SMETA Audits – An Introduction
Explore Sedex and SMETA, and the latest changes.
SAFEGUARDS | Sustainability NO. 036/19
SMETA is one of the most widely used social audit procedures in the world. It provides a globally-recognized way to assess responsible supply chain activities, including labor rights, health & safety, the environment, and business ethics.
What is Sedex?
Sedex is a global membership organization that prides itself on making it simpler to do business that’s good for everyone.
Sedex member companies cover a wide number of industries and sectors around the world. While original members were some of the world’s largest retailers and consumer brands, Sedex now counts companies from sectors including finance, airlines, construction and technology as part of its global community.
There are three types of Sedex Member:
- Buyer (A) membership is for organizations that only wish to view and run reports on their supply chain. Membership fees are determined by annual sales turnover
- Buyer/Supplier (AB) membership is for organizations that wish to view and run reports on their supply chain and share information with their customers. Membership fees are determined by annual sales turnover
- Supplier (B) membership is for organizations that wish to share information with their customers. The annual membership fee for Supplier (B) members is £100.00 per site per year (VAT is chargeable to UK companies only), or 1200 RMB in China if you pay the Sedex China office by BACS
What is SMETA?
SMETA is an audit methodology, providing a compilation of best practice ethical audit techniques. It is designed to help auditors conduct high quality audits that encompass all aspects of responsible business practice, covering Sedex’s four pillars of labor, health and safety, environment, and business ethics.
SMETA is designed for suppliers to share one audit with multiple customers, meeting multiple customer requirements and reducing duplication in ethical auditing.
SMETA has three elements:
- A common Best Practice Guidance on conducting ethical trade audits
- A common Audit Report format
- A common Corrective Action Plan format
SMETA is developed and maintained by the Sedex Stakeholder Forum (the SSF). The latest version 6.0 of SMETA was updated in April 2017, and effective on June 1, 2017.
Nearly 20,000 SMETA audits are uploaded onto the Sedex platform every year.
The latest change
Since November 1, 2018, each SMETA audit carries a unique reference code to ensure the SMETA audit is appropriately validated.
SMETA is available for all Sedex Members, who would like to have a SMETA audit. Since November 1, 2018, all audit companies conducting SMETA audits are required to pay a fee to access SMETA or upload (non-SMETA) audits on the Sedex platform. This cost is fixed and will be charged directly to the audit company:
- SMETA Audits are £50 per audit for audits conducted for Sedex Members
- SMETA Audits are £150 per audit for audits conducted for non-Sedex Members
- Non-SMETA Audits are £200 per audit for audits conducted for Sedex Members
Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.
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