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Before and After Your Onsite Inspection

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:

CCOF Develops Helpful Post-Inspection Tools

Two new documents have been created to help CCOF clients understand the certification process.

What to Expect After Your Inspection: Clarifies the inspector's role and what clients should expect as potential outcomes following the inspection. This helpful document is provided to all clients by their inspector.

CCOF Inspector Field Evaluations

Updated: April 11, 2016

Field evaluations are required by the National Organic Program (NOP) for all certifiers. As a result, CCOF implemented a pilot program in 2015 that has been very successful. We appreciate the NOP’s requirement and are embracing it with additional time and effort in 2016.

Document Scanning Gives You Better Access

CCOF is scanning all client files and eliminating our use of paper records. Our client files equate to a length of more than two football fields and almost three quarters of a million pages! The move to electronic files will present challenges for CCOF and our inspectors but will significantly reduce our use of paper and provide new opportunities for better service. We began scanning and uploading all incoming letters and OSP updates from clients in early May.

New Certificates Soon After ALL Inspections

Did you know that all certified CCOF operations remain certified until their certification is formally withdrawn, suspended, or revoked? Did you know that you can have a new copy of your certificate — effectively a federal license — at any time? It’s true. You are certified and you can have a new certificate at any time. During the recent membership survey it came to our attention that waiting for new certificates is a challenge and creates unnecessary stress for some operations.

New Client Compliance Agreement: Fix Problems at Inspection!

One of the most common sources of frustration for certified operations is being issued Notices of Noncompliance for minor paperwork issues, such as using an OMRI-listed material without first having written approval from CCOF. Our staff is committed to finding ways to work better with clients to prevent such problems and reduce the paper chase postinspection. A new idea that we are introducing is the CCOF Client Compliance Agreement.

NOP Improves Organic Integrity

Recently, the NOP issued final rules and instructions to certifiers that provide important improvements to certification and require certifiers to raise the bar for both unannounced inspections and testing. These efforts help ensure that organic certification is rigorous and meaningful in the marketplace while guaranteeing that all NOP certified operations and certifiers are required to meet similar requirements. CCOF has performed both unannounced inspections and residue testing for some time and is therefore pleased to see these requirements effectively instituted by NOP.

Signature No Longer Required on Inspection Exit Interviews

We’ve removed the requirement for a signature on our Inspection Exit Interview Forms. The use of a signature was developed by CCOF, outside of the NOP regulations, and proved difficult in our fully-electronic inspection and review system. By submitting the exit interview to CCOF, our inspectors verify that the information is correct to their best knowledge. After your inspection the inspector will either leave a paper version with you or email an electronic version.

Significant Changes to Certification Manual - All CCOF Clients Affected

We have made some substantial changes to our Certification Services Program Manual.

These changes affect all CCOF clients, and you will be asked on your 2014 Continuation of Certification Contract (renewal contract) to verify that you agree to the policies described in this manual. In brief, the changes include:

Three Ways to Make Scheduling Your Inspection Easier

CCOF Certification Services (CCOF CS) must ensure that every certified operation is inspected at least annually. With the high numbers of inspections that we coordinate, a given operation will typically have their annual inspections anywhere between seven and 16 months apart. Independent inspectors and inspection operations staff strive to plan and schedule efficient trips, which frequently requires scheduling multiple inspections per trip in order to substantially reduce the travel cost billed to each operation.


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