Good Manufacturing Practices and HACCP Audits

Food and Beverage Industry Food Safety Certification for Packinghouses, Manufacturers and Storage and Distribution

What is Good Manufacturing Practices and HACCP Audits?

Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) compliance is viewed today as an essential baseline of HACCP-based food safety for packing houses, manufacturers/processors and storage and distribution centers. These GMP audits are increasingly required by retailers and brand owners as proof that you have food safety practices in place to control risks and hazards. Independent assessment confirms your operation's food safety practices and processes, and helps to reinforce your existing food safety program.

Choose SCS Global Services for complete and robust GMP audit standards, developed with  integrity and trust from over 30 years of food safety and HACCP expertise. Our highly skilled  GMP auditors are technical experts in multiple food safety industry categories from farm to fork.

Why Choose SCS?

With more than 30 years of food safety and HACCP experience, including auditing and training, SCS Global Services has become a global leader in GMP auditing. Providing the most complete GMP and GDP (Good Distribution Practices) audit checklists, SCS auditors provide organizations with extensive industry knowledge, committed and communicative staff, and timely audits to fit your needs and budget.

Growers of fresh produce commodities can prove their good agricultural practices using complementary services such as Harmonized GAP or Primus Standard GMP and GAP Audit. We also offer GFSI-level GAP audits which may be required to satisfy buyer requirements. Please inquire with us for more information on how we can bundle these services.

  • FAQs
  • Benefits
  • Program Details
  • Process
  • Training & Consulting
  • Program Documents

What is a GMP Audit?

A GMP audit is an assessment of your Good Manufacturing Practices. Essentially, these are programs that you need to have in place to prevent or reduce food safety hazards from occurring.

Is there a GMP Food Safety Standard? 

The SCS GMP Standard will be in use for the application of a GMP audit. The standard would communicate the specific requirements a site must have (GMPs) in order to receive a GMP certification. The standard is available from SCS.

What types of companies do GMP audits apply to?

Site and companies requesting GMP audits can be for any handler of food products from packinghouse through to storage and distribution companies. Typically they are food processors handling any products that are categorized as food or beverage.

What types of food safety issues are included in a GMP food safety audit?

The GMP standard outlines programs that would prevent or minimize food safety hazards from occurring. These hazards could be biological, chemical, or physical risks that can occur within ingredients or the processing environment. The types of risks and hazards are dependent upon the types of processes and products being handled.

Are there any social and ethical requirements as part of a GMP audit? 

The GMP audit scope is specific to food safety and does not include any social or ethical requirements. If these are being requested by your customer or buyer, SCS does offer compliance audits to those additional requirements.

Are there specific benchmarks or minimum requirements that need to be achieved in order to receive GMP certification?

There are no specific benchmarks or minimum requirements outside of the audit standards that are required to gain certification.

How does a GMP audit and certification benefit our company in the global marketplace?

The SCS GMP audit will provide you with evidence that your company is meeting industry and regulatory requirements pertaining to making safe products. In many instances, this is a basic requirement for acceptance into retail or food service establishments and purchasing contracts.

How do GMP audits fit within GFSI Level certification?

GMP audits will cover or align with those outlined in the GFSI Global Markets program. That program provides for basic and intermediate levels of assessment that are used as stepping stones toward achieving certification to a GFSI recognized standard.

How long does a GMP food safety audit take to complete?  

For a small or medium-sized business, the GMP audit would typically take 1 day. For more complex operations and where multiple different types of processing are being completed, the audit time can extend to 2 or more days.

How long does GMP certification last?

Certificates are generated with a 1-year expiry, usually from the date of the audit. As such, an annual audit is required in order to maintain certification.

What is the difference between a GMP audit and a HACCP audit?

GMP audits assess pre-requisite programs such as maintenance, sanitation, pest control, premises, training, and recall. These are programs used every day to maintain a food safety program.  A HACCP audit assesses your HACCP or Food Safety Plan. This plan would need to follow the internationally accepted Codex approach to food safety risk assessment or a regulatory preventive control approach.  The outcome of either of those approaches is a plan that assesses risks and hazards specific to your processes and ingredients and outlines the control measures you have in place to mitigate the hazards from occurring.

