BRC Start!

The START! program has been developed to complement the BRCGS for Food Safety. As certification to Food safety continues to develop, it’s important to provide opportunities to recognize and encourage the development of food safety systems in small sites where the full requirements of the Standard may not always be practical or add value, and in sites that are still developing food safety management systems.

The START! program is aligned with the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) Global Markets program. The START! program will enable audits and certification against two levels of requirements: basic and intermediate.

The basic and intermediate level requirements of the START! program provides recognized stepping stones towards eventual certification to the full Standard (if required). They also assure customers about the food safety systems operating at those supply sites that have gained certification at either of these two levels.


The START! program sets out the requirements for the manufacture of processed foods and the preparation of primary products supplied as retailer-branded products, branded food products, and food or ingredients for use by food service companies, catering companies and food manufacturers.

The audit and certification will apply only to products that have been manufactured or prepared at the site where the audit has taken place and will include storage facilities that are under the direct control of the production site management.

The program does not apply to food products that do not undergo any process at the audited site, or to activities relating to wholesale, importation, distribution or storage outside the direct control of the company.


Adoption of the program leads to several benefits for food businesses. The program:

  • is aligned with the GFSI Global Markets Program (the full Standard is GFSI-benchmarked);
  • provides a clearly defined audit and certification process operated in accordance with the requirements of accreditation;
  • uses auditors that meet the demanding competency requirements of BRCGS;
  • enables companies achieving basic and intermediate levels to appear in the publicly available part of the BRCGS Directory, thereby recognizing their achievements;
  • uses requirements based on the Standard, enabling the basic and intermediate levels to provide effective stepping stones towards full certification (if required by customers); and
  • requires completion of corrective actions on any non-conformities before certification at the basic or intermediate level is awarded, thus reducing the need for customers to follow up on audit reports.

The nearly 20 years of experience in the field have made Certima efficient, competent and trusted certification body for the BRCGS standards.