19 July 2023

FSSC 22000 version 6: Consequences and Upgrade Process Explained

The new version of the FSSC 22000 scheme, which was published on April 1, 2023, brings significant changes impacting certification bodies, certified organizations and those aspiring to obtain certification in the near future. In this article, we will explain some of the implications of this version change and outline the upgrade process for organizations. 

Changes in FSSC 22000 version 6 

The motive behind the creation of version 6 of the FSSC 22000 scheme, lies in the scheme's commitment to continuous improvement. FSSC 22000 also aims to establish more stringent regulations to assist organizations in their pursuit of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including measures to combat food waste. 

Certified companies will encounter important changes, such as expanded requirements related to labeling and allergen management. Additionally, version 6 introduces new demands concerning food safety and quality culture, quality control, equipment management, prevention of food waste, and communication about extraordinary events. 

For a detailed explanation of these modifications, FSSC 22000 provides a document on its website highlighting the changes compared to version 5.1 (available under additional documents). This facilitates a clear understanding of the altered and added regulations. Moreover, FSSC 22000 is developing guidance documents to aid organizations in practical implementation, with a planned release after the summer. 

Importance of timely adaptation: process and timeline 

To ensure a seamless transition during the upgrade audit, organizations must proactively adapt their management systems to align with version 6. 

While version 6 has already been published, auditing against it will begin on April 1, 2024. After this date, audits conducted under version 5.1 will no longer be permissible. Organizations that are FSSC certified will be upgraded to version 6 during their next regular audit scheduled after April 1, 2024. This upgrade may occur during a recertification, an announced surveillance audit, or an unannounced surveillance audit. Our team will assist in the careful planning of the upgrade to ensure a timely transition for all organizations. 

Revised audit duration calculation 

In addition to changes affecting companies, version 6 introduces revised rules for certification bodies for calculating the audit duration. As a result FSSC stated, audit times will generally increase. The precise duration increase will depend on the scope, complexity, and size of each organization, with an average increase of 12 hours (equivalent to 1.5 days) of audit time per certified company location. This adjustment is intended to provide ample time for auditing the expanded requirements and the additional reporting obligations. 

For the latest information and updates regarding FSSC 22000 version 6 and the upgrade process, please contact your local contact person or sent an email to food@kiwa.com