Is HACCP Certification the same as a GFSI audit?

HACCP certification is similar to a GFSI audit in that it will assess your prerequisite programs (GMPs) and food safety plan. An audit to a GFSI recognized standard (e.g., SQF, BRCGS) includes the same, but also includes added management oversight requirements.  GFSI recognized standards also operate under accredited management systems for the audit provider.

Good Manufacturing Practices audits with SCS brand integrity The SCS brand has a strong reputation of trust and integrity with brand owners and retails in the food and beverage sector Customers will value the SCS certificate and trust its evaluation and assessment of your food safety practices
Excellent customer service Quick and efficient response from SCS keep the audit on schedule and in budget Staying on budget and on schedule ensures meeting internal and external expectations
Audits specific to industry sectors The audit and the resulting report are clearly understood and applied to the right sector and products being handled or produced Communications before, during and after the audit will use language understood by all parties interested in the audit outcome
Competitively prices and regionally resourced audit Using regionally based auditors allows for competitive pricing and control of travel costs Known costs and pricing allows for adherence to budgets
Experienced credentialed auditors Auditors are lead auditor credentialed which allows for audits to be conducted in a professional and time efficient manner Professional auditors are good communicators, organized and understand your type of business which leads to increase value from the audit process
Eligible Companies

GMP audits are relevant to any food processing or packing operation in which food is handled:

Packhouses and Repackers Processors Handlers

GDP audits are relevant for Cold or Dry Storage and Distribution.

We can audit the vendors in your supply chain directly, and can also verify audits conducted by other third-parties.


SCS can walk you through a pre-assessment process. Pre-assessment is a non-scored mock audit designed to assess the level of your preparedness for a certification audit. Ask about combining a pre-assessment with your initial audit for greater efficiency.

Audit Coverage

In the GMP audit, we verify your Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) as well as Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs), including management commitment, mock recall, traceability, employee practices, training and education, sanitary facilities, water quality, building construction and design, pest control, cleaning and sanitation, equipment design and maintenance, storage, etc.

SCS can also perform GMP audits to the United Fresh Harmonized Audit Standard, including specialized audits such as Tomato Metrics.

For companies operating under HACCP plans, SCS includes a HACCP Food Safety Management plan audit within our GMP audits. You can further manage your risk by requesting a food security audit.

  1. Apply for Auditing

    Fill out an SCS Application form, which provides us with the details of your site and operation. Contact SCS at [email protected] to request guidance. SCS staff returns a proposal to you for signature. To initiate the certification process, return a signed proposal and Work Order.

  2. Schedule the Audit

    SCS assigns an auditor and audit dates are proposed. Once an audit date is confirmed, an audit plan is provided to ensure that your team is prepared.

  3. On-Site Audit

    An on-site audit of your operation is carried out to ensure that your operation is in compliance. If a HACCP plan is in place, that is assessed as well.

  4. Audit Report Review

    The auditor prepares and submits an audit report. If non-conformities are identified, the site must address them when preparing for the next audit.

  5. Issue Audit Score

    SCS conducts a final technical review of the audit report and Corrective Action documentation and issues the final audit score. SCS can also provide client marketing support.

  6. Reporting

    Final audit results are sent to you and posted, and are sent to specific retailers as requested.


SCS offers a wide range of ongoing GMP, GDP and HACCP training opportunities for indiduals and teams. Covering a wide range of industry sectors, SCS offers training tailed to the needs of your business, including but not limited to produce operations, seafood processors, cannabis, juice processors, agricultural operations and more.

Click here for access to our GMP, GDP and HACCP training courses.



Food safety audits and regulations are time consuming and challenging no matter what sized business you are, from small start-ups to established global organizations. SCS has an experienced team of food safety and quality professionals that can help any sized company navigate the regulatory, industry and customer requirements needed to achieve and maintain ongoing food safety certifications.

Click here to learn how your company can receive cost effective and efficient solutions from SCS Food Safety Consulting services.

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Good Manufacturing Practices and HACCP Audits English

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Bernadette Goldstein

Kristy-Ann Bura