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Management Culture Audits Made Simple

Updated: Sep 8, 2023

We all know that the capability and commitment of management is one of the most important factors in protecting your customers and your brand, and yet almost every food safety audit focusses on the 'hardware' of the premises, with perhaps a cursory section on "Management Commitment'' that focusses almost exclusively on budget allocation.

I've had the pleasure of working with many experienced auditors during my career, and all of them could predict the scores of an audit based on the capability of the site manager, and when they knew a Manager had moved from one site to another, they could predict if the standards at that site would rise or fall depending on their past experience with that manager.

So what if we developed an audit that measured the capability of a manager to maintain a safe operation, rather than measure the level of compliance of the hardware in a business unit? This would align with the goals of senior management - who assess the ability of managers to deliver profitable operations, and would help to keep the focus on what is possibly the most critical issue in food safety. Such an audit may need to be combined with one that also measured the financial commitment of senior management to providing the physical resources to comply with basic safety requirements, but an audit that rated a manager's capability of delivering a safe operation could be a valuable addition in the drive to protect customers and brands.

The checklist below is a simple example of how management capability could be measured on a simple 4 point scale. Something to consider perhaps when planning an audit program for your business?

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