Sedex is a non-profit organization headquartered in London, UK. Companies from any location in the world can apply for membership. Sedex has won the favor of many large retailers and manufacturers, such as Tesco, John Lewis, Marks and Spencer,Sainsbury’s, all require manufacturers to make SMETA Audit. Their operation meets the requirements of relevant ethical standards, and the audit results can be recognized and shared by all Sedex members.
SMETA Audit, whose full name is SEDEX Members Ethical Trade Audits, follows the standard is ETI (Ethical Trading Initiative) which is the English abbreviation of the British Ethical Trade Organization. A bill drafted by the UK aims to improve the working conditions of workers around the world through the establishment of a forum for the procurement of corporate social responsibility in developing countries. ETI is composed of representatives from three parties: companies, trade unions and non-governmental organizations. The basic code of ETI is similar to SA8000, which is based on the basic agreement of the United Nations Labor Organization. Companies and organizations participating in ETI include: C & A, Sainsbury’s, the Co-operative Wholesale Society, Save the Children, Fair Trade Association and other non-governmental organizations.
1) SMETA Audit is a kind of supplier quality audit.
2) Usually SMETA Audit will inform the factories in advance. However, sometimes whether the notifications are subject to the specific requirements of the customer; may be notification audits, unannounced audits or semi-announced audits.
3) Whether the follow-up audit is required after the first SMETA Audit, will be decided by the client.
4) The SMETA audit report can be uploaded to the Sedex database and can be shared with Sedex members.
5) SMETA audit does not issue a certificate.
6) The two parts audit of environmental protection and business integrity are supplementary audits of SMETA. Not mandatory. In the end, the buyer will decide whether to cover these two parts.
7) During SMETA audit, the factory is requested to provide originals such as certificates or licenses that are directly related to the factory, the production-related materials will be checked accordingly if necessary.
Audit scope and the main method: All areas under the same business license should be covered. Even if the factory has several plant areas and different production lines. The auditor have to go to the site, will interview the management staff and workers, review the documents and site situations.
1) Initial audit: At least the latest 12 months’ wage working hours records are required. If it is a new factory with less than one year of business, you need to provide a record of all wages and working hours from the factory opening to the audit day and at least 3 months.
2) Follow-up audit: The factory shall provide all working hours and wage records from the end of the last audit to the day of the audit and at least two months. Otherwise, the retrial is invalid.
Most of the audits for export enterprises are divided into two types: One is Factory Audit, one is Social Compliance Audit. The SMETA audit is just one of the social audits. It is intended for suppliers to share an audit with multiple customers to meet the requirements of multiple customers and reduce duplication in social and ethical audits.SMETA audit is available in English, Spanish and Chinese. Mainly facing the European countries such as the UK. Every year, nearly 20,000 SMETA audits upload to the Sedex platform. Each SMETA audit carries a unique reference code, and the audit results can be recognized by all SEDEX members and shared by them, so suppliers accepting SEDEX audits can save many repeated audits from UK customers.
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