Supplier Audits | Why are they important?

Katie Paterson

December 17, 2020

Supplier audits ensure that your suppliers are compliant with food regulations and customer standards. They can directly impact your supplier/customer relationships as you are responsible for the quality of the products that you supply to your customers. If a customer receives a faulty product, it is your business that deals with the repercussions.

Auditing your suppliers will give you confidence in your supply chain and prevent errors, keeping your customers happy.

The benefits of supplier audits

There are many benefits of carrying out supplier audits. Reducing supply chain issues by raising potential problems before they become an issue, forming relationships, and improving communication between customers, suppliers and manufacturers at all levels of the supply chain. They will also assure customers that food safety standards are not only met, but are at the forefront of all operations.

Where a supplier does not hold a BRC certificate, a more in depth supplier audit, incorporating BRC standards can support your decision on whether or not to make them an approved supplier.

Different types of supplier audits

There are different types of supplier audits to ensure a thorough review has been carried out. On unannounced audits, the site will have no warning of an inspector coming. Unannounced audits express realistic insight into the development of a site’s food safety culture. These types of audits are growing in popularity as they provide a realistic portrayal of the supplier’s day-to-day.

Announced supplier audits are still effective and widely used, however, they can lack authenticity as the site has time to prepare for the inspection. For announced audits, the site, and if relevant, certification body, agree on a date for the audit to take place so certain preparations – like gathering supporting documentation – can be made in time for the audit.

Supplier audits will be conducted by people in different roles, depending on the type of audit and the reason for the audit. They can be run by the technical team within the business, or a specialist third party like NT Assure.

What can NT Assure do for you?

We have a team of experienced auditors who have a wealth of experience and knowledge and have delivered thousands of supplier audits on behalf of our customers. We can offer bespoke packages tailored to your own individual needs.

We can also support suppliers to secure and maintain their BRC and Agent & Brokers certificates. Our trained auditors are on hand to raise and maintain your standards on food safety.

Our technical and regulatory experts can also provide technical support where resource is low, including artwork compliance checks, specification writing/approvals and internal auditing.

For more information on our services call 01933 272089 or email

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