The British Egg Industry Council has set out guidance on the new auditing arrangements for the Lion Code of Practice from 7 January 2019.
The changes are designed to ensure that all Lion registered sites are ‘audit ready’ at all times, to reinforce the integrity of the Lion Code.
Currently, if a site (other than a packing centre or pullet hatchery) receives a critical non-conformance, it is suspended from the Lion scheme pending corrective action which is required to be signed-off by the accredited monitoring agency NSF. The site is then placed on a nine month ‘certificate of conformity’ (issued by NSF) and audit cycle, and a repeat audit takes place at nine months (rather than 18 months) at the site’s own cost.
In addition, there is at present no penalty for sites where a repeat critical non-conformances are found.
Currently, where a non-conformance is raised during an audit by NSF, the site is required to send the corrective evidence to close-off the non-conformance to NSF within 28 days. Failure to do this results in suspension of the site. There is therefore a need to ensure there is no repeat of these.
Overview of changes
- A representative of the subscriber to accompany the senior management of each Lion-registered site during both six-monthly self-audits (rather than the second one as currently).
- All laying farms to move to a 12-month independent audit frequency by the accredited monitoring agency (NSF) in 2019.
- The number of unannounced audits to be increased in 2019. 10% of laying farm audits to be unannounced.
- Where possible, the NSF assessor to complete certain paperwork elements of the Lion Code before the assessor visits the site, thereby allowing more time to assess other elements of the Lion audit when on site.
- Penalties for a repeat of the same critical non-conformance and non-conformance to be escalated.
Full details of the changes, provided by the NFU can be found here: