Q: For every auditor we have available in every market, is the table required to be completed or is 1 auditor for the 1 market all that is required?
A: All auditors that you wish to audit for LGAP need to be approved by AniMark so details of every auditor in every market need to be supplied. That said, we are launching firstly into Indonesia, Vietnam, Kuwait, Japan and Australia so if you wish to submit auditors for those countries in the first instance and then all remaining auditors can be approved as we roll out to other markets.
Q: Can we submit our pricing for the trial (initial) markets to start with?
Q: Are we able to quote our fixed market fee in USD? Is AniMark willing to change currency from AUD to USD?
A: AniMark requires the fees to be submitted in AUD for the tender purposes, currency may be negotiated post submission for operational requirements.
Q: How long on average does it take to close an NC? Using the links in the LGAP system? (certifier task).
A: As this is a new certification program AniMark does not have sound data to provide an average time. There are prescribed timeframes in which an entity must close an NC out. Minor =30 days, Major=7 days, Critical=3 days. As soon as the due date passes the NC must be escalated to the next sanction level. The AniMark Conformance System (Ecert) will have automatic reminders of outstanding NC’s to entities and Auditors/CB’s to aid in NC actioning. It is expected there will be some “ping pong” between the entity and the Auditor/CB to close out NC’s but the time required for assess the corrective action will be highly variable. Closing out the NC in the system itself is not a timely process and can be administered in a matter of minutes but should be completed within 48hours of the response being submitted by the entity.
Q: Application Form, page 4, Russia is not listed as a market. It is listed as market though in the ‘Request for Tender’ page 28, Table 1. Should it be added to the Application Form, page 4?
A: Application Form – noted, if you wish to supply services in Russia then yes please indicate on the Application form, however Russia is not one of the initial markets planned.
Q: Will multiple CB’s be auditing in the same market or will 1 CB be assigned one market?
A: At this stage we won’t know if there will be more than one CB in each country for certain until the tender process is complete however it is possible that more than one Certification Body is approved in one country. In terms of allocating audits to CB’s, its likely to be market dependant. For the smaller markets we are anticipating that we will only look to appoint one CB in that market. In the larger markets, we suspect there won’t be a single CB with auditor resources sufficient to service the entire market efficiently, so will likely need multiple CBs. AniMark is keen to make sure that there’s sufficient scale in the program for CB’s in each market to ensure it’s a viable proposition.
Q: Can we negotiate the pricing after the tender period?
A: Yes, it is expected that negotiation of price will occur after the tender process is completed to ensure the operation of LGAP is feasible for all parties.
Q: Can you please give us an understanding of the LGAP checklist in regards to timings to complete? What is the expectation or timing to complete the checklist? E.g. completing the LGAP audit of a feedlot, uploading the report, closing NC’s etc. Is it a similar process to ESCAS in regards to timings?
A: The LGAP checklist based on the LGAP Standards. The time the onsite audit will take to complete is highly variable depending on the scope and size of the entity. We are estimating the onsite component to take one day at minimum. Travel, preparation, checklist completion, non-conformance management and certification decision are again variable depending on the Auditor, Entity and non-conformances. Ecert turns the completed checklist, auditor recommendation and risk assessment into the evaluation report automatically. We expect the checklist to be completed 48hours after the onsite audit is completed. Once a NC response is submitted by an entity then closure should take place within 48hours and then the review and certificate issuing (if applicable) should be completed by the CB within 48hours.
Q: What is the expected duration of each type of audit?
A: The time the onsite audit will take to complete is highly variable depending on the scope and size of the entity. We are estimating the onsite component to take one day at minimum. Travel, preparation, checklist completion, non-conformance management and certification decision are again variable depending on the Auditor, Entity and audit outcomes.
Q: As a tiered system, do you expect any differences in audit duration arising from the different levels of certification? If so, how would this impact on each of the stages of production i.e. farm, feedlot, transport, slaughter/ processing and exporter/ importer
A: The levels of certification relate to facilities more so than operators as an operators level is based on the levels of the facilities they have in their supply chain. Audit duration is going to change depending on the size and complexity of the facilities and if they are responsible for transport or not. Evaluation of the monitoring in place is expected for each level so where there is more monitoring occurring due the scope of the audit then this could be expected to increase the audit duration overall. Each entity in the supply chain is audited in their own right so duration of audit at one facility shouldn’t impact another.
