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24 March 2023

BRCGS Packaging Materials Standard Issue 6 update

BRCGS Packaging Materials Standard Issue 6 update

Members who are certificated to the Packaging Materials Standard, or are intending to go for certification, should be aware of the latest update.
All updates to the Packaging Standard are placed into Position Statement P618. Version 3 of P618 was published on 17th March 2023. The Position Statement is downloadable from the BRCGS website. 
The update relates to the fully unannounced audit option. This is optional and not all sites will wish to have a fully unannounced audit every year. Currently the Standard calls for unannounced audits to be 1 in every 3 audits and this is mandatory – i.e. there are two schemes in operation, Fully Unannounced (optional) and 1 in every 3 Unannounced (mandatory). 
The key thrust of the update declares that the number of block out dates (dates in which the site can choose not to be audited) has been reduced from 15 days to 10 days. Christmas, Easter and other public holidays do not count towards this. The dates must be supplied to your Certification Body within 4 weeks of your audit window (which is 4 months prior to your re-audit date – note specifically that it is 4 calendar months and not 16 weeks so ensure you have your Certification Body confirm the audit window to you).
Reasons for each block out day must be given. The 10 days need not be consecutive. Holiday may not be given as reason as each site should have a BRCGS Deputy.
It also states that where sites request a re-audit (regardless of unannounced or announced audit schemes), perhaps as a result of achieving a poor audit grade, this can only be done by the same Certification Body who conducted the audit that resulted in that grade. In exceptional circumstances, permission may be made to change Certification Body if the request is put in writing and made via the Certification Body to BRCGS who will take a decision. 
Lastly, Clause 1.1.6 states that sites should be aware of changes to the Standard or protocols that are published on the BRCGS website. This means you must obtain a copy of P618 version 3, and have it available to show an auditor and be able to explain to them what the latest update entails.
P618 v3 goes live on 1st April 2023.
If you have any queries, please email [email protected] and we will put you in touch with our BPIF BRCGS Specialist Consultant and member of the BRCGS Packaging Technical Advisory Committee.
p618 position statements for issue 6 v3 17032023 - Size: 246Kb Download
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