Sedex Audit Quality Programme

Sedex has developed a programme to improve the quality and data of SMETA audits and promote industry best practice among audit companies.


Sedex’s Audit Quality Programme (AQP) launched in 2020 and took full effect in January 2021. The objectives of the AQP are to: 

  • Raise the quality of SMETA audits 
  • Improve the detection and reporting of onsite issues  
  • Ensure consistency of auditing techniques amongst Sedex’s pool of Affiliate Audit Companies (AACs). 



Our Auditor Rules define our approach to audit quality, in alignment with the SMETA Minimum Requirements.  

As of January 2021, we have fully ligned with APSCA  which requires all Affiliate Audit Companies to be members of APSCA. APSCA is the professional membership body for social auditing. Sedex reserves full discretion to accept any new audit firm as a Sedex AAC, in addition to other requirements such as full APSCA membership (1) 

The AQP is a quality assurance programme which seeks to drive continuous improvement amongst audit companies and in the quality of SMETA audits.  


Driving continuous improvement with the Audit Quality Programme 


 Throughout the programme, we will monitor our AACs through the following activities: 

 Self-Assessment: AACs self-assess their understanding of the AQP, including SMETA minimum requirements and AQP key performance indicators 

  • Risk Identification: Sedex will use the SMETA audit data it holds on the platform to identify possible risks associated with any AACs, including complaints and grievances raised against an AAC 
  • Management Auditing: An in-depth audit of our AACs management systems, including recruitment, training and integrity management 
  • Shadow Auditing: An in-depth observation of an individual auditor performing a SMETA audit 
  • Progress Monitoring: Quarterly monitoring of AAC performance through the use of key performance indicators. 


Working with AACs to drive improvement

At Sedex we value the partnership with our audit firms and it is together that we will drive improvement. Sedex actively supports the development of our AACs’ skills, competences and access to information to improve their performance and compliance with our highquality auditing standards. 

Our AACs, their auditors and technical staff have access to our SMETA multi-lingual Auditor Academy training programme which is available onthego (through mobile access) and at any time. A performance management dashboard tracks key performance indicators and helps AACs benchmark themselves against their peers.  

Our audit firms also have access to our risk assessment tool, Radar, to help them better understand risk in specific sectors and at specific sites.  


Audit quality is important to us. If you need to raise a grievance about an auditor or audit company, please contact [email protected]



Notwithstanding anything in these Rules, Sedex reserves the right to control the number of AACs which form part of its AQP offering, at any point in time. Sedex reserves full discretion to accept any new audit firm as a Sedex AAC, irrespective of whether or not said audit firm would otherwise be eligible to join the AQP. Sedex will accept no liability for refusing to accept any new AAC members of its AQP offering.