Requirements before applying for the IFS examinations
Before applying for IFS examinations, auditors shall have met the following requirements:
- They shall have participated at the IFS in-house course organised by the certification body or the equivalent IFS training provided by IFS.
- They shall have submitted all the relevant information about their competence to the certification body.
- The certification body shall have observed and confirmed the professional qualification and competence of the auditors.
IFS Examination process
Auditors who comply with the requirements mentioned in chapters 126.96.36.199, Part 3 can then take part in the written IFS Examination, and if successful, in the oral IFS Examination.
Note: Detailed regulations for IFS Examinations (“IFS Examination Regulation” document) and international IFS Examination schedules are provided by IFS and are available on the IFS Website.
Upon successful completion of written and oral IFS Examinations, the auditor shall be signed off during her / his first IFS Food Assessment (see also glossary for sign-off audit definition).
Once the evidence of the performed sign-off audit has been approved by IFS, the auditor will be activated as an IFS Food Auditor in the IFS Database and a personal IFS Auditor Certificate will be issued for the activated Auditor. The IFS Auditor Certificate mentions the duration of validity, the product and technology scopes the auditor is approved for and the auditor’s languages. Starting from the day of activation, the auditor is allowed to perform IFS Food Assessments for the product and technology scopes she / he has been approved for by IFS Offices. The certificate validity starts from the date of the passed oral IFS Examination and stops at the end of the second calendar year, irrespective of the date of activation as an IFS Auditor.
Example: If an auditor passes the oral IFS Examination on 20. 10. 2020, the auditor certificate will be valid until 31. 12. 2022.
The auditor cannot perform IFS Assessments when his/ her IFS auditor certificate expires. The certification body is responsible to maintain auditor’s IFS approval so that there are no gaps during the auditor approval.
During the IFS certificate’s period of validity, auditors shall be continuously trained – at least two (2) days once a year - by the certification body on food-related legislation, Standard requirements, audit practices, etc. This training shall be documented by the certification body.
Additionally, as mentioned in 2.4 in the IFS Food standard, every auditor shall be monitored by an IFS on-site witness audit at least once every two (2) years. This audit can be performed at any time during the year of end of validity of auditor’s certificate.
Auditors’ approval shall be re-assessed before end of validity of the auditor certificates. For the re-approval, auditors shall have performed a minimum number of 5 (five) IFS assessments (performed as lead auditor or co-auditor, but not as trainee) and shall have participated in a calibration training course, organised by IFS, led by approved calibration trainers and with IFS training material. Subsequent to passing the initial examination, the first mandatory calibration training shall be successfully completed before the end of second calendar year following the date on which the initial examination was successfully completed. Then, the re-approval shall be managed every two (2) calendar years, based on the same rule.
- Date of passed oral IFS Examination: 25th May 2019
- Date of end of validity for IFS Auditor Certificate (initial approval): 31st December 2021
- The auditor shall participate in an IFS Calibration Training between 1st January and 31st December 2021.
- The auditor is authorised to perform IFS Assessments from the day of activation in the IFS Database until 31st December 2021.
In 2021, if the auditor has:
- performed five (5) IFS Food Assessments per year and
- taken part in the IFS Calibration Training (e.g. on 8th and 9th September 2021) and
- fulfilled all other rules mentioned in 188.8.131.52
The new end of validity date for IFS Auditor Certificate (re-approval) is: 31st December 2023.