Download GRMS V4.2 Requirements for auditor qualifications (pdf)

The following defines the minimum requirements for auditors conducting Global Red Meat Standard audits.

1. Education
All auditors performing audits against the Global Red Meat Standard must have a degree in a food related or bio-science discipline or, as a minimum, have successfully completed a higher education course in a food or bio-science related discipline or equivalent.

2. Work experience
The auditor shall have a minimum of five years knowledge and working experience of the slaughtering and meat processing business. This shall involve at least 2 years work in quality assurance or food safety functions within red meat processing and meat product processing as well as animal welfare.

Auditors must have knowledge of relevant legislative requirements and a good understanding of quality assurance, quality management and HACCP principles.

The verification of the auditor’s ability to carry out work within specific meat categories is the responsibility of the Certification Body.

Knowledge of the following processes is required:

Raw red meat:
animal welfare (transport, lairage, stunning), slaughter/evisceration, primal cutting, deboning, chilling, freezing and packing

Meat preparations/meat products /edible by-products:
Curing, marinating, mincing, mixing, fermentation, smoking, cooking, packing, chilling, freezing and storage.

3. Auditor Qualifications
All auditors must be approved by the scheme owner and the auditor must have:

  • Successfully completed a recognised training in auditing techniques based on QMS or FSMS. Duration: one week/40 hours; or equivalent.
  • Successfully completed a training course in HACCP, based on the principles of Codex Alimentarius and be able to demonstrate competence in the understanding and application of HACCP principles. Minimum duration: two days; or equivalent.

4. Auditor Training
Certification Bodies must be able to demonstrate that every auditor has appropriate training and experience for the particular category for which they are considered competent.

Auditor competence shall be recorded.

Certification Bodies must establish training programmes for each auditor that incorporate:

An initial assessment of auditor’s knowledge and skills within the fields of pig, cattle, sheep/lamb/goat and horse slaughtering business, meat product processing, food safety, animal welfare and the HACCP principles.

Auditors can either be approved for all meat categories or single categories.

A period of supervised training in practical assessment through 10 audit days and 5 audits in accordance with the Certification Body’s written programme and as a pre-requisite to meeting applicable requirements of the Global Red Meat Standard must be implemented.

The third-party food safety audits must be against Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) approved standards. However, at least 1 of the 5 audits must be against the Global Red Meat Standard to ensure assessment of specific knowledge regarding slaughtering processes, product safety and animal welfare. The adequate number of training audits against the Global Red Meat Standard must be based on auditor experience and performance during training.

The supervised training must be successfully completed and includes:

  • Successfully completion of a Global Red Meat Standard training course delivered by the scheme owner.
  • A documented sign off audit by a competent witness auditor appointed by the Certification Body.

Each auditor’s training programme shall be managed and approved by a technically competent person within the Certification Body who can demonstrate technical competence in the meat categories in which training is given.

4.1 Continued Training
The Certification Body shall have an annual programme in place, which shall include on-site audits against the Global Red Meat Standard to maintain category and scheme knowledge.

Auditors shall remain updated on category best practice, food safety and technological developments and have access to and be able to apply relevant laws and regulations and shall also maintain written records of all relevant training undertaken.

Auditors shall remain updated on changes to the Global Red Meat Standard and participate in Global Red Meat Standard auditor calibration courses when requested by the scheme owner.

4.2 Exceptions
Where a Certification Body employs an auditor who does not fully meet the specific criteria for education but has been assessed as competent, there shall be a fully documented justification in place to support the employment of the auditor.

5. Auditor communication skills
The Certification Body shall have a system in place to ensure that auditors conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times.

  • Auditors should preferably be native speaking in the countries where sites are to be audited.
  • Exceptions to this rule must be consulted beforehand with the scheme owner.
  • Auditors must conduct themselves in a professional manner and observe professional code of conduct.
  • Based on their experience, auditors must be able to act independently. Conclusions must be based on common sense in combination with a logical and technical/professional approach.

6. Independence and Confidentiality
Auditors are not permitted to carry out any activities which may affect their independence or impartiality, and specifically they shall not carry out consultancy or training customised activities for companies on whom they perform inspections.

Auditors must strictly observe the auditee’s and the Certification Bodies procedures to maintain the confidentiality of information and records.

7. Responsibility of the Certification Body
It is the responsibility of the Certification Body to ensure processes are in place to monitor and maintain the competence of the auditor to the level required by the Global Red Meat Standard.