NPA Third-Party Auditors
Third-party auditors are utilized to conduct audits of supplier members according to established program audit protocol, utilizing the NPA GMP standards and audit documents. Auditors are selected by the Advisory Committee and approved by NPA based on qualifications and prior experience conducting audits and inspections of food or dietary supplement manufacturers. Auditors must be trained in the NPA GMP standards and performance rating system, and have the required education, experience and training to conduct on-site audits. Typical education and experience of auditors is:
- A four year college degree, or higher, in biology, chemistry, or food science
- Expertise in food or pharmaceutical GMPs
- Experience in the manufacturing processes for foods or dietary supplements
- Experience in conducting audits of food, dietary supplement or drug manufacturers
- Successful completion of training in the NPA GMPs
Auditors have been trained to conduct GMP audits only according to the NPA audit protocol using the approved audit checklist and performance rating system developed by NPA.
Arrangements for the initial audit, resolution of any findings, and any follow-up audits, are to be made jointly by the auditing company and the member supplier, but must follow the protocol developed by NPA.
Auditing companies are limited to the determination of compliance of a member supplier to NPA GMPs, and any decision with regard to GMP certification is at the sole discretion of NPA.
Auditing companies shall provide NPA with copies of all audit and corrective action reports. They must also agree to the accompaniment of members of NPA staff and/or GMP Advisory Committee on a specified number of audits each year so that NPA may assess the quality of audits and the need for revision of the audit checklist and/or performance rating system.
Conflict of Interest Policy
Auditing companies must be independent, with no known or potential conflict of interest, for each company for which they are contracted to complete an audit review. It is a conflict of interest for an auditing company to currently consult with any member supplier for which it conducts an audit; or to have consulted with that member supplier for a three-year period prior to the audit.