The maintenance of a high and consistent standard of audit and certification is essential to confidence in the scheme and to the value of the certification. The Danish Agriculture & Food Council (DAFC) therefore monitors the performance of Certification Bodies to supplement the work of Accreditation Bodies and ensure high standards are maintained.

The DAFC do not undertake audits themselves, but license this task to approved third party Certification Bodies who must be independently accredited by an Accreditation Body to audit against the Global Red Meat Standard.

The key aim of the management of the Global Red Meat Standard is to ensure integrity and consistency of the audit and certification process for all users. This means that an audit should be carried out in the same way, irrespective of country of production, Certification Body or auditor.

Rules and guidance are laid down detailing the responsibilities of the Certification Body and auditors, and adherence and understanding to those rules are monitored by the GRMS Secretariat.

The performance of Certification Bodies is formally reviewed annually including a risk based integrity program for control and management of Certification Bodies and auditor performance.

The GRMS integrity monitoring program includes monitoring of critical scheme implementation requirements:

  • report screening review
  • system of auditor competence assessment
  • assessment of KPI's
  • risk based office audit program
  • risk based witness audit program

Risk factors include but are not limited to factors such as:

  • the number of countries in which a Certification Body operates
  • the number of auditors employed
  • languages in which audits are undertaken
  • number of certificated companies
  • number of centralised offices
  • number of audits undertaken per auditor
  • grading and number of non-conformances
  • product recalls

The key performance indicators (KPI) are:

  • on site duration of the audit
  • audit frequency
  • time frame for report submission
  • auditor witnessing
  • auditor performance monitoring
  • number of audits per auditor
  • time frame for the completion of client non-conformities

The five key areas assessed (based on evaluation of KPIs):

  • Quality of audit reports (a sample of audit reports is reviewed)
  • Compliance to protocols (how audits are undertaken and reported)
  • Issue of audit reports and certificates (within defined timeline)
  • Communications with the DAFC
  • Communications with auditors

The aim of the performance monitoring is to ensure continuous improvement and the DAFC will require an action plan to be submitted and demonstrated by the Certification Body in case of unsatisfactory performance.

Feedback and referrals from users of the scheme provides a valuable input for ensuring the scheme is working in practice.
DAFC may make office visits or office audits of Certification Bodies and accompany auditors on audits at sites to observe the performance of auditors.

The DAFC may also undertake risk-based scheduled or unscheduled audits of certified sites to ensure standards of food safety, quality and animal welfare are being maintained in line with their certification status and ensure that audit and reporting process is to the expected standard.

As part of the performance monitoring, the DAFC provides annual feedback on the performance of each Certification Body through announced Key Performance Indicators.

The contractual agreement with Certification Bodies includes procedures for granting, suspension and withdrawal of certification services for the scope of GRMS and for sanction execution against non-compliant Certification Bodies.