Audits

Who is audited and what does it involve? 

All LPA accredited producers – from large scale operators to hobby farmers – may be audited, with audit participants selected from the database of LPA accredited producers. Annually, 2,000 producers are selected at random and 1,000 selected for targeted audits due to system identified non-conformance.

Producers selected for audits will receive an LPA Audit Notification Pack containing information to help prepare for the audit. They are then contacted by an auditor to organise a time for the audit to take place.

During the audit, the auditor will check how records are maintained and how food safety, biosecurity and animal welfare management is being carried out. The auditor may accompany the producer on an inspection of property facilities relating to food safety. Parts of the farm that have been identified as contaminated with persistent chemicals may also be visited to review the management systems implemented at these locations.

Qualified auditors from AUS-MEAT conduct the on-farm audits for LPA. 

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.

National Residue Survey (NRS) Audits 

The NRS within the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE), is a vital part of the Australian system for managing the risk of chemical residues and environmental contaminants in animal and plant products. In conjunction with NRS, LPA conducts approximately 2,000 on-farm audits annually.

The NRS residue management audit program includes the cattle, sheep and goat industries. Since 2009, over 30,000 targeted property audits have been undertaken throughout 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 LPA Program requirements. Information collected during NRS targeted audits is provided to the DAWE, to assist industry achieve quality assurance and food safety initiatives, develop policy and other related activities.

Either ISC or the DAWE may disclose audit information to other government, statutory and regulatory authorities as part of a comprehensive approach to residue management in the red meat industry and to assist those bodies with any regulatory or compliance functions they may have. Any personal information collected and disclosed through an audit is protected by the Privacy Act 1988.

The DAWE will only handle your personal information in accordance with its privacy policy, which is available here. For further information on NRS, please visit their website.

FAQs

No. It is a condition of accreditation that LPA producers agree to participate in the audit process. Refusal to participate may result in LPA accreditation being withdrawn. 

If the issue is minor, the auditor may record an ‘observation’ which means that the producer should consider taking action to improve the relevant practice.

If the issue is more significant, the auditor may raise a ‘corrective action request’ which means that the producer needs to do something to ensure compliance with LPA requirements. This action will be followed up.

Failure to address problems identified may lead to a producer losing their accreditation. Where a critical issue is identified, producers can be suspended immediately.

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