FSSC 24000 Version 1.0 FAQ


  • Can a business in the Food Industry obtain FSSC 24000 certification without being FSSC 22000 Scheme certified?

    Yes, the scope for FSSC 24000 is intended for auditing and certification of organizations in the manufacturing and processing sector (food and non-food), including their related service provision. The scope applies to the economic sector/activity with the related IAF codes as set out in the Scheme Part 1, Clause 3, Table 1. Both Schemes are independent of each other, and certification can be obtained for one or both Schemes, as required by the organization.

  • Is FSSC 24000 applicable to all sectors or only the food industry?

    The FSSC 24000 scope of certification is described in Part 1, Clause 3 of the standard. In addition, a detailed table (Table 1) provides an overview of all economic sectors covered within the scope, including the relevant IAF codes.

    The certification of organizations is intended for the manufacturing and processing sectors (food and non-food) and their related service provision.

    However, there are some exclusions from the FSSC 24000 scope of certification, including processing, manufacturing, and the related trade of tobacco & tobacco products, fur & fur products, weapons, explosives & ammunition, and nuclear fuel products.

  • What is the difference between the FSSC 24000 Scheme & ISO 26000?

    ISO 26000 is a guidance on social responsibility, meaning that it is not an auditable certification standard on its own but aims to provide information to users on the topic. In comparison, FSSC 24000 is a voluntary third-party certification Scheme that is governed by FSSC and managed by an independent Board of Stakeholders.

    The objective of FSSC 24000 is to ensure that social sustainability requirements are met, resulting in certification that assures organizations provide safe and fair working conditions, meet business ethics requirements, and apply due diligence in their supply chain management. The Scheme is aligned with the ISO management system approach, that drives continuous improvement on key social issues.

  • If an organization is FSSC 24000 certified, would it replace SMETA or Sedex audits/requirements?

    Partially. It should be noted that FSSC 24000 and Sedex SMETA are not directly comparable. While both SMETA and FSSC 24000 focus on aspects of human rights due diligence, SMETA has an optional extension to include some environmental factors in their 4-pillar audits, which is currently not included in FSSC 24000.

    FSSC 24000 is, in direct comparison to SMETA, a robust social management system that requires a continuous improvement of social management performance based on an ISO management-based approach. This is a fundamental difference, as SMETA is an inspection-based program.

  • How is FSSC 24000 different from SEDEX?

    See above. Furthermore, FSSC 24000 is an accredited third-party certification Scheme, while SMETA is an unaccredited and inspection-based verification standard.

  • Does the FSSC 24000 certification have different ratings like AMFORI BSCI (A, B, C)?

    FSSC 24000 does not incorporate or apply a rating process. However, the grading of FSSC 24000 is based on a robust nonconformity management system. Any potential nonconformity identified during an audit must be addressed by the organization and resolved within specified timelines, determining an initial certification decision or whether CBs can maintain certification according to the ISO 17021-1 requirements.

  • How would you describe the role of Business Ethics within FSSC 24000?

    Business ethics and its implementation in an organization are fundamental elements of FSSC 24000. Most of the Scheme elements feature this as a requirement.

    For example, ethically conducting business is part of the ongoing due diligence process established, implemented, and maintained by an organization to identify, prevent, mitigate, and account for how they manage their social responsibility impact.

  • Where can I find the FSSC 24000 logo, and what are the rules for applying it?

    Certified organizations shall use the FSSC 24000 logo only for marketing activities such as the organization’s printed matter, website, and other promotional material. In case of using the logo, the certified organization shall request a copy of the latest FSSC logo from their Certification Body.

    Part 2: Requirements for organizations to be audited, Clause 2.3.2 ‘Logo Use’ in the FSSC 24000 Version 1 Scheme document defines all requirements around this topic.


  • When are FSSC 24000 certification audits allowed to start? Does FSSC 24000 have the same time frame gap between Stage 1 and Stage 2 audits as FSSC 22000 Scheme certification?

    Certification to the FSSC 24000 Scheme is available right now.

    Audits are only allowed to be performed by licensed and accredited Certification Bodies. Once Certification Bodies (CBs) have obtained an FSSC license and successfully completed the FSSC Onboarding Program, they may commence with audits to FSSC 24000.

    Find a licensed CBs here.

    Part 3, Clause 5.1, 3 of the Scheme documents details the requirements for FSSC 24000. The conditions of the Scheme are based on the principles laid out in ISO 17021-1, which states that sufficient time will be given to resolve areas of concern identified during Stage 1.

    However, the maximum timeframe between a Stage 1 and Stage 2 audit is six months. When an organization exceeds this timeframe, the Stage 1 audit shall be repeated.

  • Which Certified Bodies are authorized to conduct audits against FSSC 24000?

    Only CBs holding an FSSC 24000 license with the Foundation are allowed to conduct audits to FSSC 24000. Anyone interested can find a publicly available list of approved CBs and their contact details on our website. You can search specially by Scheme here.

  • What are the Auditor qualification criteria for FSSC 24000?

    The auditor qualification process and its maintenance are laid out in detail in the FSSC 24000 Scheme Part 4, Clause 3.5. In principle, the auditor must be contracted or employed by an FSSC 24000 licensed certification body that is also an APSCA member firm. An appropriate ASPSCA qualification level is required, as well as the additional FSSC 24000 requirements set out in the Scheme.

  • Does FSSC 24000 certification include unannounced audits like the FSCC 22000 Scheme?

    Yes, FSSC 24000 follows the same principle as FSSC 22000, which is that certified organizations must be audited unannounced at set intervals. The frequency is defined in Part 3, clause 5.4.1, and states that each certified organization shall have at least one surveillance audit undertaken unannounced every three years.

  • Can we have combined audits for FSSC 22000 and FSSC 24000 simultaneously in one company?

    FSSC 24000 allows the integration with ISO-based management system standards (e.g., food safety, quality, etc.)

    It ultimately permits FSSC 24000 audits to be incorporated with other management system audits as a combined or integrated audit.

Here is a list of the most asked questions and their answers from the new FSSC 24000 Scheme.