Q: Will there be a prescribed checklist or will CBs need to develop their own based on the requirements laid out in the standards?
A: There is a prescribed checklist provided in AniMark Conformance System (Ecert) which the Auditor is to complete. The checklist is set by AniMark and functions offline on mobile applications (phone, laptops and tablets). The checklist is based off the LGAP Standards and guidance material will also be available to assist Auditors in completing the checklist and audit.
Q: What is the expected reporting? Is it comprising a checklist report with short comment boxes, a checklist or a narrative report or a combination?
A: The checklist comprises of a checkbox (yes/no) and then a comments section where the Auditor records evidence of conformance/non-conformance/comments. The completed checklist along with the Auditors recommendation and risk assessment results will automatically turned into the evaluation report and made available electronically.
We expect the checklist to be completed 48hours after the onsite audit is completed. Once a NC response is submitted by an entity then closure should take place within 48hours and then the review and certificate issuing (if applicable) should be completed by the CB within 48hours.
Q: Will auditors be expected to undertake a sampling exercise against the welfare “targets” (such as stun efficacy) during the audit? If so, will this follow the same sample size as laid out for the suppliers?
“It is anticipated that there would be a sampling exercise to monitor audit day performance with the sites own data collated over time to verify accuracy of data being retained BUT we note a sample size for small facilities of between 1-10 animals per day and note that pooled data at the rate of 2 samples per day would leave performance percentages being calculated over a 50 day period to achieve a sample size of 100. This may cause a delay in recognition of any issues and any subsequent root cause analysis”
A: Yes, the Auditor is expected to undertake sampling exercises as per the sample size in Annex I of the LGAP1001.
Q: Does AniMark anticipate that this program will eventually be accredited?
A: Initially LGAP will be functioning under the Third-Party Provider of Assurance Arrangements (TPPA) with the Australian Government’s Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment. Additional accreditations may be sought in the future by AniMark.
Q: At what frequency does AniMark plan to provide training so that additional auditors can be approved throughout the three year program?
A: AniMark will aim to provide training as required/requested for CB’s and Auditors.
Q: Is there any guidance on how long the reporting is expected to take for the LGAP requirements, particularly relating to the use of the AniMark CS?
A: Our IT platform Ecert turns the completed checklist, auditor recommendation and risk assessment into the evaluation report automatically. How long the auditor takes to complete the checklist, recommendations and risk assessment will be variable depending on the audit outcomes and auditor. I would estimate it would be around 1hour to finalise the checklist/risk assessment/report post audit. Ecert works offline so the auditor can enter notes directly into the checklist during the audit without internet connection, which will assist in reducing the time needed to input comments etc. post audit.
For reference we are estimating the onsite component to take one day at minimum.
Q: Will there be information provided about the locations (Cities) of the Exporters in Australia? And, how many in each city is expected?
A: The exporters are located in major cities in Australia, namely Brisbane, Adelaide, Darwin, Townsville, Melbourne and Perth. AniMark cannot provide numbers in each location at this stage.
Q: Are the audit numbers in Table 2 of the RFT based on an estimate risk profile (and thus audit frequency) of the site types and locations?
A: Yes, we have applied a expected risk rating to the facilities to give an indication of the total number of audits per year that could be expected per country. We broke it down by entity type as some audits may take longer based on the scope of the audit.
Q: Where sites undertake more than one type of activity (i.e. importer & feedlot), is it expected that the two certifications they are being applied for will be audited concurrently/integrated or independently?
A: In this instance AniMark would ensure that it is the same CB being allocated those entities/audits so they are audited concurrently. If it was the same management system being used at a importer and feedlot we would expect some audit integration for efficiencies but a checklist/report per entity type is still expected.
Q: In Annex B of the RFT, it is noted that the following countries from the Scope of Services (page 13 RFT) have no information provided:
Sheep & Goats –Bahrain, Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine, Ukraine, Mauritius, New Zealand, Vanuatu, USA, Mexico, Argentina, Chile
Cattle & Buffalo – Egypt, Palestine, Mauritius, Mexico, India, Korea, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, USA
As such, is it expected that services to them and pricing will not be required for these countries for the purpose of this RFT even if they are included in the Application Form? If this isn’t the case, what is required for their response?
A: There is no current data on these markets, so this was not included. Initial entry markets are Vietnam, Indonesia, Kuwait and Australia so would be the key focus in the first instance. If you wish to provide services in the markets above, please indicate on the application form and then prices can be negotiated when the market metrics are available, and we are ready to launch in those countries. We aim to work with a CB as best as possible to ensure viable proposition.
Q: In the case On-site CAR closures are required in addition to the surveillance/certification audit, is it expected that this will be covered by the fixed fee for the associated evaluation/certification activity or will this be charged to the client as a separate activity?
A: AniMark would expect that this is an additional fee and also be a case by case basis depending on the severity of the non-conformance etc.
Q: And, will the same principle apply for special audits/CAR closures that result from complaints?
A: Any audits in relation to complaint investigations will be charged at the normal audit rate.
Q: Will a preliminary audit and a part c audit be charged separately at the agreed fixed fee?
A: A preliminary audit should ideally be an onsite audit and cover the evaluation plan detailed in the Certification Rules and charged as one fee. In the instance the onsite audit cannot occur as the applicant doesn’t yet have livestock onsite, then the desktop and onsite could be separated but it would still be under the one fee as the evaluation plan is the entire “audit”. In the instance where the onsite portion of the audit hasn’t occurred due to no livestock onsite, provisional certification may be issued, but then the auditor has to be onsite for the first handling of livestock to verify procedures are being implemented.
Q: Is a preliminary audit expected to happen on or off site?
A: All audits are expected to be onsite. The auditor/CB can request documents from the entity prior to the onsite audit as part of audit preparation. Animal handling and welfare outcomes need to be assessed onsite initially to ensure monitoring and processes are occurring in accordance with LGAP. If no animals are onsite during the initial audit, Provisional certification can only be granted until the auditor can attend and observe animal handling practices.
Q: Will training occur in all countries where facilities and operators are located? Yes. A: AniMark is aiming to provide training to facilities, operators and internal auditors as well as CB’s and Auditors in country.
Q: How long is the training expected to take?
A: Approximately 2 days. We are looking at in person sessions, with e-learning and teleconference options also.
Q: Are we expected to get accredited for ISO/IEC 17021 by a third party certification body? Or just have to prepare our standards inline with the ISO/IEC 17021?
The Certification Rules have been based on ISO/IEC 17065:2012, Conformity assessment – Requirements for bodies certifying products, processes and services. While accreditation to ISO17065 is not mandatory under the Certification Requirements it is a way to demonstrate your company’s conformance with the program requirements. The checklist contained in the application form & Certification Rules outlines the specific requirements your company must meet. If you have these procedures, processes and mechanisms in place but do not hold ISO17065:2012 accreditation, then you can supply details of these procedures back with your tender submission and AniMark will assess.
Q: AniMark is responsible for auditing us? If yes, will that be an annual audit?
A: AniMark will require any approved certification body to submit an annual report (as per the LGAP Certification Rules on page 16) and also undergo an annual performance review audit for LGAP (as per section 13 of the LGAP Certification Rules).
Q: Who will be paying the CBs fee for the service? The facility owners or AniMark?
A: AniMark will pay Approved Certification Bodies for their services. No fee collection or payment between the Approved Certification Bodies, Approved Auditors and the LGAP Operators/Facilities is permitted.
Q: What is going to happen to our current accreditation? ISO 9001:2015 will that not be valid anymore?
A: A certification body who maintains ISO9001:2015 certification is recognised as meeting the management system requirements of ISO17065:2012 accreditation, so holding ISO9001:2015 certification is an aid to determining conformance with ISO17065:2012 requirements.
Q: Any alternatives to professional indemnity insurance available at all? Can we opt for other insurance that covers company activities if such (Professional indemnity) insurance is not widely available within our geography?
