Keepers guide to the BGA Audit

A breakdown of what can be expected when you have your audit.

How the BGA Audit Process Works A Keepers Guide

The BGA shoot audit process will involve the keeper, manager or owner and the member of staff who maintains and keeps records. This could be one person or a combination of all depending on the shoot.

As the keeper, the audit will effectively look at what you do every day as routine and will include everything from how you manage your hatchery (if you have one), right through to how you treat your shot game on shoot days. 

The key to any audit is good record keeping, so whether the keeper maintains these records themselves  (some of them will have to be retained by the keeper) or they are kept in the estate/shoot office, you must ensure the records are up to date and accessible to the auditor. Good record keeping is good practice and in some cases a legal requirement. 

Before the Assessment

  • The auditor will contact you to arrange a date and time suitable to both.
  • You will be sent a pre-assessment checklist to ensure you know what you need for the audit in good time.
  • It is important that the person(s) who the assessor is meeting has had time to read the standards before the assessment.
  • Ensures all the documents that are required are available, the BGA Record Book will assist with this.

The Assessment

  • After the introductions, the assessor will describe the format of the assessment process and what happens after the assessment. 
  • Depending on the nature of the shoot, the assessment should take around 2-3 hours.
  • The next stage is for the person(s) representing the shoot to explain how the shoot works.  There must be a map showing the area the shoot covers (this can be from Google), the assessor will arrive with little knowledge as to how the shoot operates. 
  • The assessor will then say what facilities they would like to see – for example, if applicable, the rearing facilities, release pens, understand how some of the drives work, game handling facilities, larder and chiller, feed stores and medicine store.  
  • It will then be time to review the documents and records that are relevant to the shoot.
  • If the assessor believes there may be a non-compliance, they will discuss it when they find it so there is the opportunity to better understand the issues. 
  • While an assessor cannot give direct advice, they can give guidance to a shoot as to where they can find additional information – for example, links to a specific website.   
  • At the end of the audit, the assessor will sum up their findings. You will be left with a written record (the Visit Record) of any non-compliances that have been found. You will also be left with a document explaining what happens next, and where to send any corrective action if a non-compliance has been found.

After the Assessment

  • The assessor will complete a report and submit this together with the Visit Record to the Lloyds Register Office where the process of certification begins.
  • Lloyds Register will write to you to detail the next steps and remind you where to send corrective action if this is required. You have 30 days to demonstrate corrective action or the process of it.
  • There will be contact details should you have any questions.
  • They will write to confirm when no further actions are required – meaning you are compliant with the BGA Shoot Scheme Standards.
  • You will then receive a certificate from the BGA to show you have passed the audit.

Before your audit, check that you do not have any of the most common non-compliances, many of which are legal requirements: 

  • Shoot not registered as a Food Business with the Environmental Health Department of the Local Authority.
  • Medicine purchase and administration records not available or not complete.
  • Larder/Chiller in need of repairs/maintenance.
  • The temperature in chiller not recorded at least 2x daily when in use. 
  • No ‘Trained Person’ present during a shoot – one who has completed a ‘small game’ meat hygiene course.
  • Food hygiene risks identified during game handling. 
  • Records not complete/not available.
  • In feather & in fur carcasses stored in the same chiller without physical separation. 
  • Processed game meat & ‘in feather’ and/or ‘in fur’ carcasses stored in the same chiller at the same time.  

The audit is here to help you and work with you to identify any areas of sector compliance that can be raised, and to demonstrate the level of best practice you’re operating at. 

If you have any queries or further questions, please do not hesitate to contact Sam, Shoot Account Manager at sam@britishgamealliance.co.uk or 0203 727 5204.

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