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welfare and management of animals

Objective and impartial auditing

In order to foster continual monitoring and improvement, two forms of auditing would exist under LGAP: internal auditing and external auditing. In addition, unscheduled external audits are also incorporated under LGAP.

Internal and unscheduled auditing do not currently exist under the ESCAS framework. The requirement to undertake internal and external audits and allow unscheduled audits to occur has been made compulsory under the LGAP Certification Rules which means failure to undertake these activities to the frequency specified constitutes a nonconformity. 

External auditing is required under ESCAS and, as shown in the diagram below, exporters (or importers) engage and pay auditors directly to undertake audits of Facilities in their supply chain. The audit reports are provided to the exporter who provides them to the Department of Agriculture, Water and Resources. 

Conversely, under LGAP the independent Program Owner would review, appoint, contract and pay qualified Certification Bodies and Auditors directly.

External auditing 

To ensure confidence, trust, impartiality and consistency in the audit process under LGAP, the Program Owner would appoint an Approved Certification Body to a Facility or Operator, as shown below. In turn, the Approved Certification Body appoints an Auditor to undertake the external audit of that Facility or Operator.

The Program Owner approves, contracts and pays the Approved Certification Bodies and Auditors. Under LGAP there would be no direct relationship between the entity being audited and the Approved Certification Body or Approved auditor.

An independent decision maker within the Approved Certification Body makes the decision whether the Operator or Facility should be certified or maintain their certification under the Program. 

Under ESCAS, the exporter or importer engages the auditor directly. This approach under LGAP strengthens the ESCAS principle of independent auditing by ensuring the appointment, oversight and remuneration of Auditors is undertaken independently of the supply chain.

Certification Body and Auditor requirements

The LGAP Certification Rules also introduce specific requirements and performance criteria for Certification Bodies and Auditors.

In obtaining approval by the Program Owner to provide auditing and certification services, Certification Bodies would need to demonstrate and maintain fulfillment of specific organisational requirements; in particular the requirements of ISO/IEC 17065:2012, Conformity assessment - Requirements for bodies certifying products, processes and services.

In making application to become an 'Approved Certification Body', these organisation's would need to put forward the Auditors they propose to use under the Program. These Auditors will be required to have a minimum amount of experience and training in the areas of auditing, animal behaviour, health, husbandry and welfare.

Once approved, Auditors would also need to commit to ongoing professional development.