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
|Year 5||Repeat 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: