The inspection consists in collecting the necessary decision-making information and assessing the product’s compliance with the relevant standards. The inspection is carried out by team which operates separately from the certification team.
Various controls and checks are carried out:
1.Accreditation controls which consist in making a comprehensive evaluation in order to determine whether the operator in question is capable of operating in accordance with organic requirements. The inspector therefore certifies the operator’s situation with regard to the said requirements.
These controls may result in a conversion certificate (for farmers) or an organic certificate (for other operators) being issued.
2. Annual physical controls which consist in making a comprehensive evaluation in order to determine whether the operator operates in accordance with organic requirements. The inspector visits the production units and controls administrative data. These controls may result in the organic certificate being renewed.
3. Additional controls in addition to the annual physical controls, where necessary, if it was not possible to carry out all the annual physical controls during a single visit.
4. Random controls which are carried out on the basis of an analysis of the risks. This analysis is intended to identify the operators to be subjected to such controls. The controls are carried out several times a year.
5. Reinforced controls carried out on the basis of an irregularity observed during a previous control and which calls for specific monitoring. This is carried out within the framework of the rules on sanctions.
The inspectors draw up control reports which are transmitted to the certification team. Composed of a manager and several experts, this team combines various competences which ensure that decision-making is impartial. They meet several times a week to determine whether the situation observed is consistent with established standards and decide appropriate sanctions.