SMETA is the world’s most widely used audit. Businesses use SMETA to understand and make improvements to working conditions and environmental performance in their business and supply chain.
SMETA, the world’s leading audit
What is SMETA?
- SMETA is an audit, which helps you to understand standards of labour, health and safety, environmental performance, and ethics within your own operations or at a supplier site.
- Delivered by one of our approved auditor companies , you or your supplier is provided with a Corrective Action Plan to help improve performance in these areas.
- The SMETA audit is designed to help protect workers from unsafe conditions, overwork, discrimination, low pay, and forced labour.
Benefits of SMETA for your business
SMETA Audits have given thousands of businesses confidence that they are working with sustainable suppliers.
Gain a greater understanding of the social and environmental performance of your business and suppliers
Prioritise high risks
Assess and monitor higher risk suppliers on their performance over time
Efficient supplier auditing
Data can be shared with multiple buyers, reducing the number of audits you’ll need to collect
Improve supplier performance
SMETA provides a Corrective Action Plan to help improve supplier performance and resolve issues found in the audit
Comply with legislation
SMETA audits facilitate compliance with existing and upcoming legislation
Sedex in numbers
SMETA is available in English, Spanish and Mandarin. Where reports and Corrective Action Plan Reports are needed in a language other than English, these should be dual language and must include English.
Speak to our team about your options to find a solution which best fits your business needs.
If you are already a member our e-Learning module ‘You are going to be audited – steps and SMETA guidance for suppliers’ is available for all supplier members. This module will guide you through the steps you can follow to prepare for a SMETA audit. Please login to the Sedex Platform to access Sedex e-Learning.
There are a series of guidance documents to help you understand what to expect from a SMETA audit, actions you can take to prepare for your audit, and how to address any non-compliances (NCs).
These detailed guidance documents are available specifically for Sedex members via Sedex e-Learning.
Overview documents can be found here:
The Sedex Platform will accept any type of first-party, second-party and third-party ethical audit:
- First-party audit: An audit performed within an organisation by the organisation’s own auditing resource (internal audit). This will often highlight areas for improvement which can be corrected before a visit from an external auditor.
- Second-party audit: Audits of contractors/suppliers undertaken by or on behalf of a purchasing organisation. These can be used to identify problems which can be worked on together.
- Third-party audit: Audits of organisations undertaken by an independent certification body or registrar or similar third-party organisation. This is the most commonly used audit for most Sedex members and is widely accepted as more impartial.
All of the above audits can be useful. However, it is important to check your customer’s requirements before committing to a particular audit type.
Check local law
You can check the law for your region on the NATLEX Database – a database of national labour, social security and related human rights legislation maintained by the ILO’s International Labour Standards Department. Some auditing companies may also provide this service for you.
The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) has some useful resources on ethical and social auditing.
We are keen to hear from SMETA users of all kinds. Your feedback will help shape future versions of SMETA and best practice documents. To tell us what you think, please fill in one of our short online forms:
Yes, only businesses who are Sedex Members will be permitted to have a SMETA audit (whether full or follow up) conducted by an Affiliate Audit Company. Businesses who want a SMETA audit will need to be registered and have an active account on the Sedex platform. In order for your audit to be uploaded to the Sedex platform, you must first be a member.
Speak to our team today to find out the best membership option for your business.