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 3.1 and 3.2 of the IFS Food standard can take part in an IFS written examination and, if successful, in an oral examination. If successful, the auditor is officially authorised to perform IFS audits. The auditor is registered on the IFS Database, and a personal IFS auditor certificate is issued. Starting from the day of passing the oral examination, the auditor is allowed to perform IFS Food audits for the product and technology scopes he/ she was authorized for by IFS offices until the end of the second calendar year. The IFS auditor certificate mentions the duration of validity, the name of the certification body, and the auditor’s languages and product and technology scopes.
The auditor cannot perform IFS audits 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 stanard, 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 ten (10) IFS audits (performed as lead auditor or co-auditor, but not as trainee, see also current examination regulation) 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 initial oral examination: 25th of May 2012
- Date of end of validity for IFS auditor certificate (initial approval): 31st of December 2014
- Auditor shall participate in calibration training course between 1st January 2014 and 31st of December 2014.
- Auditor is authorised to perform IFS audits between 25th May 2012 and date of calibration training course (if performed in 2014).
- In 2014, if the auditor has performed 10 IFS audits, and if he/ she has participated in the calibration training course, e.g. the 8th and 9th September 2014, the new end validity date of IFS auditor certificate (re-approval) is: 31st December 2016.
- If either of these rules (a minimum number of 10 IFS audits and participation in a calibration training course in time) are not fulfilled, the auditor shall participate again in the IFS initial examination (written and oral). Further requirements for the re-approval process are laid down in the examination regulation.
- Detailed regulation for examinations and for international IFS examination schedules are provided by IFS and are available online on the IFS Database within the specific area which can be accessed by certification bodies.