If your supplier approval program requires your suppliers to be certificated, we recommend you have a robust process for ensuring certification claims are valid and certified status is continual.
If you accept documentation sent directly by your suppliers, your approval process has three significant vulnerabilities;
1. How do you validate those documents as authentic, complete and contemporary?
2. Do you have a mechanism for identifying withdrawn or suspended certification?
3. Do you have to manually collect renewal documents from every site each year?
The private area of the BRC Directory allows BRC certificated sites to give you direct access to their audit report and certificates in PDF.
When obtaining audit documents from the Directory, rather than via email, those three vulnerabilities are immediately mitigated.
If a document has been emailed to you directly by a supplier there has been an opportunity for a 3rd party to change key information. Examples of this include improving grades, adding categories and extending expiry dates.
Documents hosted on the Directory can only be added and edited by BRC recognised certification bodies. There is no opportunity for suppliers themselves to edit or remove content, or otherwise alter certification claims.
If you acquire audit documents from the Directory you can consider them to be verified as authentic, complete and validated against the auditor’s auditing qualifications.
When a site’s audit record has been shared with you via the Directory, you will always have access to the most recent set of audit data on an auto-renewing basis.
This removes the need to manually chase and collect renewal documents from every supplier each year, significantly reducing your admin burden and getting certification data to you sooner (typically within 24 hours of the certification decision.
Many retailers and manufacturers expect their suppliers to notify them in the event of certification suspension or withdrawal.
This places the responsibility on the supplier to notify their customers, something that they may not always be able or willing to execute in a timely manner.
The Directory removes that responsibility from the supplier and will instantly notify you via email of the following events;
• Certificate suspension
• Certificate withdrawal
• Certificate expiry without re-certification
No action is required by the supplier; notifications relate only to audits shared with you via the Directory and are triggered instantly when the certification body updates the Directory record.
The Directory will also describe the reason for loss of certification, allowing an informed policy decision to be made.
If you would like more information about supplier approval best practise or audit document access via the Directory, please contact the BRC Directory Team via firstname.lastname@example.org