For most operations, your onsite CCOF inspection is one day out of the year. We know that this day can be stressful and takes your focus away from your day-to-day operations. However, there are things you can do before and after the inspection occurs to make sure that the inspection goes smoothly, your certification moves forward, and there are no speed bumps along the way. Read additional tips on how to keep inspection costs down.
Here are some tips for making the inspection process as easy and cost-effective as possible:
Before the Inspection
Stay in Contact
Return the phone calls or email from your inspector as soon as you can. Inspectors work hard to group inspections in order to cut down on the travel costs to each operation. By responding promptly to your inspector and being as flexible as possible in the scheduling, you may be able to save significant cost on inspection travel.
Read the Pre-Inspection Letter
Before your inspection, you will receive a “pre-inspection letter” from your inspector, outlining what the inspector will be doing onsite and the records that they will need to review. Look this letter over carefully and contact your inspector right away if you are confused or need any additional details or information about what is in the letter.
Request a Copy of Your Inspection Checklist
Did you know that your inspector can provide you with a blank copy of the inspection checklist that they will use to perform your inspection? Just ask. You could use the inspection checklist to perform a self-assessment or mini internal audit to identify any areas that may require additional attention or focus during the inspection.
Review your Organic System Plan
You can access the Organic System Plan (OSP) that CCOF has on file (the same one your inspector will be using) on MyCCOF. Give yourself some time to sit down a few weeks before your inspection to look over this document and make sure all the information is current and complete. You can save time and money by updating your OSP prior to your inspection rather than waiting until your inspector is onsite with the meter running.
After the Inspection
Pay Attention to the Exit Interview
Before your inspector finishes the inspection, they will conduct an “Exit Interview” with you to discuss any issues of concern or additional information that they need to complete the report. Please be sure to send along any items such as receipts, supplier certificates, product labels, etc. that your inspector requests on the interview document (that they will leave with you) as promptly as possible! This will reduce the number of times that we will have to contact you after the inspection. If you are confused about what to submit, be sure to contact your inspector directly and ask for clarification.
Look Over Your Inspection Report
Did you know that your inspection report is available to you 24/7 via MyCCOF once your inspector has submitted it to us? You will receive an email as soon as the report is ready for you to view. Log on to MyCCOF at your leisure to see the report and make sure there are no errors or misunderstandings in it.
Respond Quickly to Requests
If you receive a call, email, or letter from us requesting additional information, please respond as soon as possible so you can avoid moving to Noncompliance. Need additional time to gather the necessary information? No problem! Just request an extension on the deadline. Your Client Service Specialist is here to work with you to close out these requests as soon as possible.
The CCOF staff, including inspectors, is committed to making the inspection and certification process as painless and efficient as we can while ensuring that we uphold the gold standard of organic integrity. We look forward to working with you now and in the future, and encourage you to contact us at any time with your suggestions, comments, concerns, or questions. We want to help!