destination)

1

Revue documentaire

Voici la liste des documents nécessaires pour l'ouverture du dossier :
Proforma ou facture finale
Fiche descriptive pour chaque code de nomenclature
Rapports de test ou certificats d'analyse pour chaque code de nomenclature
Certificat de qualité ISO 9001 ou équivalent
Déclaration d'importation à demander à votre acheteur (selon la destination)

2

Revue documentaire

Voici la liste des documents nécessaires pour l'ouverture du dossier :
Proforma ou facture finale
Fiche descriptive pour chaque code de nomenclature
Rapports de test ou certificats d'analyse pour chaque code de nomenclature
Certificat de qualité ISO 9001 ou équivalent
Déclaration d'importation à demander à votre acheteur (selon la destination)

3

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