Dairysafe is in the middle of developing its own accreditation and food safety audit database, which will increase audit capacity, deliver real-time remote audit reporting capability and enhance data security and management.

This digital mobile audit solution will offer improvements including:

  • The inclusion of a number of tailored checklists and features customised specifically to support audits for dairy farmers, transporters and processors;
  • Provide full access to client and audit records while in remote and rural areas;
  • The dairy business will be able to receive a pdf and/or hard copy at the time of audit completion;
  • It will allow Dairysafe to monitor key performance indicators via dashboards in real-time;
  • Existing audit information will be migrated to the new system, consolidating accreditation and audit history; and
  • The second stage of the project will deliver an external operator portal which will allow accredited businesses to access their own accreditation information, including certificates of accreditation and audit history.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dairysafe has had to investigate remote and virtual auditing, and look at how other regulators and businesses are managing audits during the current restrictions

As of 16 March 2020, non-essential Dairysafe face-to-face audits were suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Food safety regulation throughout Australia is essential, and Dairysafe has responded by implementing enhanced measures to verify food safety standards are being applied by farms, transporters and dairy (food) businesses during health crises such as this,” said Geoff Raven, CEO of Dairysafe.

“Many contract auditing companies and food businesses receiving product from other food businesses have quickly moved to introduce remote or virtual audits”.

“This is introducing additional jargon such as tele-audits and desk audits, but it all means the same thing: completing a robust food safety audit while minimising physical presence on-site.”

Dairysafe trialled remote auditing with farms and manufacturers to refine our approach, and we’ve now finalised our policy and procedures.

We work closely with dairy businesses to outline the process and requesting necessary records, site plans, photos or videos when we book the audit via phone and email.

Completing the audit may take more than one phone call. We’re mindful to keep the process efficient and effective, but we don’t want to unnecessarily hold people up on the phone. If a break is needed to consider records or other documents, we’ll call back.

“Early indications from around the country suggest remote audits could be a useful tool and may be with us long after COVID-19 is over,” Geoff said. “This will complement on-site audits, which will resume once the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia is appropriately controlled.”