HARPS Newsletter December 2022 Edition

The HARPS Version 2.0 Standard has been live since 17th October 2022, with multiple businesses opting to be audited to the new standard since launch. Congratulations to these businesses for their swift transition!

In this edition of the HARPS Newsletter, we’ve provided reminders regarding the timelines to transition to HARPS Version 2.0, as well as where you can find support to help with the transition.

We received a fantastic response on registrations for our inaugural ‘Lunch and Learn’ Information Session, which focused on the Version 2.0 standard and how businesses can obtain further guidance and support. If you weren’t able to attend, you can access a recording of this session here. Due to the high level of interest, we plan to hold more sessions throughout 2023, so stay tuned and do please let us know any topics you would like covered!

In addition, you’ll find information on the importance of closing out corrective actions within the required timeframes. We’ve also provided guidance on the requirements for HACCP training, in line with element 4.1 of the Version 2.0 Standard.

Feel free to visit the HARPS website www.harpsonline.com.au or call the HARPS Helpline 1300 852 219 for any queries.

And finally, on behalf of the HARPS participating retailers and the staff at One Direction ANZ, we’d like to take this opportunity to wish you all a happy and festive break, and we look forward to sharing more updates with you in 2023!

HARPS Version 2.0 Transition Timeline

The HARPS Version 2.0 Standard launched on 17th October 2022. The HARPS Retailers have accepted the new standard from this date and have permitted an extended transition timeline for Tier 2 suppliers.

HARPS suppliers have the option of selecting either HARPS Version 1.0 or Version 2.0 for their audits, in accordance with the following timelines:

  • As of 17th October 2022, Tier 1 suppliers have six months to transition to the new standard. Therefore, Version 2.0 will become mandatory for Tier 1 suppliers from 17th April 2023 (i.e., from 17th April 2023 Tier 1 suppliers will NOT be able to use HARPS Version 1.0).
  • Tier 2 suppliers will have 12 months to transition to Version 2.0, with a mandatory transition date of 16th October 2023 (i.e., from 16th October 2023 Tier 2 suppliers will NOT be able to use HARPS Version 1.0).

New suppliers (those that have never undergone a HARPS audit before) will be required to have an audit against the Version 2.0 Standard.

Suppliers that can be defined as both Tier 1 and Tier 2, must follow the transition timeline for a Tier 1 supplier.

HARPS Inaugural “Lunch and Learn” Webinar

On Tuesday 29th November HARPS hosted its first live webinar to discuss the launch of HARPS Version 2 and to provide information on the support and guidance available to industry. HARPS Retailer Committee representatives from ALDI, Coles, Hello Fresh and Woolworths also shared their perspectives about HARPS. The webinar covered areas including transition timelines, what’s changed, available support and an introduction to the training companies approved to provide HARPS Version 2.0 Training.

The event was well supported with close to 300 businesses registering for this event! For those that were unable to catch the webinar live, a recording is now available, click here to watch!

Support available for Version 2.0

In addition to the Guidance embedded within the new standard, a range of supporting documentation and material has been developed; the following tools and training will be available to support your businesses transition to Version 2.0:

  • HARPS Version 1.0 – 2.0 Summary of Changes (document);
  • Version 2.0 Internal Audit (document that replaces the HARPS Pre-Assessment document);
  • Transition Training online (short videos to support understanding, as an alternative to using HARPS Version 1.0 – 2.0 Summary of Changes;
  • HARPS and Freshcare Internal Audit (document that covers the additional requirements of HARPS for suppliers on FSQ4.2 and SC2); and
  • Version 2.0 Training for Auditors, Growers and Suppliers. This will be offered both online and face-to-face with further information provided closer to the launch date.

As always, you can contact us via the HARPS Website by filling in an enquiry form or contact the HARPS Helpline.

The document library on the HARPS website has been updated with a host of new documents to help support your business transitioning to Version 2.0.

Section 4.0 HACCP Training – Understanding Table 1.0

Table 1.0: Units of Competency available for completion to satisfy Element 4.1, has been developed to allow those that require HACCP training flexibility in their selection of units of competency to meet the criteria required.

As long as there is an “x” in each of the four key learning objective boxes, that includes:

  • The Principles of HACCP
  • Conducting a Risk Assessment
  • Implementing HACCP in the Workplace
  • Teamwork, Good Agricultural Practice and Hygiene Practices

(and all other criteria are met regarding RTO (Registered Training Organisation) status and delivery method, the course will be suitable.

The preferred units of competency, as shaded in Table 1, are FBPSFY2002: Apply Food Safety Procedures and FBPSFY3002: Participate in a HACCP Team, as they address the four key learning objectives, this includes, the principles of HACCP, conducting a risk assessment, implementing HACCP in the workplace and teamwork, good agricultural practice and hygiene practices.

Not all Training providers offer the two preferred units. As such, businesses are able to complete any combination of units, as long as the combination satisfies the four key learning objectives. For example:

  • FBPFSY2002 Apply Food Safety Procedures and FBPAUD4004 Identify, Evaluate, and Control Food Safety Hazards. There is an ‘x’ in each of the four key learning objectives, therefore this combination of units is acceptable.
  • Similarly, FBPFSY2002 Apply Food Safety Procedures and FBPFSY5001 Develop a HACCP-based Food Safety Plan is also acceptable.

If you are in doubt when making your selection, please contact the HARPS Helpline to assist you with your decision.

The importance of closing CARs within the required timeframes

Corrective Actions are raised when gaps between current activities or procedures are identified during the audit. The Corrective Action should define or describe the current gap or problem as well as the scope of the issue and allow the business or auditee to identify the root cause of the problem and establish corrective actions. The business can then implement the corrective actions and follow up to ensure the corrective actions were effective.

The timeframes for Corrective Action closeout have been modified under the Version 2.0 Scheme Rules. The table below provides a summary of closeout timeframes according to the Version type:

The GFSI standards have their own rules to address the closeout of Corrective Actions, though these largely mirror the timeframes for major and minor non-conformances as per the requirements of HARPS Version 2.0.

It is essential that the business-owner understands the importance of addressing non-conformances within the required timeframes. In the HARPS Version 2.0 Scheme Rules, Sections 2.7.3 – Suspending approval and 2.7.4 – Withdrawing approval, outline the consequences of failing to address non-conformances within the timelines, noting that a withdrawal will lead to the business being required to re-apply for HARPS approval.

Where assistance is required, businesses are encouraged to utilise the HARPS extension or exemption forms. Both forms are located here with instructions for completion at the top of the form.

It is recommended that business owners ensure that they are aware of the rules regarding any failure to address the required closeout timeframes with their selected GFSI standards and HARPS. In some circumstances, failure to meet a required timeline can lead to a re-audit being required, an inefficient and costly process for the business.

Opening hours for HARPS and Certification Bodies over the Christmas and New Year Break

The HARPS office will be closed on Thursday 22nd December and will reopen on Tuesday 3rd January 2023. For emergency calls during this period, please contact the HARPS Helpline on 1300 852 219 and a team member will respond to your call as soon as possible.

Opening hours for HARPS Approved Certification Bodies

Certification Body Closure dates
ACO Certification LTD Closed public holidays only
AUS-QUAL 12pm 23rd December 2022 – 2nd January 2023
BSI 24th December 2022 – 8th January 2023
Intertek SAI Global 19th December 2022 – 2nd January 2023
SCI QUAL International 12pm 23rd December 2022 – 2nd January 2023
Intertek SAI Global 23rd December 2022 – 3rd January 2023
SGS Australia 23rd December 2022 – 9th January 2023