Sedex is launching an Audit Quality Programme in July 2020

Since mid-2019, Sedex has been developing a robust Audit Quality Programme that will be launched in July 2020. The programme is designed to help to improve the quality of the Sedex social audit methodology, SMETA, how it is used and the audit data it produces. Having good quality data, presented simply, is essential for spotting urgent issues and enabling businesses to make well-informed business decisions about their business and supply chain. The programme will ultimately help businesses drive more positive change in working conditions and ethical trade.


Programme overview

As part of the programme, Sedex is reviewing and developing the process for:

  • Selecting audit companies who can become an Affiliate Audit Company and can conduct SMETA audits.
  • Ensuring Affiliate Audit Companies comply with the SMETA minimum requirements
  • Implementing an appropriate Appeals Procedure for businesses
  • Implementing ongoing performance management mechanisms to monitor and measure auditor performance, to ensure auditors are conducting audits appropriately and properly capturing audit data on a consistent basis.


Programme timelines

The Sedex Audit Quality Programme will be implemented in the following phases:

From July 2020, Sedex will require all Sedex Affiliate Audit Companies to join APSCA (the Association of Professional Social Compliance Auditors). Sedex will start to measure and monitor performance of auditors against the minimum requirements for SMETA.

In July – October 2020, Sedex will launch a number of activities that track and benchmark the performance of Affiliate Audit Companies on various KPIs. Sedex will be providing a specialised e-Learning platform that auditors can learn about SMETA specific requirements and will implement minimum requirements that auditors will be measured against. By gradually completing these activities, we will gather real performance data on Affiliate Audit Companies.

In January 2021, Sedex will work with an external third-party partner (yet to be appointed), to audit Sedex Affiliate Audit Companies on-site to understand their processes and highlight areas of improvements, as well as best practice, and effectively shadow auditors to understand quality of execution.

Completing the programme will enable Sedex to align with APSCA and enhance the professionalism, consistency and credibility of Sedex Affiliate Audit Companies, and the way they perform independent social audits. This will ultimately help to improve those workplace conditions, where audits are carried out.

If you would like more information about this programme, please contact

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