BRCGS Certification

What is BRCGS Certification? How Do I Get BRC Certification?

In the ever-evolving food industry, maintaining high standards of food safety and quality is paramount. The BRCGS certification is a globally recognized program that ensures businesses adhere to rigorous food safety and quality requirements. This article delves into the specifics of BRCGS certification, its benefits, the process of obtaining it, associated costs, and the certification bodies involved.

What Does BRCGS Stand For?

  • BRC stands for “Brand Reputation through Compliance”. 
  • BRCGS stands for "Brand Reputation through Compliance Global Standard".

What is BRC Certification?

BRCGS certification is a comprehensive audit-based program that verifies a company's adherence to stringent food safety, quality, and operational criteria. It was first developed in 1996 by the British Retail Consortium to establish a common standard for food safety and quality. The certification is recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), ensuring that certified companies meet internationally accepted benchmarks.

For example: The scope of this approval applies to the forming, and packaging of coated paper containers used for food

What is BRCGS Certification?

BRC Grading Systems

The grades are based on the company’s performance in the following areas:

  • Food safety
  • Quality management
  • Compliance with legal requirements
  • Continuous improvement

Announced

Unannounced

Non-Conformances

AA

AA+

Lesser than 5 errors

A

A+

5 to 10 errors

B

B+

11 to 16 minors, or 1 major, and up to 10 minors

C

C+

17 to 24 minors, or 1 major and up to 16 minors, or 2 majors and up to 10 minors

D

D+

25 and 30 minors, or 1 major and up to 24 minors, or 2 majors and up to 16 minors

Uncertified

Uncertified

1 or more critical, 31 or more minors, 1 major and 25 or more minors, 2 majors and 17 or more minors, or 3 or more majors

BRC Grading Systems

What are the Benefits of BRC Certification?

Protect Your Customers

  • It is essential to adhere to BRC's food safety and quality standards in order to safeguard consumers from potential health hazards. 
  • Using best practices for food preparation, personal hygiene, and facility cleanliness is made easier with the help of the BRCGS framework. 
  • Following the guidelines teaches consumers how to protect themselves against food poisoning, allergic reactions, and food contamination hazards.   

Enhance Your Brand Image 

The BRC Global Standard certification is a globally recognized indicator of food safety and quality that helps improve reputation and trust. 

Investing in BRC Certification Is Worth It. It won't be simple to obtain BRC certification; you might need to devote time and money to fulfilling the requirements for the Food Safety Certificate and food safety training. But if you carefully follow the certification procedure, you can accomplish the following: 

  • Put into practice the best product safety management techniques on your website. 
  • Prevent paying costly fines brought on by lapses in food safety. 
  • Minimize food waste, meal replacements, and related expenses. 
  • Prevent scandals resulting from grievances from customers or unfavorable reviews. 

Gain Access to Top Retailers 

  • Having a GFSI food safety certification, such as the BRC, allows access to markets that are only open to approved producers. 
  • Quick-service restaurants and large retailers demand that suppliers keep their GFSI certification current.  

Grow Your Business 

You will need to demonstrate firsthand how your facility has been adhering to the BRC's food safety guidelines throughout the certification process. Following your passing the test and receiving your BRCGS certification, you will be able to enjoy the following advantages: 

  • Guarantee of a strong system for food safety. 
  • Confidence in the skill of their personnel. 
  • Prioritize essential duties and long-term company expansion plans.

How Do I Get BRC Certification?

Here are the steps to apply for BRC certification:

  • Step 1: Visit the BRCGS website to download and review the BRCGS Version 9 PDF. 
  • Step 2: Identify the scope and requirements of the Standard related to your facility. 
  • Step 3: Attend a BRCGS educational course such as those offered by FSNS, which will help provide clarity and direction.  
  • Step 4: Perform a self-assessment against the requirements of the Standard to determine if your organization is ready for a formal BRC audit. 
  • Step 5: Schedule a BRC audit with a registered Certification Body like FSNS C&A.
  • Step 6: The Certification Body performs the BRC audit at your facility to verify if your operations are undertaken in accordance with the Standard.
  • Step 7: You will receive a BRC audit report that shows any non-conformities. 
  • Step 8: If your facility successfully completes the audit, addresses any non-conformities (if needed), and achieves the required grade, you will be awarded BRC certification, and your company will be added to the BRC directory.  

How Much Does BRC Certification Cost?

The current BRC Global Standard for Food Safety (Version 9) costs $175.00 (U.S.) on the BRCGS website. 

However, if you choose “Free PDF” from the dropdown menu, you can download a copy for free, as shown in the image.  

How Much Does BRC Certification Cost?

The BRC Issue 9 Interpretation Guidelines currently cost $236.99 (U.S.). It is not necessary but is a helpful resource.

Additionally, you will need to pay a registered Certification Body to perform the audit, which varies depending on the Certification Body, but typically costs around $7,000 (U.S.), plus travel expenses for the auditor. 

It’s also a good idea to perform a pre-audit to ensure your facility and employees are ready, which can cost about $6,000.  

Totally, the cost of BRCGS certification can be around $13,000, plus travel costs. 

FAQs

How Long Is BRCGS Certification Valid? 

The BRC certificate is only valid for one year because the standard can be changed over the years. 

Who Needs BRCGS Accreditation?

Retailers, manufacturers, importers, caterers, and ingredient suppliers need BRCGS certification. Many retailers across the UK, the US, and Europe will only do business with suppliers who have passed an audit and been accredited by a BRCGS certification body.

Conclusion

BRCGS certification is a vital component for businesses in the food industry aiming to uphold high standards of food safety and quality. It provides numerous benefits, including regulatory compliance, market access, consumer confidence, and operational efficiencies. By understanding the certification process and associated costs, businesses can make informed decisions and successfully achieve BRCGS certification, thereby enhancing their reputation and ensuring the safety and quality of their products.

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