Option A1, the four-year audit cycle, was specifically designed to meet the Canadian government requirements for on-farm audits. For an operation to be certified to the program in the first year the operator must successfully complete a full on-site audit.

In Years 2, 3 and 4, the operator is required to submit a sworn declaration that the facility continues to comply with CanadaGAP® Program requirements. The declaration is accompanied by a self-assessment checklist that is reviewed by the Certification Body, and a Random Audit program.

The random audit component provides a statistically validated basis to maintain program rigour in the years where program participants are not automatically scheduled for on-site visits. “Random” means that a grower could be randomly chosen for an audit during any or all of the three self-assessment years. The collective enrolment fees paid into the program cover the costs of the random audits and self-assessments so that those randomly selected are not penalized or asked to bear a disproportionate share of the costs. If review of the self-assessment triggers an on-site audit or a request for corrective actions, the program participant is responsible for those costs.

Click here for the Self-Declaration and Self-Assessment Checklist

IMPORTANT: You are advised to check with your customer regarding acceptance of various CanadaGAP certification options.

Table 1 below provides an overview of each year’s Audit Activity for participants certified to Option A1 of the CanadaGAP Program:

Option A1 Audit Activity

Full Audit **Self Assessment (self-declaration

and completed checklist)
Random Audit**Triggered Audit or
Corrective Actions*
Year 1
Year 2PossiblePossible
Year 3PossiblePossible
Year 4PossiblePossible
Year 5Repeat Cycle

*A triggered audit would be deemed necessary if there was a change in ownership or management, OR to investigate a potential food safety risk at a particular site. The latter could be triggered as a follow up to an on-site visit or a self-assessment. Corrective action requests could also arise from review of self-assessments, or from a triggered audit. The cost of triggered audits and of corrective actions follow-up would be borne by the program participant. Participants can avoid triggered audits by managing risks as outlined in the CanadaGAP manual.

**Full (scheduled) audits or random audits can be replaced by Unannounced Audits.


Option A1 involves three cost components:

Paid by the program participant to CanadaGAP. Covers CanadaGAP’s costs to administer the program, process enrolment applications, maintain the technical standards and training materials, oversee Certification Bodies, maintain government recognition status, collect and analyse data, monitor developments in food safety science and media, offer technical support to the Certification Bodies, communicate to program participants, program marketing/education, office overhead, staff and related expenses. Also covers the fees charged by the Certification Body (to CanadaGAP) for review of self-assessments and for performing audits on companies randomly selected as part of Year 2, 3, 4 surveillance program.

Paid directly by the program participant to the Certification Body. Covers the Certification Body’s cost to deliver audit and certification services including auditor’s time to perform audits, auditor travel time and expenses, technical review of audit reports, follow-up on corrective actions from regularly scheduled audits, triggered audits or review of self-assessments, issuing certificates, administration and office overhead, billing functions, etc.

Costs vary depending on location of the facility, closest available auditor, and proximity to other audit sites. Every effort will be made to schedule audits in such a way to minimize auditor travel expenses.

March 27th, 2024 at 12:51 pm