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Changes coming to the SMETA 6.1 audit reporting process

We’re making significant improvements to how Full Initial SMETA 6.1 audits are scheduled, completed and reviewed by Affiliate Audit Companies (AACs) and Suppliers. Find out what changes are coming and how you can prepare for them

1. What does the SMETA audit process currently look like?

Audit Companies and Suppliers will schedule a SMETA 6.1 audit through the Sedex Advance platform and most commonly download Word templates to complete the Corrective Action Plan Report (CAPR) and SMETA audit report. Once an auditor completes each report they will convert them into a PDF and upload them to Sedex Advance (unless using the Offline Audit Tool). These will then be reviewed off-platform and submitted to a supplier who will publish the audit for their customers to review.

2. Why are we making changes to the SMETA audit process?

We’ve gathered a lot of constructive feedback from our members on where the current audit report process can be improved and streamlined. From this feedback we have decided to simplify the SMETA 6.1 audit report process and move it into our new platform.

3. What changes can auditors expect?

Full initial SMETA 6.1 audits will be scheduled, completed and reviewed within the new platform by AACs, instead of uploading documents to Sedex Advance. We are bringing the following four features of the SMETA audit report process into the new platform:

  1. Schedule a new full initial SMETA audit
  2. Complete Corrective Action Plan Report (CAPR) on the platform
  3. Complete SMETA report on the platform
  4. Review and publish SMETA report (including disputes and corrective actions)
Screenshots of the Full Initial Audit Process in the new platform

4. Benefits of the new SMETA 6.1 audit process

Moving these features into the new platform will benefit AAC’s, Buyers and Suppliers by:

  • Reducing the time it takes an auditor to complete and submit a new initial SMETA 6.1 audit.
  • Removing duplication for auditors by pre-populating data into the CAPR and SMETA audit report.
  • Improving audit quality and data accuracy to improve decision making.
  • Increasing the completion rate of a SMETA 6.1 audit report.
  • Assigning accurate issue titles to non-compliances.
  • No more word documents.

5. What changes impact buyer or supplier members? Suppliers will:

  • No longer need to initiate a SMETA audit.
  • Review the CAPR within the new platform which is completed and signed on site.
  • Review the SMETA audit within the new platform, with the ability to dispute/ approve corrective actions and dispute findings.

Buyers will:

  • Be able to review the audit once published by their supplier within the new platform.

6. When will these changes happen?

We will be phasing the launch of the new audit journey to minimise disruption

  1. Phase 1: Test the new audit journey with an Early Access Group towards the end of 2022. This will allow us to make sure all new functionality works as expected.
  2. Phase 2: Release the new full initial SMETA 6.1 audit process in the new platform. This will be applicable to members who need a new audit or a new audit with a new AAC.
  3. Phase 3: We’ll then look to continue adding improvements to the new audit process throughout 2023 by allowing follow-up SMETA 6.1 audits to be completed in the new platform and bring in improved status notifications for buyer members. We will also be making the digital CAPR available off-line to support users with limited access to internet.

7. How can members prepare for these changes?

We will be running individual training sessions for AACs, Buyers and Suppliers when we launch the new audit process – look out for the email invites to one of our online webinars.

There will also be additional FAQs, guidance, and eLearning courses to support you through the new SMETA audit report process.

Important notes

  • There will be no changes to the 6.1 audit methodology at this time. These changes only impact how new full initial SMETA audit reports are scheduled, completed, and reviewed.
  • Periodic, follow-up and non-SMETA audits will remain in Sedex Advance. We’re expecting to develop these in the new platform throughout 2023.

8. What languages will the new SMETA audit report be in?

The first release will be available in English, with Chinese and Spanish following shortly after.  There will be a ‘Dual Language’ feature which will allow Auditors to complete the CAPR and SMETA reports in both English and the sites’ local language.