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Contacts with authorities, audit firms, clients, etc.

Contact, discuss and argue with the regulatory authority and customers: it is an art that is sometimes difficult to master

Relations with representatives of the authority, audit firms, clients, etc., are an important element to master which will greatly promote the fluidity of your operations .

Regarding the regulatory authority:

Whether it is the CFIA , MAPAQ or representatives of other provincial authorities or the countries with which you do business, the following common rules should be applied :

  • It goes without saying that a diplomatic and respectful approach is essential

  • Choose a person within your team (s) who will be the official spokesperson in order to eliminate the cacophony or to provide information that is inappropriate or not presented in the right way

  • Ensure that documents subject to inspection are completed , signed if necessary, up to date , easy to consult and available during discussions with representatives of the regulatory authority

  • Make sure during visits , audits or inspections that:

    • The operations are carried out in accordance with what is presented in your documentation with all that this entails

    • Unused equipment are identified and sidelined

    • The necessary personnel are present , attentive to their work and available

    • Raw materials , products undergoing processing, finished products, retained products , etc. are all properly identified and located

    • You are able to detect problems and intervene before the representatives of the regulatory authority to do so

  • Answer only the questions that are asked of you so as not to change the focus of the visit , the audit or the inspection and pay attention: this does not mean to hide information , far from it.

  • Make sure you operate or work it out the same all the time and are comfortable, regardless of whether regulatory authority representatives are present or not.

Regarding audit firms, clients, etc.

The above rules apply in addition to the following:

  • Organize a meeting with your teams ( quality, production, maintenance, sales , etc.) in order to prepare yourself and be sure to fully understand the purpose and issues of the audit or visit

  • Make sure you have a good grasp of the repository, standard or criteria according to which you are audited

  • Make sure to manufacture the product (s) of the customer who is visiting you

  • Make sure that representatives of audit firms and clients have a place to work when they have a report to prepare or when they have to communicate with the outside

  • Ensure the presence of the sales representative who is dealing with this customer

  • Make sure you are attentive and follow the auditor or visitor on their journey and give them access to the areas they need to audit or visit

  • Accompany the auditor or visitor at all times for obvious safety reasons

In short, relations with the authority, audit firms, clients , etc., are a matter of proper functioning, organization and planning . There are a thousand and one ways to do this and the important thing is to keep your teams up to date and keep it simple .

We are able to assist you in preparing for inspections, audits and/or customer visits including foreign delegations . We can also accompany you during these events as observers and advisers . This will help to avoid or resolve problematic situations that arise in your establishment, on the spot and during these times; whether they are urgent or not. This will allow you to continue to meet regulatory and compliance requirements, standards and those of your customers (including those stipulated in the GFSI standards). This will also strengthen your approach , react more quickly to problematic situations and all other urgent situations in your establishment.

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