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NSF International to provide pre-assessment audits to new GRMA standards

NSF International, an independent public health and safety organisation, is now providing interim gap or pre-assessment audits to the recently-developed Global Retailer and Manufacturer Alliance (GRMA) standards.

In January 2019, the GRMA announced the publication of NSF/ANSI 455, a set of consensus-based GMP auditing standards for manufacturers of dietary supplements (455-2: Dietary Supplements), cosmetics and personal care products (455-3: Cosmetics/Personal Care Products) and over-the-counter drugs (455-4: OTC Drugs). The new standards are aimed at reducing the number of audits and the associated costs of auditing to multiple independent standards. The new standards will help manufacturers centralise their efforts in continuous improvement and industry best practices while giving consumers greater confidence in the products they choose.

Accredited auditing

“It has been rewarding to work with the retailers, manufacturers, regulators and other stakeholders to address this concern in third-party auditing,” said Casey Coy, senior manager, training & consulting – health sciences at NSF International. “Streamlining the pathway to certification under these new standards helps alleviate the audit burden for manufacturers, offers assurance of product quality to GRMA members and supports product safety for consumers.”

NSF International auditors were recently trained by the GRMA as part of NSF’s effort to become an ANSI-accredited certifier of the GRMA standards. While waiting for official accreditation, the GRMA is allowing NSF International to conduct interim gap audits. “Eventually, the GRMA will require ANSI accreditation to the standard for any certifying body that audits to these standards, but for now it is accepting unaccredited audits by approved certifying bodies for up to one year in order to get these standards implemented quickly,” said Coy. “NSF International is already working toward achieving ANSI accreditation for certification to these standards and we are currently able to provide interim gap audits.”

In addition to providing interim gap assessment and eventually certification to the GRMA manufacturing quality system standards, NSF will continue providing product certification to the only American National Standard (NSF/ANSI 173) that verifies the health and safety of dietary supplements.

The GRMA is a global nonprofit with members from most major retailers, manufacturers, trade associations and certification bodies. The alliance was formed to develop an auditing scheme that utilises consensus-based quality system standards for Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) in several non-food related industries in the same way the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) audit process was developed within the food industry.

As an ANSI-accredited standards development organisation, NSF International facilitated the ANSI standards development process on behalf of the GRMA membership and other impacted stakeholders. While NSF International is a member of the alliance and has been integral in its structural development and growth, the GRMA is now a self-directed body with an independent governance board.

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