SMETA Audit in China 2 Pillar & 4 Pillar Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit
Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit (SMETA) is one of the most widely used social audit in the world. It enables businesses to assess their sites and suppliers to understand working conditions in their supply chain.
It is a compilation of good practice in ethical audit techniques designed to help auditors conduct high quality audits and suppliers share one audit with multiple customers.
What are the main elements of a SMETA Audit?
SMETA Audit has three elements, including:
- A common corrective action plan format
- Best practice guidance on conducting ethical trade audits
- A common audit report format
What scope is covered in a SMETA Audit?
- Site scope: The scope covered in the business license (production area, warehouse, dormitory, etc.)
- Personnel scope: All the full-time employees, including workers, management, security, etc.
- Checklist of SMETA 2-pillar Audit includes: Labor Standards, Health and Safety, Management Systems, Entitlement to Work, Subcontracting and Homeworking, Environmental assessment (simplified).
- Checklist of SMETA 4-pillar Audit includes: Labor Standards, Health and Safety, Management Systems, Entitlement to Work, Subcontracting and Homeworking, Environmental assessment (complex), and Business Ethics.
Frequently Asked Questions on SMETA Audit
Is V-Trust SMETA audit report widely recognized?
Absolutely! V-Trust’s SMETA audit report is widely accepted by different brands and businesses because V-Trust is an Affiliate Audit Company (AAC) of Sedex, as well as a member firm of APSCA (Association of Professional Social Compliance Auditors).
Remark: An Affiliate Audit Company (AAC) is a third-party that is authorised to conduct SMETA audits on behalf of your business. Only audit companies with a Sedex Affiliate Audit Company account can conduct SMETA audits and access the functionalities and benefits of the Sedex Advance system, which audit companies can use to manage data from multiple locations in one account. V-Trust is an AAC of Sedex and is authorized to perform SMETA audits.
How many days in advance should I book the SMETA Audit?
Who will I be in contact with throughout the whole process?
Is it required to notify the supplier about the SMETA Audit?
Depending on the outcome of risk management and/or audit planning, there are three possible audit notification types:
- Announced audit: audit date is agreed with, or disclosed to, the audited factory
- Semi-announced audit, audit date will fall within an agreed “window”. Audit window can range between 2 weeks to 2 months. A 3-week window is recommended to optimize the result.
- Unannounced audit: no prior notice is given to the audited factory.
How long does it take to know the SMETA audit result?
What if I have questions after I check my V-Trust SMETA audit report?
How are the results of a SMETA audit classified?
How many years can a SMETA audit report remain valid?
How many times does an auditor need to visit the factory for SMETA audit?
After the Full Initial Audit which is the first time a factory of employment is audited, there is a sequence of audits that, depending on the client’s code and the results of the full initial audit, might be necessary to be conducted such as a Periodic Audit which is used to monitor supplier sites on an on-going basis, or a Follow-up Audit which is used to check the progress against the issues found in the initial audit.
There are three types of Follow-up Audit:
- Full follow-up audit: a full audit, same as initial audit but takes into account previous audit findings.
- Partial follow-up audit: only checks progress against issues found during the previous audit.
- Desktop follow-up audit: can be used for certain corrective actions for which a factory visit is not required and can instead be verified remotely e.g. through photograph evidence or documents provided via email.