Steps to QAI Transitional Certification

Certification Process

The transitional certification process involves five basic steps, whether you produce items at the beginning, middle or end of the supply chain.

Step 1: Application
Companies provide details about their operations to help QAI understand the scope of the operation, the procedures followed and the products the company produces, processes or trades. At this stage, companies submit a signed contract, transitional compliance plan, self-assessment and verification of date of last application of substances that would be prohibited for organic certification.

Step 2: Inspection
If the application is approved by QAI, we conduct an on-site inspection of the operation to verify the information in the application and documentation.

Step 3: Technical Review
A QAI reviewer examines the inspection report and QAI notifies the operation of any nonconformances found.

Step 4: Resolution and Notification
The company submits any necessary corrective action responses. QAI will then review the corrective action responses, and approve them if they rectify the issues identified during the inspection.

Step 5: Certification and Ongoing Compliance
Once a company has successfully completed the process, it will either receive a letter of enrollment (if you are a producer and less than one year of transition has been completed) or a certification (if you are a producer with at least one year of transition completed, or a handler). Organizations receiving the certificate can start promoting their Certified Transitional products.

Steps 2 to 5 are repeated on an annual basis with additional requirements added for producers in year 2 and year 3 in order to stay in compliance with the program and get ready for organic certification eligibility in year 3.

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