With regard to Professional Indemnity Insurance, Certification Bodies have to have some form of insurance that protects them against:
- Misstatements of facts;
- Claims of negligence; or
- Breaches of duty –
they make which causes their clients (AniMark) to suffer a financial loss as a result of receiving professional advice or services from the ACB. This is standard business practice and successful tender applicants will need to demonstrate how these risks are adequately managed (typically by having a PI policy) in order to move forward in the tender process.
Q: Are there any fees associated with the certificate or licence issuance from the Program Owner to the CB?
A: No fees at this stage are applicable for this.
Q: Is there a fee from the Program Owner associated with CB approval/surveillance?
A: There are no fees for approval as a CB. Surveillance activities undertaken by AniMark will be charged to recover costs.
Q: Is there a fee from the Program Owner for auditor approval?
A: There are no fees for approval of auditors at this stage.
Q: Are there any fees associated with the use of mark or licence from the Program Owner to the CB or certified operator/facility?
A: No there are no fees associated with the use of the LGAP certification mark at this stage.
Q: What lead auditor qualifications will be recognised by the Program Owner?
A: Noting this is highly variable internationally, ideally any Lead Auditor Qualification will be suitable so long as it is verifiable and from a recognised training organisation.
Q: What is the length and method, cost of Auditor approval training?
A: Initial Auditor Training is expected to take 2 days. It is planned as in person sessions with the possibilities of e-learning and teleconferences also.
Q: As this is a new program and no opportunity for observation, as this is a new program, how will we qualify our first auditors?
A: As per page 16 of the Request for Tender document, details the work arounds for the auditor requirements initially.
“AniMark shall for initial auditor approval, assess each nominated auditor’s qualifications, skills and experience as it relates to animal husbandry, behaviour, welfare, handling, traceability and management systems to determine suitability.”
Q: What recognition of prior competency will be allowable, and will there be a fast track of the qualification dependant on competency?
A: AniMark needs to determine that each Auditor is a suitably qualified Auditor and has experience auditing in the areas of LGAP. Information on each Auditors qualifications and experience as it relates to auditing, animal welfare, husbandry, traceability and/or management systems should be submitted to demonstrate competency.
If an Auditor meets these requirements and completes the LGAP Auditor Training, they can be approved. A Fast Track option isn’t applicable.
Q: What is the length and method, cost of approved Auditor training (ongoing)?
A: Ongoing or refresher Auditor Training is expected to be one day in duration and depending on numbers and auditor locations could be in person sessions or e-learning or teleconferences.
Q: What justification will the CB provide to demonstrate competency and what detail can be shared on the Program Owners monitoring process?
A: A CV or Resume detailing skills and experience, copies of lead audit and other relevant qualifications, outline of audit experience, details of general experience and qualifications in animal welfare, husbandry, traceability and/or management systems.
AniMark needs to determine that each Auditor is a suitably qualified Auditor and has experience auditing in the areas of LGAP.
AniMark’s monitoring of Auditor performance will be a formal annual review but be ongoing review of reports, NC’s and feedback will occur throughout the year to ensure consistency and quality is being achieved.
Q: How will the program Owner decide and distribute the audit requests to approved CB’s?
A: At this stage AniMark won’t know if there will be more than one CB in each country for certain until the tender process is complete however it is possible that more than one Certification Body is approved in one country. In terms of allocating audits to CB’s, its likely to be market dependant. For the smaller markets we are anticipating that we will only look to appoint one CB in that market. In the larger markets, we suspect there won’t be a single CB with auditor resources sufficient to service the entire market efficiently, so will likely need multiple CBs. AniMark is keen to make sure that there’s sufficient scale in the program for CB’s in each market to ensure it’s a viable proposition.
Q: How will the audit man-day requirements be dictated to the CB’s for each assessment/facility/operator type? Or will this be dependent on CB’s?
A: The time the onsite audit will take to complete is highly variable depending on the scope and size of the entity and shall not be prescribed by AniMark. We are estimating the onsite component to take one day at minimum. Travel, preparation, checklist completion, non-conformance management and certification decision are again variable depending on the Auditor, Entity and non-conformances. Audits should be carried out effectively and efficiently but the important factor is they are done consistently and to a high quality.
