Responsibilities of the certification body in respect of the IFS trainers and IFS auditors (including self-employed persons/freelancers)
Certification body responsibilities for IFS Auditors, Reviewers, Trainers and
The certification body shall ensure compliance with ISO / IEC 17065:2012 norm and the IFS
It is the responsibility of the certification body to ensure that processes are in place to monitor
and maintain the competencies of all auditors to the level required by the IFS Standard. Therefore,
certification bodies have the following responsibilities:
• To manage witness audits (by accreditation bodies, Integrity Program, and certification body
through the monitoring program and sign-off audits).
• To ensure that auditors or Assessment teams are qualified for the full scope of the
Assessment and are able to apply relevant laws, regulations, IFS requirements and the certification
body’s own rules.
• To maintain auditor competencies (by continuous supervision by the certification body) and
monitor Assessment performance of every auditor by an on-site witness audit at least once
every two (2) years (see more details in chapter 126.96.36.199, Part 3).
• To witness auditors who are already IFS Auditors but new to the certification body when
starting to perform IFS Food Assessment for them (this witness audit can count as the regular
monitoring Assessment so that the next regular monitoring Assessment will be performed in
the second year).
• To ensure that auditors act impartially (e.g. not acting against IFS rules, not having acted as a
consultant or having had involvement with or acted on behalf of the companies being
assessed during the previous two (2) years).
• To ensure that no auditor shall perform more than three (3) consecutive IFS Food
Assessments at the same production site (this only applies for full Assessments, irrespective
of the time between them; this does not apply for follow-up Assessments, extension
Assessments, Assessments that have been observed as a trainee, including auditor in progress
(AIP) Assessments 1 to 9).
• To ensure that all auditors have a valid contract with them.
• To obtain a signed agreement from the auditors for each Assessment, which includes the
- of compliance with all rules defined by the certification body, including confidentiality and
independence from commercial and other interests
- of absence of conflict of interest, including a declaration in case of any association to the
company being assessed, currently or within the last two (2) years.
• To ensure that at least one member of the certification body staff is responsible for certification
body in-house IFS trainings. This approved IFS Trainer shall have taken part in the TTT
course organised by IFS.
Note: For a certification body which is starting IFS activities, the in-house training can be
organised by IFS, on request.
• To organise 16 hours of in-house training for IFS Auditors and Reviewers per year, for the
purpose of sharing experience, calibration and updating knowledge of relevant legal requirements,
etc. The content shall cover elements of the IFS GAP Guideline. The IFS Trainer is
responsible for the content of the training and shall lead at least part of the training. Topics
such as legislation, assessment practices, food safety updates can be the same as for other
GFSI recognised food safety certification standards. The 16 hours of training shall include at
least one day of face-to-face meeting. The other eight (8) hours of training can either take
place via face-to-face meeting or via online session(s), as long as it is dedicated to IFS. The
signature list and the agenda of the training shall be available upon request.
• To be fully cognisant of the examination regulations provided by IFS and available on the IFS
• To ensure the Assessment report and associated documentation including auditor’s notes are
stored safely and surely for a period of five (5) years.
The certification body is responsible for appointing an auditor or an Assessment team with the
corresponding product and technology scope(s), language, competency / ies, etc. for each IFS
Every certification body shall have a minimum of one contracted auditor, one contracted reviewer,
one approved IFS Trainer and an IFS responsible person (contact person for IFS). In case of any
changes, the certification body shall inform the IFS Offices.