Why does LPA need audits?
On-farm audits are conducted each year to ensure the management systems introduced by livestock producers are complying with LPA rules and standards. They act as a check of Australia’s red meat integrity system.
Who is audited?
All LPA accredited producers, irrespective of the number of livestock on the PIC – may be audited. Subjects for audit are selected at random from the database of all LPA-accredited producers, including producers with just a few livestock. Approximately 3000 audits are conducted each year.
Who carries out these audits?
Qualified auditors from AUS-MEAT conduct the on-farm audits for LPA. The audit program is overseen by Integrity Systems Company.
What does an on-farm audit involve?
If selected for an audit, a producer receives an LPA audit advice pack containing information to help them prepare for the process. They are then contacted by an auditor to organise a mutually convenient time for the auditor to visit the farm and conduct the audit.
What happens during an audit?
On the day, the auditor will check how records are maintained and food safety, biosecurity and animal welfare management is being carried out. The auditor may accompany the producer on an inspection of property facilities relating to food safety. Parts of the farm that have been identified as contaminated with persistent chemicals may also be visited to review the management systems implemented at these locations.
How can producers prepare for an audit?
The LPA audit notification pack provided to producers includes an audit checklist to help them ensure their operation is up to date. Reviewing on-farm practices against the checklist will identify any areas that may need attention before the audit. The more preparation that is done before the audit, the smoother the process is likely to be. An audit checklist is available to assist producers to prepare for audit.
Can the auditor provide advice?
The auditor is not able to provide specific advice to producers they have audited but they may be able to provide guidance as to where to obtain assistance or advice.
The auditor’s role is to assess compliance to the LPA program. The producer will need to demonstrate this compliance.
What happens if any issues are identified during the audit?
If a minor issue is found, the auditor may record an ‘observation’, which means that the producer should consider taking action to improve the relevant practice. If the issue is more significant, the auditor may raise a ‘corrective action request’ compelling the producer to do something to ensure compliance with LPA requirements, and this action will be followed up.
How long does a producer have to rectify an issue?
If a ‘corrective action request’ is raised, the auditor and the producer will agree to the necessary activities that need to be undertaken to rectify the problem and set a timeframe for completion.
What happens if the results of the audit show serious problems?
The results of an audit determine what steps need to be taken. Producers can seek help to change their practices, where required. Failure to address problems identified may lead to a producer losing their accreditation. Where a critical issue is identified, producers can be suspended immediately from participating in the LPA program.
Can producers decline to be audited?
It is a condition of accreditation that LPA producers agree to participate in the audit process. A producer refusing to participate may result in their LPA accreditation being withdrawn, and their access to LPA NVDs being removed.
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