Food Safety Audits Glossary

Audit criteria 
The reference used by auditors to assess the performance of a food safety system. Examples of audit criteria include: regulations, standards, contract and customer requirements and internal procedures.  
Audit findings
The findings are the results collected during the audit.   These findings are evaluated and measured against, or compared to, the audit criteria.
Audit scope 
This refers to the extent and boundaries of the audit and includes physical location, activities and processes to be audited.  
Audit team
This refers to the auditor(s) who conduct the audit. All teams have a minimum of one auditor — the lead auditor.
Corrective action 
This is an action the company being audited must undertake, to eliminate the cause of a non-conformance and ensure conformance to audit criteria.
Lead auditor
This refers to the key member of the audit team who is responsible for preparing the audit plan, chairing meetings, assigning tasks to auditors, submitting the audit report and leading the audit team.   
Non-conformance
This is a deviation from the requirements specified in the audit criteria. Non-conformances may be classified as minor, major or critical. The type of non-conformance depends on the impact the deviation has on the integrity of: the food safety system being audited the safety of the product   the severity of the deviation In most third-party audits, major and critical non-conformances must be corrected before certification and/or recognition can be granted or renewed.
Objective evidence
This is factual information collected during the audit. It describes the findings of the audit and is used to determine if the audit criteria have been met. Objective evidence can be collected through personnel interviews, observation of activities and review of documents, records, etc.

For more information, email the CVO/Food Safety Knowledge Centre or call 204-795-8414 in Winnipeg.