Why does LPA need audits?
On-farm audits are conducted each year to ensure the management systems utilised by livestock producers are complying with LPA rules and standards. They act as a check of Australia’s red meat integrity system.
How to prepare for an audit
Producers should review on-farm practices against the audit checklist included in the LPA Audit Notification Pack to ensure their operation is up to date. This will help identify any areas that may need attention before the audit, ensuring the process is as smooth as possible.
All LPA accredited producers – from large scale operators to hobby farmers – may be audited.
Approximately 2500 producers are selected each year at random from the list of producers who have not yet been audited.
Annually, there are 1000 audits selected based on LPA risks and non-compliance areas such as NLIS transfers not being completed, biosecurity risk issues and LPA NVD non-compliance.
Producers selected for an audit will receive a notification letter informing them of their selection.
Following the letter, you will be contacted by a representative from LPA’s auditing body, AUSMEAT, to schedule a suitable time and date for the audit. You will receive an audit checklist that covers what evidence or documentation is required for each LPA requirement and the process for managing issues identified in an audit.
LPA accreditation costs $99 every three years for producers using NVD books and $66 every three years for producers using eNVD.
There are no charges for LPA audits unless you need to be re-audited due to critical nonconformity.
You will be notified in writing by Integrity Systems Company that your PIC has been selected for audit. You will receive a follow-up phone call with an auditor to schedule a time to conduct the audit. If you are selected for a remote (virtual) audit, the auditor will contact you to arrange a time for a phone call and ensure documents are made available for review in the LPA system by an agreed date.
With your notification letter, you’ll also receive an Audit Notification Pack to help you prepare. This includes a checklist to help make sure the current records are up to date and provide the required information. You’ll have a few weeks to review the pack and to gather the records you need for the audit.
The audit will take 2-3 hours, either at your computer (if a remote audit) or farm office/house. The auditor will check how records are maintained and assess on-farm practices for compliance with the LPA Rules and Standards. The auditor may request to visit key sites on your farm to ensure your records reflect on-farm activity. If any nonconformities are identified, the auditor will advise you before they depart.
If selected to complete an audit remotely, the producer must upload the required documents to the ‘Audit records’ page of the nominated LPA account two days before the scheduled date of audit, before notifying the auditor of the submission via phone or email. The auditor will then arrange a time with the producer to review the documentation to complete the audit.
For more information see out how-to guide on how to submit evidence for a remote audit.
Annually, 2,500 producers are selected at random and 1,000 selected for targeted audits due to system identified non-conformance.
A PIC reconciliation is a requirement if you are European Union Cattle Accreditation Scheme (EUCAS) accredited. Otherwise, it is a recommended practice, not a requirement under LPA.
PIC reconciliations help ensure the NLIS electronic identification devices (EIDs) producers have physically on their PIC match those listed on the NLIS database. This assists in tracing during a disease outbreak or food safety incident.
For more information visit the PIC reconciliations web page.
There is no perfect formula to record keeping. Any format of records is accepted under LPA so long as it meets the requirements. The LPA record keeping templates are used by many producers and include all details that must be recorded. All documents may now be uploaded to the producer’s LPA account for safe storage. Updates to the LPA website now also allow property risk assessments and farm biosecurity plans to be completed entirely online rather than on a printed template.
See our step-by-step guide to creating and uploading documents in your LPA account. Alternately, some producers find that keeping clear notes in a diary works well. Others use customised hardcopy record books, computer spreadsheets, or keep their records within their farm management software programs. Producers can download for free a record keeping book or order a printed one via their online account.
Regardless of the method, it is important that all relevant management activities are accurately and clearly recorded for the auditor to review.
Please refer to the checklist in the Audit Notification Pack which is designed to help identify any records to get ready or areas that need attention before the audit.
An equivalency exists between LPA and Dairy Australia for dairy producers with a State Dairy Licence to be excluded from the LPA random audits.
Work is continuing with Dairy Australia on streamlining any further requirements to ensure dairy audits cover all LPA and NLIS requirements.
You will receive reminders that your LPA accreditation is due for renewal three months before the due date.
If you don’t renew, further reminds are sent at two months and one month before renewal is due.
Reminders are sent by post, email and SMS.
It is a condition of LPA accreditation that producers agree to participate in an audit if requested. Refusal to participate may result in LPA accreditation being withdrawn.
At the end of the audit, the auditor will have a short discussion with a producer about the audit findings and if any nonconformities have been identified and what corrective actions are required.
Producers should ask any questions before the auditor departs the site to ensure they are clear on what is required.
AUS-MEAT will provide a formal audit report and any Corrective Action Requests (CARs) to the producer after the audit occurs.
It may be possible that one or more of your on-farm management practices or your record keeping does not meet LPA standards. To ensure these issues are followed up and resolved, an auditor will record it as a ‘nonconformity’ and issue a ‘corrective action request’, or a CAR, to the producer.
A nonconformity is either categorised as minor, major or critical, depending on the potential impact it could have on food safety, traceability, biosecurity or animal welfare.
A minor nonconformity is an area where on-farm actions slightly vary from the LPA Standards but it is unlikely to directly affect food safety, biosecurity or animal welfare. These are recorded as an ‘observation’ in your LPA Account and represent opportunities for improvement in your overall farm management system.
A major nonconformity is an issue that has the potential to compromise food safety, biosecurity or animal welfare. It is called a corrective action request (CAR) and must be rectified by the due date as instructed by the auditor.
If a CAR has been issued, you will notice an alert in your LPA Account. Producers need to take the required action to resolve the issue and provide evidence of the action taken. Once action is taken, the evidence/documentation can be provided directly to AUS-MEAT via email or uploaded directly to the CAR in your LPA account for review and closure. ISC has developed a fact sheet for more information on how to respond to a CAR. Once reviewed and accepted by either AUS-MEAT or ISC, the CAR will be closed.
A critical nonconformity affects the integrity of the Australian red meat industry or the LPA program, compromises the LPA Rules or Standards or jeopardises food safety, biosecurity or animal welfare. It is recorded as a critical incident report. Examples include the feeding of restricted animal material to livestock, a residue detection above maximum residue limits or incorrect management of HGP treated livestock.
If a critical incident report is issued, your accreditation may be suspended until you demonstrate that the issue has been addressed. If you do not address a suspension, you will have your LPA accreditation withdrawn.
If a critical incident is identified, you will be required to participate in additional audits to ensure that the nonconformity has been addressed and this audit may attract a fee.
If you disagree with a nonconformity issued to you during an audit, you may lodge an appeal by writing to ISC in accordance with the LPA Rules.
Full details of the nonconformity process, including the appeals process, are set out in the LPA Rules or by phoning 1800 683 111.
The National Residue Survey (NRS) is part of the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF). Its role is to manage the risk of chemical residues and environmental contaminants in animal and plant products.
The NRS audit program monitors the cattle, sheep and goat industries. Since 2009, there have been more than 30,000 NRS targeted property audits conducted in Australia as part of a comprehensive approach to residue management.
NRS targeted audits are completed on behalf of ISC by qualified AUS-MEAT auditors and include a focus on chemical use, residue risks and animal treatments. Information collected during NRS targeted audits is provided to DAFF to help the Australian livestock industry achieve quality assurance and food safety initiatives, as well as develop policy and conduct other related activities.