Get Advantage Certified
There are three steps or levels to the Advantage
Series of Food Safety Programs
for food processors:
- Advantage GMP
- Advantage HACCP
- Advantage HACCP Plus
You can apply at each level for certification from a 3rd
party Certification Body.
Steps to Becoming an Advantage Certified Facility:
- Develop, document, implement and maintain one of the Advantage
Series of Food Safety Programs
- Have the Advantage program fully operational for at
least three months. It is also recommended that you conduct an
internal audit to confirm the Advantage program is complete
and operating effectively.
- Contact one or both certification bodies designated to provide
Advantage program audit and certification services to
request an audit quote (make sure you are aware of all costs,
and any cost increases).
- Enter into a contract with your preferred Certification Body.
- Follow the instructions provided by the Certification Body for
submitting all required documents.
- The Certification Body conducts a certification audit. This
includes a review of your entire Advantage program including:
* an audit of documented GMP
programs and/or HACCP plan(s) and/or HACCP Plus programs.
The audit is to ensure:
- you have addressed all the required components
- each component meets or exceeds Advantage
* an in-plant audit (including observations, inspections
and interviews) to verify:
- you are implementing the Advantage
program as written
- the program is meeting the requirements of
the chosen Advantage program.
- Following the audit, there will be a closing meeting during
which the auditor will summarize any non-conformances.
- The Certification Body will issue an audit report, with any
- You must submit a Corrective Action Plan (CAP) to the Certification
Body for each non-conformance within 30 days of the audit.
- Once the Certification Body receives and accepts your CAP, they
will provide you with a copy of the audit report and your certificate.
- Once you are certified, OMAFRA will include your company name
on the OMAFRA
What happens after I'm certified?
Advantage certification is not a one-time event. It is
an ongoing process, with a three year audit cycle. The Certification
Body will contact you each year to schedule the necessary audit.
In the first year, your facility will receive a full Advantage
program audit. In the second and third years, you will receive partial
surveillance audits to ensure your facility continues to meet Advantage
program requirements. Then on the fourth year the cycle begins again
and you will receive a full program audit.
You must maintain your Advantage program by:
- continuing to meet the requirements of each component
- keeping accurate records
- taking appropriate corrective actions if you identify any problems
- updating your program as needed
Years 2 and 3: Surveillance Audits
Includes an in-plant audit of:
- corrective actions taken as a result of non-conformances issued
during the prior audit
- any Advantage program changes since the prior audit
- checks on selected GMP and HACCP Plan Critical Control Points
Both Certification Bodies are accredited by a national accreditation
board (Standards Council of Canada or American National Standards
Institute) and were selected for their extensive experience and
outstanding reputation in the delivery of audit and certification
Ontario food safety leaders are Advantage certified?