Your Guide To SMETA Audit Process

What is SMETA

What Is SMETA?

SEDEX Members Ethical Trade Audit (SMETA) is an ethical audit methodology that combines all aspects of corporate social responsibility. It is one of the most commonly used social audits in the world. Other types of social audits include; Economic Audit, Environmental audit, Community Audit, Human rights Audit and Contracts audits.

SEDEX (Supplier Ethical Data Exchange) is a registered online platform for companies to openly share information. They share information about their social and ethical performances. SEDEX audits are usually conducted on the basis of SMETA guidelines.

What is SMETA audit?

SMETA was generally designed to reduce duplication of effort. It was also designed to provide a format that could be easily shared. The audit uses an ETI Base Code founded on the conventions of the international labor organization and other laws. SMETA Audit is generally conducted upon two pillars;

  1. SMETA 2-Pillar Audit.

This audit is conducted against two mandatory pillars of any SMETA audit. These are the Labor standards and Health safety. Additional elements may include; Management systems, Entitlement to work, Homeworking and environmental assessment.

2. SMETA 4-Pillar Audit.

This audit is conducted against four mandatory pillars of Labor standards, Health safety, Environmental assessment and business ethics.

The Four Pillars of SMETA audit.

SMETA audits should usually be conducted on an annual basis but this might change depending on the process being audited. Lack of frequent assessments often leads to increased risks.

SMETA Audit Process

  1. Issuance of a self Evaluation Form. This is the first step. These forms are filled by sites to be audited.
  2. SMETA audit is conducted on site. This involves documents review, site tours, management interviews and employee interviews in an effort to assess the extent to which your social management documentation meets the SMETA Criteria.
  3. Preparation and Issuance of CAPR. Auditors create a corrective action plan and issue it together with the detailed audit report. These two can be downloaded from the SEDEX database.

Benefits of SMETA Audit

  • The audit helps in mitigating problems associated with social responsibility and sustainability.
  • Improvement of the organization’s image. This is because it shows customers and suppliers that you are committed to the principles of ethics and socially responsible business.
  • Cost saving. The audit saves time and money by avoiding duplicate audits and certifications.
  • It helps the organization achieve greater visibility of its Supply chain.
  • The audit also helps the organization in receiving independent verification of its ethical compliance.

SMETA regulations