An ethical audit is a thorough formal examination of the labour practices of a particular workplace or company. It is a verifiable process to understand, measure, report on, and help improve an organisation’s social and environmental performance.

Workers in Africa

Ethical audits help improve an organisation’s social and environmental performance

Storing and reporting on ethical audit data is probably one of the biggest challenges faced by many businesses. By offering a sophisticated  IT solution Sedex can support companies who  wish to maintain and report on ethical data .

By enabling suppliers to control their audit data  Sedex can  reduce duplication and ease the burden on suppliers facing multiple audits.

The Sedex system allows members to upload all social audit types and is flexible to suit all members’ programmes.

Audits and suppliers
Sedex allows suppliers to take responsibility for their own workplace standards. Suppliers can commission and upload all types of ethical audits to Sedex and can also demonstrate improvements by actioning and recording corrective actions. These corrective actions are then independently verified on the system by the original auditor.

Each supplier has control over his own data and can choose which customers can view this information. Used correctly, Sedex allows a supplier share one audit with multiple customers.

Audits and buyers
Sedex enables members at the middle and top of the supply chain to directly involve suppliers in their own audit and improvement activity. The purchasing members can review and summarise this data easily, giving them more time to work with their suppliers on improvement actions.

By allowing suppliers  to share the same data with many customers, and enabling customers to easily manage this information, Sedex helps reduce the need for multiple audits, allowing all parties to concentrate on making improvements.

Auditors on Sedex
Unlike many other platforms, we encourage all auditors to use the Sedex system and there are a number of auditor types using Sedex – The Associate Auditor Group (AAG), The Audit Company Group (ACG) and Independent Auditors.

Sedex does not accredit auditors and you do not need to be a member of an auditor group  to conduct or upload a SMETA audit.

In this section

  • The AAG: The AAG is a small group of auditing companies who are frequent system users. The group works together to drive best practice in the field of social audits. Click here for information on the work of the AAG and a list of AAG members. Detailed information on application criteria can be found here. For information about the Audit Company Group and Independent Auditors, please click here.
  • SMETA: As part of our aim to drive convergence and reduce duplication, we have developed a common audit methodology and report format compiled of best practice in ethical trade audit technique. This is known as SMETA – the Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit. Click here to find out more about SMETA and download the SMETA documents.
  • Auditing resources: Sedex encourages knowledge sharing and aims to spread good practice in ethical auditing. For information and advice on ethical audits please visit our ‘Auditing resources’ section where you will be able to access support documents and other useful resources.
  • FAQs: For further information on how auditors can use the Sedex platform please read our Auditor FAQs.