Q: Does the Program Owner foresee any audits requiring less than one full man-day? If so, will geographical grouping be applied?
A: No. AniMark expects that an LGAP audit will take minimum one day to complete.
Q: We are seeking clarification beyond the vide briefing. Does the type of facility dictate against which standards a site can be audited or must be audited? That is, can an importer, for example, choose only to be audited against LGAP 1003 or must they be audited against all three standards (LGAP 1001, 1002, 1003)?
A: Applications of the Standards to each entity type is not optional.
If you are an Exporter you must be audited against LGAP 1002 and 1003
If you are an Importer you must be audited against LGAP 1001, 1002, 1003
If you are a Facility you must be audited against LGAP 1001, LGAP1002
Q: Can a CB decline schedule an audit assigned by the Program Owner? Due to possible impartiality conflicts or scheduling conflicts?
A: Yes, if a CB is unable to complete the audit due to resources or conflicts of interest then they must notify AniMark immediately so we can re-allocate.
Q: If audits are conducted against multiple standards, are they all undertaken at the same time? Can they be performed at different times?
A: One audit is to cover all applicable standards at the same time. They would not be performed at different times as the requirements interrelate.
Can the Program Owner please provide timeframes for all those activities for which we are responsible at the time of Tender?
A: AniMark is still finalizing these timeframes, however expectations is that the audit checklist to be completed 48hours after the onsite audit is completed. Once a NC response is submitted by an entity then closure should take place within 48hours and then the review and certificate issuing (if applicable) should be completed by the CB within 48hours.
Q: Will Auditor findings guidance on audit checklist elements be provided to the CB’s by the Program Owner?
A: Yes guidance material will be provided. The Certification Rules and LGAP Standards are not yet finalised guidance material cannot be provided yet.
Q: For report findings, will the auditor have answers proposition, or he/she would have to select “Level 1, Level 2, Level 3”?
A: The level of the facility is self-nominated at application by the facility based on their practices. An Operators Level is determined from the facilities they have in the supply chain. An Auditor is to determine if the practices onsite during a facility audit meet the requirements for that level and would raise non-conformances as required if the practices were not met.
Q: Will the reporting be issued automatically with AniMark system?
A: Yes, The checklist comprises of the questions which each has a checkbox (yes/no) and then a comments section where the Auditor records evidence of conformance/non-conformance/comments. The completed checklist along with the Auditors recommendation and risk assessment results will automatically turned into the evaluation report and made available electronically.
Q: Will the corrective action plan be also centralised in this platform? If yes, will CB users receive a notification once proof of implementation has been submitted?
A: Both the Auditor and CB reviewer will be able to see any Non-Conformances that are open in the system. Automatic email notifications will be sent from the system when a NC is issued, responded to, have an upcoming deadline or are overdue are require escalation.
Q: Please confirm the surveillance activities will be via on-site audit?
A: Yes. Surveillance activities are onsite audits
Q: In the scope of LGAP, why is the transport of livestock by sea and air across international borders after initial export from country of origin not directly addressed? although there is the following scope statement which includes transport (The requirements under LGAP cover animal welfare and health; personnel; infrastructure and equipment; animal identification and movement; transport; slaughter and processing)
A: The scope of LGAP is from the point of disembarkation to slaughter. Transport under LGAP means any transport during this process.
The Australian Government administers the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock (ASEL) which regulates the transport (export) of livestock over international borders. AniMark will operate under a Third-Party Provider of Assurance (TPPA) arrangement with the Australian Government but the TPPA does not include ASEL requirements and so must remain out of the scope of LGAP at this stage.
Q: Will the program run similarly to Global GAP (as Global GAP is also ISO 17065)?
LGAP has been developed in line with ISO17065 requirements.
Q: Will there be any penalties for underperformance on KPI’s?
A: AniMark will work with CB’s to ensure best performance is achieved in all instances. If underperformance cannot be corrected, then AniMark may have to reconsider working with a CB.
Q: Could you please kindly share the legal terms and MSA draft?
A: Yes, we can provide this at request, noting it is a draft version and will be the basis of negotiation for successful tender applicants.