Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit (SMETA)

What is Sedex and SMETA?

Sedex is the name of the organisation – SMETA is the name of an audit methodology. 

The Supplier Ethical Data Exchange (Sedex) is a not-for-profit, membership organisation that leads work with buyers and suppliers to deliver improvements in responsible and ethical business practices in global supply chains. 

SMETA (Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit) is the audit procedure created by the Sedex membership which is a compilation of good practice in ethical audit technique. Using SMETA, a supplier can have one audit conducted and share it with multiple customers, rather than having a different audit conducted for each customer. The SMETA documents are designed to be used by experienced auditors in line with current established practices.
SMETA has been developed to provide guidance for both 2-Pillar and 4-Pillar audits, allowing individual supply chains to choose their requirements. The guidance can be adopted and tailored to carry out audits against a range of other labour codes based on the conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).


A SMETA 2-Pillar audit comprises:

  • Labour Standards 
  • Health and Safety 
  • Additional Elements:
    • Universal Rights covering UNGP
    • Management Systems
    • Entitlement to Work
    • Subcontracting and Homeworking


A SMETA 4-Pillar audit contains in addition:

  • Environment (extended) – this replaces the Environment (shortened) section detailed above
  • Business Ethics