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What Is BRCGS?
BRCGS (British Retail Consortium Global Standards) is a consumer protection organisation, specifically focused on the food industry (manufacturing).
It was created in 1996 with the aim of establishing transparency and consistency in standards within the food industry and its supply chain. BRCGS are recognised globally as operators of a robust, rigorous, and comprehensive certification scheme. Their third party auditing and certification process is held in high regard.
Why is BRCGS important?
BRCGS helps food manufacturers feel confident that their products are safe and of the highest possible quality. Ensuring these factors at the production stage improves risk reduction, minimising the chance of complaints or product recalls.
The assurances offered by BRCGS mean that manufacturers can also be confident that the raw ingredients they use within their own products are of the same high standard. This is because it is expected that parties involved at each stage of the supply chain will be BRC Food Safety certified.
Companies become accredited through BRCGS’ rigorous auditing process. One of their approved, independent auditors will inspect the relevant site and compile and present a full report of their findings.
BRCGS are crucial to the maintenance of standards and consistency of quality throughout the food industry. Their independent processes have been developed over a period of 25+ years and are considered a reliable and necessary part of the UK food supply chain.
Why is BRCGS important to whistleblowing?
Confidential Reporting System
BRCGS Food Safety Issue 9: 1.1.6, dictates that businesses must have a confidential whistleblowing system in place so staff can report concerns.
In order to be compliant and to mitigate risk towards both your business and employees, BRCGS deems it necessary to have a secure reporting system in place.
Furthermore, they recommend that businesses use an external whistleblowing solutions provider. This will not only help firms involved in the food supply chain to be BRCGS compliant, but also to comply with regulations outlined in the EU Whistleblowing Directive.
Promoting your Reporting System
BRCGS also outlines the importance of promoting your external whistleblowing system. In order for the process to be effective, staff must be aware of how to make a disclosure and the sort of issues that are appropriate for the hotline, including: product safety; quality; authenticity; and legality.
Investigation and Assessment
There must also be a ‘process in place for senior management to assess any concerns that are raised.’ Reporting and the making of disclosures is simply the first step of the whistleblowing process. Whistleblowing investigations and assessments are equally as important. Your staff having confidence that their concerns will be treated fairly and appropriately increases the chances of further reports of wrongdoing, safeguarding your business into the future.
Implement an independent whistleblowing hotline
Protecting whistleblowers begins at the point of making a report. BRCGS demands that relevant parties are able to make disclosures confidentially.
Safecall, as an independent whistleblowing service providers, ensures employees have a secure avenue to report wrongdoing.
Effective and Impartial Report Assessment
The best way to ensure your process for assessing concerns is effective and impartial is by using an external case management and investigations provider.
If investigations are to be handled internally, training for managers is essential. Whistleblowing is a unique situation. Whistleblowing reporting managers who have not received training can feel overwhelmed or out of their depth when a whistleblowing case arises. Arranging training sessions for your workers, created bespoke for your business, can help avoid the risk of non-compliance.
Train employees; raise awareness
BRCGS state that workers must be aware of their employer’s whistleblowing policy. They must know how to make a disclosure. Educating your workers on your whistleblowing policy and their rights in making a disclosure helps to develop a culture of openness, transparency, and integrity.
Whistleblowing training for employees is necessary to prevent and mitigate wrongdoing in the workplace, and for regulatory compliance.