Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit (SMETA)

What is Sedex and SMETA?

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

The Supplier Ethical Data Exchange (Sedex) is a not-for-profit, membership organization 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 best practice in ethical audit technique. It provides a globally-recognized way to assess responsible supply chain activities. 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 Organization (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

SMETA audits are becoming popular among global brands and retailers seeking to partner with suppliers that participate in SEDEX to ensure ethical trading and corporate social responsibility.

How SMETA benefits your organization

Our highly qualified auditors carry out on-site observations, conduct interviews with factory management and workers, inspect documents provided by the factory, and present their findings in a SMETA Audit Report. Based on the audit report, our experts can prepare a SMETA Corrective Action Plan Report (CAPR), outlining the improvements that the factory must make to achieve compliance and will help:

  • Reduce audit fatigue by providing one format for audits that is widely accepted
  • Motivate the workforce, while improving efficiency in the workplace
  • Enhance ethical trading programmes currently in place
  • Answer questions on ethical performance from non-government organizations and customers