Members Ethical Trade Audit (SMETA)
Sedex and SMETA
Sedex is the name of the organisation – SMETA is the name of an audit methodology
The Sedex Virtual Assessment is a due diligence tool where an auditor assesses the performance of a site remotely using technology and video conferencing.
Sedex is launching this new tool in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic which has led to delays in audits, restrictions on movement of people, and health concerns with in-person and on-site auditing of facilities. In response to this, Sedex has sought to develop an assessment product which responds to these challenges, but which will continue to provide value in a post-COVID world too.
The Supplier Ethical Data Exchange (Sedex) is a not-for-profit, membership organisation that leads work with buyers and suppliers to deliver improvements in responsible and ethical business practices in global supply chains. Sedex was founded in 2001 by a group of retailers to drive convergence in social audit standards and monitoring practices. Sedex aims to ease the auditing burden on suppliers through the sharing of audit reports and to drive improvements in supply chain standards.
SMETA (Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit) is the audit methodology created by the Sedex membership to give a central agreed audit protocol, which can be confidently shared. Originally created by the Sedex Associate Auditor Group (AAG), now renamed the Sedex Stakeholder Forum (SSF) and involving multi stake holder consultation, it draws from practices defined by Sedex members and by the Global Social Compliance Programme (GSCP).
SMETA consists of four core documents:
- ● SMETA Best Practice Guidance (this document)
- ● SMETA Measurement Criteria
- ● SMETA Audit Report
- ● SMETA Corrective Action Plan Report (CAPR)
SMETA 2-Pillar audit comprises:
- ● Labour Standards
- ● Health and Safety
● Additional Elements:
- • Universal Rights covering UNGP
- • Management Systems
- • Entitlement to Work
- • Subcontracting and Homeworking
- • Environment (shortened)
A SMETA 4-Pillar audit contains in addition:
- ● Environment (extended) – this replaces the Environment (shortened) section detailed above
- ● Business Ethics
The SMETA BPG (this document) has been produced to give a consistent global auditing procedure that Sedex members can share with confidence and with full transparency of the standards and protocols used.
SMETA 2-Pillar and 4-Pillar Audits
A SMETA 2-Pillar audit comprises the 2 pillars of Labour Standards and Health and Safety.These are mandatory modules for any SMETA audit. It also contains the additional elements of Management Systems (including Land Rights), Universal Rights covering UNGP, Responsible Recruitment Practices, Entitlement to Work, Subcontracting and Homeworking, and a shortened Environment Assessment.
A SMETA 4-Pillar audit includes all the above elements plus the additional pillars of Environment (extended assessment – replaces shortened assessment) and Business Ethics. These additional pillars may not be required for all Sedex members and it is important that sites of employment and auditors are clear when these extra modules are required.
- ● SMETA Best Practice Guidance: this document.
- ● SMETA Measurement Criteria: gives details of the items to be examined during a SMETA audit.
- ● SMETA Audit Report: provides a template for recording audit findings in a standardised format that can be uploaded to the Sedex platform.
- ● SMETA Corrective Action Plan Report (CAPR): a template for recording a summary of audit findings, along with corresponding corrective actions.
SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS FOR ALL SMETA AUDITS
In addition, Sedex has created the two supporting documents for preparing for a SMETA audit:
- ● SMETA Pre-Audit Information Pack: contains information to be sent to a supplier site before a SMETA audit.
- ● SMETA Guide to Social Systems Auditor Competencies: competency requirements for auditors who practice social audits.
- ● SMETA Guidance for Auditors for Extended Environment and Business Ethics Assessment: assessment checks for Auditors.
- ● SMETA Guidance for Suppliers for Extended Environment and Business Ethics Assessment: guide for Supplier Sites.
- ● SMETA Non-Compliance Guidance: recommended issue severities and verification methods.
- ● Guidance for Dealing with Sensitive issues Raised at Audits.
POST AUDIT PROCESS
- ● Sedex Guidance on Operational Practice and Indicators of Forced Labour.
- ● SMETA Corrective Action Guidance: suggested ways in which manufacturing sites may make Improvements.