Preparing for an LPA audit

Preparing for an LPA audit

May 10 2022

Actions producers can take:

  • Continuously managing your operation in line with LPA requirements will ensure you are prepared and have the required records for an LPA audit.
  • Don’t wait until you receive an audit notification to start preparations.
  • For fast and easy access during an LPA audit, store required records in the Record Keeping section of your LPA account.

Integrity Systems Company’s George Basha (Operations Analyst) and Elizabeth Bradley (Manager – Quality, Policy and Compliance) – in partnership with AgForce – recently gave regional producers a chance to expand their knowledge of the LPA program and help ensure preparedness for an LPA audit.

AgForce workshop

Above: George Basha (Operations Analyst, ISC), Elizabeth Bradley (Manager – Quality, Policy and Compliance, ISC) and Trish Ryder (Senior Auditor and Manager, AUS-MEAT). 

The ISC training, which was held across multiple towns in Queensland last week, gave producers an insight into the expectations of an LPA audit, including:

  • records that should be kept
  • how audits are completed, step-by-step
  • using the LPA database to complete remote audits without on-property inspection
  • adding digital records to your LPA account
  • consequences of non-conformance
  • common issues that are identified during LPA audits.

These workshops were a fantastic experience for the attending producers. AgForce mentions that many of these producers identified:

  • a need to focus on record-keeping
  • a desire to learn more and continue their understanding
  • a stronger feeling of preparedness for what an LPA audit would entail.

AgForce LPA audits workshop

Caption: The workshops, held over three days in Tooloombilla, Miles and St George, attracted 79 attendees (including speakers).

On-farm LPA audits are undertaken Australia-wide to assess whether the management systems utilised by accredited producers comply with the LPA Standards and Rules. They are a necessary element to ensuring the integrity system is robust and that industry can stand by what we sell.

Over 3,000 producers – from large commercial producers through to small land holders – will be selected for an audit every year – 2,000 selected randomly from the LPA database, and 1,000 investigated due to identified non-conformance.

While an audit might seem to be a daunting process, there is strong support and guidance provided all the way through. Those selected will be contacted by an auditor to organise a date after receiving an LPA Audit Notification Pack, which contains all the information necessary for preparation.

Producers may also be contacted for a remote audit, using documentation that is uploaded to their LPA account, and phone conversations with the auditors.

During this process, the auditor will examine:

  • record-keeping
  • property facilities
  • food safety precautions
  • biosecurity practices
  • animal welfare management
  • any areas that have been identified as contaminated.

Audits tend to take two to four hours, depending on the size of the operation, the property management systems and the producer’s understanding of LPA.

The process is overseen by Integrity Systems Company however, audits are conducted by qualified auditors from AUS-MEAT.

To help in preparation, producers should review their own practices against the audit checklist included in their LPA Audit Notification Pack – it can be used as a guide to identify any areas that may need updating or altering before the audit. This checklist highlights correct practices under the seven LPA requirements:

  • property risk assessment
  • safe and responsible animal treatments
  • stock foods, fodder crops, grains and pasture treatments
  • preparation for dispatch of livestock
  • livestock transactions and movement
  • biosecurity
  • animal welfare.

However, it is recommended that producers take the time to complete their LPA learning modules to refresh their understanding of the requirements and work towards an even higher integrity of practice and product. While audits may seem like more work, if your record keeping is kept up to date then most of the work is done. Audits are vital in demonstrating to our customers that we have verification systems in place for the claims we make around food safety, biosecurity and traceability.

Elizabeth Bradley presenting at AgForce LPA audits workshop

Above: Elizabeth Bradley, ISC (left) and Trish Ryder, AUS-MEAT (right) presenting at the workshop held at St George.