General Corrective Actions
The operation needs to complete corrective actions in order to obtain certification. They will need to get a copy of the Corrective Actions Report. This document will be used to record the corrective action(s) taken to remedy a failed audit (i.e., a score below 85 percent or autofail). Specifically, the operation describes their corrective actions in the report by completing columns 2, 3 and 4. The operation provides supporting evidence and indicates the date of implementation. The auditor will review the corrective actions and supporting evidence, and complete the information in the remaining columns. The final adjusted score table will then be completed and the report will be sent to the certification body for review. Determinations on acceptable corrective actions and certification will be made by the certification body.
No, autofail items need to be addressed first. All autofail items must be corrected. Otherwise, operations should refer to their audit report for auditor comments (i.e., Executive Summary page and sections where they lost marks).
Important Note: It might not always be possible to take corrective action after the audit. It might be too late or it might be necessary to wait until the following season (for example, if the season is already over).
Here are some examples of issues that would require the operation to wait until the next season to be certified:
- If agricultural chemicals not registered for use in Canada were sprayed on crops during the course of the season and therefore caused product contamination.
- If untreated sewage water or biosolids were used on crops throughout the season.
- If personal hygiene facilities were not provided for employees and the harvest season was completed.
In all cases, corrective actions implemented by the operation are subject to review by the Certification Body. The Certification Body will decide which are acceptable, based on evidence and clarification from the operation which shows they have sufficiently completed the corrective action.
The operation is responsible for implementing corrective actions to the best of their ability, within the timeframe required by the program or indicated by their customer if the customer has a shorter timeframe [e.g., immediately (one week), one month, etc.]. Under program rules, participants are given a maximum of 60 days from receipt of the audit report or the end of the season (whichever is sooner) to complete corrective actions. Those who have not implemented corrective actions by the deadline will either not be certified, or will have certification withdrawn, and will need another audit.
It depends on the situation and the issue being corrected. The Certification Body may accept:
- Documentary evidence (e.g., missing records)
- Photographic evidence
Important Note: there may be situations where demonstrations of the corrective action can only be confirmed by a further site visit. The decision about a return visit is at the discretion of the Certification Body and depends on the audit results and the corrective actions required. If in doubt, operations should consult their Certification Body or auditor about the type of evidence that will be acceptable for their situation.
If the Certification Body decides that the demonstration of the corrective action can only be confirmed by a future site visit, they will coordinate that with the operation. When this is required, the operation is responsible for costs (i.e., auditor time and travel). Please note that operations will not become certified until the corrective actions can be completed. If the Certification Body has to come back for a site visit and the season is over, they will have to schedule for the next season, and certification will not be possible until that time. Operations should take this into consideration when they are scheduling their audit, particularly when they are starting out on the program and are uncertain whether their operation meets the standard.
Regardless of whether an on-site visit is required, the operation is responsible to pay the Certification Body fees for follow-up on corrective actions. Charges also apply to desk review of evidence (documents, photographs, etc.) even when a return visit to the site is unnecessary. Operations should check the rates in their contract with the Certification Body.
If operations are unsuccessful in implementing corrective actions to pass the audit:
- If there is time left in the season, they can undertake another audit to achieve certification.
- They can maintain their enrolment and have their annual program fee applied to next season, when they will re-attempt certification. The CanadaGAP office must be informed in writing of their plans to ensure that the annual program fee is properly applied.
- They can withdraw officially from the program, and if desired, enrol again the next year and re-attempt certification. CanadaGAP must be informed in writing so that the annual program fee for the current year can be refunded, minus an administrative charge of $100, or applied as a credit against a future year. The audit fees (auditor’s time and travel) for the failed audit are not refundable.
Yes. The operation should use the Corrective Actions Report. They can record corrective action(s) taken to increase their audit score. In this case, corrective actions are subject to review by Certification Body in the same way as corrective actions taken after a failed audit. After receiving their audit report, they have 60 days or until the end of the season (whichever is sooner) to seek adjustments to the audit score through the corrective actions process.
Self-assessment Corrective Actions
For Option A1 and A2 program participants, the certification body’s review of their completed self-assessment could trigger further activities: either requests for corrective actions, or a triggered audit. In both cases, the fees charged by the certification body for the follow-up on corrective actions and the triggered audit are borne by the operation.