IFS Split Assessment

IFS is convinced that on-site visits are necessary to effectively evaluate good manufacturing or distribution and hygiene practices, which are central to certification requirements. However, documentation can be checked remotely, which is why we have developed the IFS Split Assessment. It ensures the integrity of an IFS certification while recognizing the strain the Covid-19 pandemic has placed on auditor travel and the risks of extended face-to-face contact. The IFS Split Assessment applies to recertification assessments of all IFS Standards and Global Markets programs (intermediate level). The only exception is for IFS Broker to which a full remote protocol applies.

The IFS Split Assessment follows the rules on the use of information and communication Technology (ICT) of the GFSI Benchmarking requirements version 2020.1 and wasn’t commented negatively by our home Accreditation Body.


The on-site assessment comes first
IFS determines that the on-site visit must occur prior to the remote part, and at least 50% of the total assessment time is allocated to the on-site evaluation.
The on-site part of the IFS Split Assessment can take place announced or unannounced. The unannounced option gives every company the possibility to fulfil the new GFSI requirement that at least every third IFS Assessment must be performed unannounced.
The on-site visit is supplemented by the remote part of the assessment, which includes a review of further documented information and a careful cross-check of documentation and records. This part follows the on-site visit, as the insight gained there is the basis for a focused and comprehensive assessment of the documentation. The remote part must take place within 14 days of the on-site assessment.

Steps to planning an IFS Split Assessment for certification renewal:

  • The company should clarify in advance with its customers whether they accept a certificate based on the IFS Split Assessment.
  • The site to be assessed and its certifications body (CB) need to perform a risk evaluation to identify if an IFS Split Assessment is technically possible.
  • The use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) during the assessment process requires a written agreement between the company and the certification body. The certification body and the assessed site shall have appropriate information technology (IT) infrastructure and environment (e.g. internet access) in place.
  • The assessed company needs to ensure that they have all relevant documents and records available digitally.
  • IFS has identified in each standard and global markets program checklist which requirements can be assessed on-site, remotely, and those that must be cross-checked. This helpful document gives companies and auditors clear guidelines of how to conduct an IFS Split Assessment.

 

After completing the IFS Split Assessment, the CB will include the following statement in the assessment report and on the IFS Certificate: “part of the assessment has been performed using ICT – split assessment”. It increases transparency with a company’s customers, retailers, and other stakeholders.

 

More information

In the right colomn you find all relevant documents regarding the IFS Split Assessment:

  • The IFS Position paper “Onsite First with IFS Assessments” explains our position and clarifies our approach. It is available in English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish.
  • In the IFS Split Assessment protocol you can find all the important technical details regarding the split approach of IFS.
  • Checklists for the IFS Assessment protocol for each IFS Standard and Global Markets Program show the requirements to be checked fully on-site and those that can be fully or partly assessed remotely. The documents are available only in English.
  • A fact sheet giving a condensed and clear overview of the most important features of the IFS Split Assessment. The document is available only in English.
  • The IFS Newsletter introducing the IFS Split Assessment in our five main languages

 

 

 

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