FAQ

 

Why do I have to join?
There is no compulsion to join. The scheme is entirely voluntary and any decision to join must be based on the business needs of the individual.

Is it possible to have more than one business under one membership?
Each individual business must hold its own membership.

What can I do if I am not sure if I meet the standards?
We can arrange a pre assessment where an assessor will be able show you where you may need to make changes in order to meet the standards. There is a cost for this, but if you then decide to join the scheme, this cost is deducted from your initial membership fee.

When will I receive my assessment and who will the assessor be?
Once your SQWV application form has been processed, your assessment will be allocated to the assessor covering your local area, providing a conflict of interest does not arise. If a conflict of interest should occur, please notify the Acoura office and your assessment will be allocated to an alternative assessor. One assessment will be carried out per site at least every 6 months.

What does an assessment entail?
On initial contact from the assessor a pre-assessment check will be carried out and the assessor will talk through the assessment process with you and explain what is required. Once the assessment has been completed the assessor will agree any non compliance(s) with the scheme standards. You will be asked to sign the visit record summarising any agreed non compliances, and a copy will be left with you.

Who assesses the assessor?
The assessor undergoes shadow assessments annually, carried out by an ISO qualified Lead Assessor. Assessor training meetings are held two or three times annually dependent on any changes being made within the scheme and scheme standards.

How do I know if my membership has been approved?
After your assessment the assessor submits a report to be considered by the Certification Officer. If non compliances were found at the assessment you will receive a letter explaining how you should submit details of corrective action you have, or plan to take. On receipt of an assessment report with no non compliances or once confirmation of the necessary corrective actions has been received by the Scheme Manager, a letter of approval will be sent to you, along with your Certificate of Conformity.

FAQ | Producers

When will I receive my assessment and who will the assessor be?

Once your SQWV application form has been processed, your assessment will be allocated to the assessor covering your local area, providing a conflict of interest does not arise. If a conflict of interest should occur, please notify the SFQC office and your assessment will be allocated to an alternative assessor. A minimum of one assessment will be carried out per site every 18 months. More frequent assessments will be required where non-compliances were recorded at the previous assessment. The timing of a re-assessment will be dependant on the category of membership awarded at the previous assessment.

What does an assessment entail?
On initial contact from the assessor a pre-assessment check will be carried out and the assessor will talk through the assessment process with you and explain what is required. Once the assessment has been completed the assessor will agree any non compliance(s) with the scheme standards. You will be asked to sign the visit record summarizing any agreed non compliances, and a copy will be left with you.

Do I need a chill?
No, provided that your venison is within a chiller within a reasonable time, but it must not be left unchilled for more than 18 hours.

What happens if I have non-compliances?
Your membership will be provisionally approved if you have minor non-compliances, but major non-compliances will require to be rectified prior to approval.

What happens if I have any non-compliances which may not be rectified for a number of months?
The assessor will discuss with you, at the time of the assessment, a realistic timescale in which you will be able to action any non-compliance. e.g. you may not have a chiller at present, but agree that one will be available by a certain date. Your request for additional time to rectify non compliances must be agreed by the Certification Officer at SFQC, and this will be confirmed with you in writing. Your membership may still be conditionally approved provided the non-compliance is a minor one.

How do I know if my membership has been approved?
After your assessment the assessor submits a report to be considered by the Certification Officer. If non compliances were found at the assessment you will receive a letter explaining how you should submit details of corrective action you have, or plan to take. On receipt of an assessment report with no non compliances or once confirmation of the necessary corrective actions has been received by the Scheme Manager, a letter of approval will be sent to you, along with your Certificate of Conformity and labels to identify SQWV carcasses.

What does not approved membership mean?
If you have been informed by the SQWV Scheme Manager that your membership is not approved pending confirmation of corrective action, this means that you must carry out the corrective actions highlighted on the non-compliance report, and advise Acoura accordingly, before your venison can be sold as “assured”.

When will the Certificate and SQWV labels be issued to me?
New members will receive their Certificate of Conformity and SQWV labels once unconditional membership has been approved. Certificates do not have an expiry date to avoid the need to re-issue every year. A new certificate may be issued if any company or SQWV information changes e.g. change of address. If your membership has been withdrawn, you will receive a letter from the SQWV Scheme Manager asking you to return or destroy your current Acoura certificate and SQWV labels. If you re-join the scheme a new certificate will be issued on approval. Lists of approved producer members will be sent out to approved processor members regularly so that assured venison can be identified.

Do I have to pay an additional fee for SQWV labels?
No. The cost of labels is included in your membership fee.