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5 Steps to SQF Certification?

QMS Audits specialises in SQF Consulting. We help clients to develop HACCP Plans, write SQF Quality Manuals and conduct internal audits. We can even attend the SQF audit. Last year, we averaged 97.7/100 across all of our SQF Clients.

Understand what the auditor is looking for to get great audit scores and start supplying to new customers in as little as 6 weeks.
For clients who just want to know how to prepare for an SQF Edition 9 Audit, click here to see our Training Calendar.

Who Needs SQF Certification?

SQF Certification is widely recognised throughout North America, Australia and Asia. SQF is a globally recognised GFSI standard.

Large retailers, such as Coles, Woolworths and Aldi and many of the large manufacturers, will request BRC or certification. If you are looking to supply into these supermarkets. We help food businesses to gain SQF Certification quickly. In most cases, our clients have been requested to have SQF certification by a customer. Often they are unable to supply until they have achieved this certification. Whilst our record for preparing an SQF program is 2.5 weeks, it usually takes at least 6 weeks.

Who uses SQF Certification?

There are more than 2000 food businesses in Australia who are certified to SQF. The SQF Standard is used most commonly by: Packing sheds, FMCG manufacturers and Catering Companies

Please note: If you are a grower and an in-direct supplier to Coles or Woolworths, you may be able to use Freshcare Certification, which is a smaller and cheaper standard than SQF.

The SQF standard is based around a HACCP plan and a series of prerequisite program requirements. Almost all SQF compliant businesses within Australia comply with Level 3 – so just ignore levels 1-2 in the Module 2 (we do!).

Implementing GFSI for the first time

If you are looking to implement a GFSI based standard, then you have a choice between SQF, BRC, FSSC 22000 and Global GAP for fruit and vegetable growers and packers. SQF is probably the simplest of these.

In everything we do, we look for the simplest way to comply with the requirements without burdening the business with unnecessary work or paperwork.

Does a consultant need to put together an SQF Quality Manual?

It is possible to write your own SQF system without using a consultant. Our first SQF quality manual took us a week to put together. These days, we offer a streamlined service, using templates that have been honed from years of clients and auditors’ feedback. We achieve consistently very high audit scores and our manuals are known throughout the industry for being well laid out and clearly worded.

However, the internal audit will need to be completed by someone who is independent of the quality management system. This can be difficult in small businesses.

If you get too many non-conformances, then you will run the risk of having six monthly audits, not 12 monthly audits. Therefore, you will need to pay an audit company twice, instead of once, and go through the preparation, upheaval and stress of having a two audits in one year.

SQF certification requires all major non-conformities are closed out within 14 calendar days and minor non-conformities must be closed out within 30 calendar days from the date of the audit (not the date of the audit report).

Failing an SQF audit or not passing with a low score can cost the business a lot of money in further auditing, upgrades and increased work.

SQF Training

We run SQF training in each of the four cities, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide.  Our SQF Training, just like our HACCP Training, is delivered as a workshop, so there is plenty of opportunity to ask specific questions about your business and SQF quality management system.

Food Safety Consulting

Nominate SQF Practitioner

  • Full Time Employee AND
  • Completed HACCP Course
  • Demonstrate competencies in Statistical Process Control (SPC) or other quality tools

Food Safety Consulting


  • Written to meet new SQF Ed 8 Requirements
  • Procedures for key processes documented
  • Production records streamlined and maintained

Food Safety Consulting

Quality Manual

  • Initial write up and implementation OR
  • Rewrite, simplify and streamline OR
  • Convert to SQF Ed 8, including:
    • Statistical Process Control Implementation
    • Food Defense and Food Fraud Mitigation
    • Enviromental Monitoring
    • Equipment Commissioning

Food Safety Consulting

Internal Audit - SQF Ed 8

  • 1-3 Days
  • Identify and fill the gaps

Food Safety Consulting

SQF Ed Audit

  • Complemented by 3rd Party, JS-ANZ SQF certified auditor
  • Initial Desk Audit (1 Day)
  • Onsite Audit (2-3 Days)
  • QMS Audits can attend the audit to support you through the process

Disclaimer – While we have attempted to make this as accurate and current as possible, this is a summary only and does not list ALL of the requirements to fulfil each standard or achieve certification.

Talk to us about your requirements REQUEST A QUOTE  phone icon 1300 404 505

Certification for Farms, Packing Sheds, Processors, Distributors, Manufacturers & Food Service

Click on a Customer or GFSI Standard to find out how QMS Audits can help you to achieve and maintain certification with a simple, streamlined system..