Page 3 - APN Jan 2017
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APIQPmoves to third-party auditing
ON behalf of the Aus- tralian Pork Limited Research and Innovation team, we hope you’ve had a fun-filled and safe festive season and we wish you all a happy and prosperous New Year.
It’s hard to believe that we find ourselves at the start of 2018.
During 2017, the R&I team was actively en- gaged in activities that we hope and expect will help producers build brighter and more sustainable fu- tures.
What’s changed in 2018?
Each new year sees opportunity for change and progress and the big change for pig producers in 2018 is APIQ’s move to third-party auditing, provided through AUS- MEAT Ltd since January 1, 2018.
This process began
AUS-MEAT Ltd proposal was selected as the most likely to deliver the out- comes being sought by industry at a reasonable cost to producers for their audit.
With the information from the calls for expres- sion of interest and the routine APIQP reviews in hand, APIQM was in- vited by the APL Board to present the TPA concept and its associated ben- efits and issues to APL delegates in November 2016, of which the major- ity voted in support of an industry move to TPA.
The APL Board decided a consultation process was needed to inform produc- ers and resolve their is- sues and concerns prior to a move to TPA.
Detailed consultation began with APIQM at- tending producer meet- ings, meeting with del- egates and their producers separately to understand and resolve their con- cerns.
APIQM also provided delegates with informa- tion to help them in their conversations with their producers.
The APL Board ap- proved a TPA trial to de- termine the likelihood of TPA success.
With the co-operation of producers, a team of five AUS-MEAT Ltd auditors with extensive livestock and some pig experience were trained by APIQM to conduct A PIQP audits.
Producers were asked to voluntarily participate in the trial by having an AUS-MEAT auditor con- duct their audit.
Over four months, 38 producers participated with full audits conducted by AUS-MEAT Ltd.
Corrective Action Re- quests and observations were given and audit re- ports were processed and evaluated through the nor- mal APIQM systems.
The trial found that:
• AUS-MEAT Ltd audi- tors understand audit pro- cess and are well qualified and capable of conducting APIQPaudits.
• AUS-MEAT Ltd audi- tors produce reports of a high standard, with obser- vations, evidence sighted and actions to be taken clearly articulated with appropriate time frames applied to close CARs given.
• AUS-MEAT Ltd audi- tors are able to focus on system issues, follow audit trails clearly and can ex- plain this clearly in audit reports.
• AUS-MEAT has the people, experience, exper- tise, back office support and resources needed to maintain and sustain the program over time.
• There were opportu-
nities for improvement to the proposed pricing structure and creation of a single audit report for multi-site audits.
Overall, the trial demon- strated that TPA is a via- ble option for the industry.
We thank those produc- ers who voluntarily par- ticipated.
There were issues, as there are when any signif- icant change is made, but
none that can’t be over- come or improved with time and effort.
Having consulted with industry, resolved stake- holder concerns, amended the pricing structures and successfully conducted the TPA trial, the APL Board approved TPA with industry delegates advised of the change at the APL annual general meeting in November 2017.
We are now in the TPA era for APIQPand most things haven’t changed.
APIQP remains pro- ducer owned, APL and APIQM continue to man- age APIQP on behalf of producers, the APIQ Panel continues to operate, and the APIQP Certification and Administration Poli- cies continue to outline the rules and processes that must be followed.
The standards and per- formance indicators that a producer must comply with to achieve certifica- tion remain the same, in- cluding what constitutes a non-compliance, how an audit is conducted, when a producer’s certification expires, extensions, CAR management and certifi- cation approval.
The changes that have happened include audi-
tors being appointed to an audit by AUS-MEAT rather than being selected by the producer; audit re- ports going back to AUS- MEAT who determines certification rather than to APIQM; auditors being provided by and trained by AUS-MEAT with APIQM assistance and the cost of an audit being set and agreed as part of
☛ continued P4
several years
routine annual
policies and benchmarking of APIQP against other reputable quality assurance pro- grams and analysis of potential improvements to APIQP found the previ- ous audit system needed to be more independent, robust, free from conflicts of interest and cheaper to support certification for all producers, particularly small producers and pro- ducers in remote areas.
With that knowledge in hand, APIQ Management researched and evaluated alternative audit systems available in detail and found three options were available:
1. APL auditors.
2. Maintaining the same system but expanding the team of auditors and changing certification policies to enable inde- pendent auditors to build more viable audit busi- nesses.
3. Contracting audit ser- vices to a suitably quali- fied third-party organisa- tion.
Detailed financial anal- ysis and reviews of each option were conducted by APIQM in association with the APIQ Panel.
Both APL employing auditors and maintain- ing the old system were found to be inefficient, expensive, impractical, difficult to support and disregarded the need for independence between the producer, APL and the au- ditor.
The viable option found was contracting the audit services to a third-party organisation.
Calls for expression of interest were made and re- ceived from suitably qual- ified third-party organisa- tions and after review the
ago when reviews of standards, processes,
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Australian Pork Newspaper, January 2018 – Page 3

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