The Certification Body or the auditor will contact the operation to arrange a suitable date for an audit. When setting up an audit date, operations should keep in mind that a designate must be available to accompany the auditor.
Audits must be scheduled to occur when activities relevant to the operation’s certification are occurring – during harvest, product handling, packing/repacking season, shipping, etc. This is important for the auditor to properly assess the implementation of the food safety program. Activities that are not occurring cannot be included in the scope of the audit. Multi-commodity operations may find, depending on the activities and crops involved, that a number of audits over several years are required before certification reflects the full scope of their business.
For more detailed guidance on optimal audit timing, please refer to the CanadaGAP Program Management Manual, Section 220.127.116.11.3 Audit Scheduling. It is the responsibility of the Certification Body (CB) to ensure that the audit is scheduled appropriately.