ARCHIVED - Use of Private Certification to Inform Regulatory Risk-Based Oversight

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The consultation closed 2014-08-29
The Private Certification Policy (Food Safety) is now available

Private certification schemes are formal, documented food safety systems that are developed and administered by the private sector. For a company to achieve certification to a private scheme they must meet specific requirements that are often designed according to internationally accepted standards for food safety.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is looking to enhance its approach to risk-based oversight by assessing industry's use of private certification schemes. As such, the CFIA is seeking feedback from stakeholders on its discussion paper entitled "Use of Private Certification to Inform Regulatory Risk-Based Oversight". The consultation will end on August 29, 2014.

While new, relevant, reliable information will enable improved decision-making, the CFIA recognizes that all schemes are not equal, therefore will look at each individual scheme from the perspective of its regulatory requirements. As part of the process the Agency may also use this information to conduct better planning in the allocation of its resources.

This discussion paper is a first step in generating feedback on the Agency's early thinking on formalizing its approach to leveraging industry's use of private certification schemes.

Please consider the following questions:

  • Should the Agency consider leveraging industry's adoption of private certification schemes to:
    • help achieve public policy objectives related to consumer protection, specifically, composition and labelling? If yes, to what extent?
    • inform the upcoming preventive control plan requirement associated with the Safe Food for Canadians Act and regulatory requirements? If yes, to what extent?
    • inform other areas of work beyond the concept proposed in the discussion paper?
  • Should the CFIA consider the Global Food Safety Initiative benchmarking process in its assessment of private certification schemes? If yes, to what extent?

Interested parties may provide comments by email to Correspondence should clearly indicate "Use of Private Certification to Inform Regulatory Risk-Based Oversight" in the subject line.

Please send your comments to

Thank you for your participation.

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