IFS PACsecure Newsletter – February 2021

Despite the challenges that Covid-19 and now the new variants are having on how we live and operate, IFS has been busy working on numerous initiatives.  In this newsletter, you will find updates on these efforts, including general IFS news and information specific to the IFS PACsecure packaging standard.

IFS ‘Audit’ now IFS ‘Assessment’

With the new IFS Food version 7, IFS replaced the word audit with assessment to recognize that the word ‘assessment’ more accurately represents the evaluation performed by an IFS auditor. The assessment for certification is much more than the audit of the management system because it includes product tracing, on-site observations, site inspections, and face-to-face interviews. As we move forward and update our documents and communications, the term IFS Assessment will replace the IFS Audit. 

NEW: Introducing the IFS Split Assessment

We are pleased to introduce the IFS Split Assessment, an on-site assessment part combined with a remote part. IFS is convinced that on-site visits are necessary to effectively evaluate good manufacturing 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 applies to all recertifications for IFS standards and programs, except Broker. The IFS Split Assessment 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. Read more about our split assessment solution.  https://www.ifs-certification.com/index.php/en/ifs/ifs-split-assessment-en   

Unannounced audit/assessment rule

Effective January 1st, 2021, to comply with new GFSI benchmarking requirements, every third IFS Certification Assessment must be performed unannounced. 

For a short step-by-step guideline on what to do and how to prepare for an unannounced assessment, please refer to the Unannounced IFS Assessments Fact Sheet.

Product safety culture to be implemented and assessed as of January 1st, 2021

IFS is known for high-level, quality standards and thorough certification assessments. For this reason, product safety culture is now addressed in the IFS PACsecure standard. The August Doctrine outlines the addition of product safety culture requirements for your reference.  Effective January 1st, 2021, product safety culture is considered an integral part of corporate culture and its implementation will be checked within IFS Certification Assessments.

Click here for a quick overview of what product safety culture is, how to implement it, and how it benefits your business.  

How to control parcel service providers if used for transportation of products

As outlined in the IFS PACsecure Doctrine IFS certified companies shall conduct a risk assessment and implement controls based on a ‘worst-case scenario’ when using parcel service providers for transportation of products. Please make sure allergens are considered in your hazard analysis and risk assessment.

This rule has been in effect since October 2020.

IFS PACsecure version 2 – Next Steps

The IFS PACsecure Technical Working Group has now concluded the review of the standard. We wholeheartedly thank the members of the group for their outstanding contributions during the review. 

After the review by the IFS PACsecure Technical Working Group, an IFS internal technical review process was executed in January. This process is key for ensuring the developed content is aligned to the IFS rules, accreditation and GFSI benchmarking requirements.

The next steps are the stakeholder consultation, a final review by the Technical Working Group (TWG), and validation by the IFS Technical Committee (ITC).


Survey and stakeholder consultation – February 1st – 19th, 2021

Final review by the TWG – February 20th – 26th, 2021

Validation by the ITC – complete March 24th, 2021

Providing all goes as planned, the IFS PACsecure version 2 packaging standard will be released in July 2021.


Get certified with the help of IFS Recognized Consultants

Keep up to date, save time and resources, and get clarification about the IFS PACsecure requirements by accessing the experience and knowledge of IFS Recognized Consultants. 

Visit our Partner page to locate a consultant, training centre, and certification body. 


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