Thank you for your commitment to providing the animals you raise with higher welfare and your interest in joining our 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating Standards program.
- The first step is to download our standards and prepare your farm for audit.
- If you have any questions about our program or how standards apply to your operation, don’t hesitate to contact us for clarification or guidance.
- Contact the independent, third-party certification companies* authorized to certify operations to our program to discuss scheduling options, audit fees, and their processes, and decide** which certifier to contract with and request an application.
- Once you’re ready, submit your application and schedule your audit with an authorized certifier.
Typically, the certification process is as follows:
- Producer submits an application to the certification company.
- Certifier reviews the application and schedules the audit.
- Audit is conducted and concludes with an exit interview.
- Auditor submits the audit form and any supplemental material to the certifier.
- Certifier conducts a compliance review. (At this point, the certifier may be in communication with the producer to get clarification or further information.)
- Certifier makes a determination—either issuing a Step certificate or notice of corrective action to the producer.
- If corrective action is required, the producer submits evidence to the certifier that issues have been adequately addressed before a final certification decision is made.
After you have received a Step-rating certificate, contact us to discuss marketing and labeling guidelines.
* As the standard-setter, Global Animal Partnership does not conduct audits nor make Step-rating certification decisions. Authorized, independent, third-party certification companies, with trained and ratified auditors, perform the audits and issue Step certificates, as appropriate. By working with independent certifiers, farmers, consumers, and retailers alike can be assured that Step ratings are fair, accurate, and free of any conflict of interest.
** Global Animal Partnership is not involved in deciding which approved certification company you should contract with. However, you may be supplying a retailer requesting you to become Step-rated. In those cases, the retailer may work directly with you to make the certification company determination.