Sedex Now Mandates APSCA-approved Auditors for all SMETA Audits

SOURCE: SCS Global Services


By Oren Jaffe, SCS Global Services

Global retailers and brands are increasingly demanding greater ethical accountability within their supply chains, including third-party social compliance audits. Not surprisingly, these companies want assurance that the organizations and individuals conducting these audits have the qualifications and integrity needed to do the job right.

Sedex, a leading international ethical trade organization focused on improving working conditions in global supply chains, has recently addressed the issue of auditor competence. Starting in July, it has allowed only APSCA-approved auditors from APSCA-approved Audit Affiliate Companies to conduct its SMETA social audits. SMETA, which stands for Sedex Member Ethical Trading Audits, is applicable to farms, factories, processing plants and manufacturing facilities in a wide range of industries, and is recognized by leading retailers such as Wal-Mart, Costco, Amazon, Whole Foods, and Target. APSCA (the Association of Professional Social Compliance Auditors) is a professional industry association dedicated to advancing the use of reputable, independent social compliance audits as a tool to assure good workplace conditions worldwide. APSCA auditors are among the most proven and rigorous auditors working in social compliance throughout the world.

Third-party auditors have to meet a very high bar indeed to be competent to effectively audit against the SMETA protocol.  Based on the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) base code, International Labor Organization (ILO) conventions and local country laws, SMETA audits include assessment of labor standards, human rights, worker health and safety, environmental compliance, and business ethics performance.

Social compliance audits extend well beyond stated company policies to assure that workplace conditions meet labor laws and other required human rights standards. Confidential worker interviews, direct observation of working conditions and workplace health and safety, independent review of records and HR documentation, and management interviews are all part of the SMETA audit. As part of its commitment to promoting responsible social compliance auditing, APSCA has published a detailed “Competency Framework” that outlines what it takes to deliver effective auditing services. Sedex has updated its Audit Quality Program and removed many AAC’s that were not APSCA approved firms.

Check out our new SMETA video:

SCS is a proud APSCA member firm and is approved by Sedex as an Affiliate Audit Company (AAC) to conduct SMETA audits.. SCS is committed to the highest degree of integrity and supporting social compliance auditing best practices. To learn more about the Sedex Audit Quality Program’s new minimum requirements, click here:, or get in touch with SCS to schedule your SMETA audit.


Oren Jaffe is the sales & marketing manager for food sustainability certifications at SCS Global Services. To reach Oren, contact or call 510.882.0951.


Tweet me: With global retailers & brands increasingly demanding high accountability for #humanrights conditions within their supply chain, #SMETA #socialaudits are imperative. Read our latest blog to learn about improvements to social auditor quality with @the_APSCA:

Contact Info:

Shyama Devarajan
SCS Global Services
+1 (520) 548-8966

KEYWORDS: scs global services, SMETA, smeta social audit, Sedex, social compliance, apsca, CSR, Sustainability

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