On November 1, 2018, Sedex introduced two changes to the way it organizes SMETA audits. Firstly, they introduced a unique reference code for each SMETA audit and, secondly, all audit companies conducting SMETA audits are now required to pay a fee to access SMETA or upload a non-SMETA audit onto the Sedex platform.
Sedex is a global organization whose operations cover a wide range of industries, including retailers, manufacturers, financial institutions, airlines and construction companies.
Members are split into three types:
- Buyer (A) - for organizations that only wish to view and run reports on their supply chain. Fees are determined by annual sales turnover
- Buyer/Supplier (AB) - for organizations that wish to view and run reports on their supply chain and share information with their customers. Fees are determined by annual sales turnover
- Supplier (B) - for organizations that wish to share information with their customers. There is an annual membership fee for Supplier (B) members per site per year
The Sedex Stakeholder Forum (SSF) has created SMETA – a globally recognized social audit methodology that assesses responsible supply chain activities, including labor rights, health & safety, the environment, and business ethics (Sedex’s four pillars). It is designed to allow suppliers to share one audit with multiple customers and thereby reducing duplication of audits.
It has three elements:
- A common Best Practice Guidance on conducting ethical trade audits
- A common Audit Report format
- A common Corrective Action Plan format
Version 6.0 of SMETA became effective on June 1, 2017. The popularity of the SMETA audit is demonstrated by the fact nearly 20,000 SMETA audits are uploaded to the Sedex platform every year.
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