Improvements to Audit Data Quality

At Sedex we are dedicated to making continuous improvement to all our products and services. We are currently undertaking an initiative to further improve our audit data quality.

Historically, SMETA audit methodology has been freely available to anyone to access and download. As the number of SMETA audits increases it is imperative that we continue to ensure the data collected on the Sedex platform is of the highest quality and that SMETA audit methodology is being conducted at the highest level.

To support the continuous improvements of the quality of audit data for our members, we are making some changes to our Auditor accounts and introducing charges to Audit companies for the use of SMETA globally and uploading into Sedex Advance. As a collaborative platform, we will continue to allow non-SMETA audits to be uploaded into the system.

Benefits of these improvements include:

  • Support the management of SMETA audits to drive high quality data capture and continuous process improvement.
  • Enable further development of the SMETA methodology to continually support our members and improve other Sedex products and services.
  • Improve Sedex’s ability to analyse data from the full range of SMETA audits undertaken for Members and non-Members.
  • Improve how SMETA is used to help ensure reliable data output and understanding of a supplier site.
  • Facilitate greater trust in data collected from SMETA to reduce the need for duplicate audits.

Accessibility to the SMETA audit methodology

What changes are being made?

To help improve Sedex’s ability to track the status of audits, we are changing the process to access SMETA. As of 1st November, the SMETA audit methodology will no longer be freely available for public download from the Sedex website and auditors will be required to pay a fee. SMETA will only be available to Affiliate Audit Companies and Sedex Members with a Buyer (A) or Buyer/Supplier (AB) account, on the Sedex platform.

What are the fees that Sedex will charge Audit Companies to access a SMETA Audit and upload this into the platform?

From 1st November 2018, all auditors conducting a SMETA audit will be charged a fee for accessing a SMETA audit. This cost is fixed and will be charged directly to the audit company.

  • SMETA audits will be £50 per audit for audits conducted for Sedex Members
  • SMETA audits will be £150 per audit for audits conducted for non-Sedex Members
  • Non-SMETA audits uploaded in to Sedex Advance will be charged at £200 per audit.

How will customers differentiate the new version of SMETA from the old version?

From 1st November, each SMETA template downloaded will carry a unique reference code. This code will be in the format (Year) (Country Code) ZAA1234567.

Can Buyer (A), Buyer/Supplier (AB) and Supplier (B) Members keep using auditors of their own choice?

Yes. However, only Audit Companies that have a Sedex account will be able to access a validated SMETA report and upload this into Sedex Advance.

Will these changes impact first party or second party auditors?

First party or second party auditors conducting audits on behalf of a Buyer or Buyer/Supplier Member can continue to use SMETA and upload audits via the Member account. If you are a first or second party auditor, please contact your Sedex Account Manager for a new “User Role” for your Sedex account.

Changes to Auditor Accounts with Sedex

What are the changes being made to auditor accounts?

  • Independent Auditor Accounts will cease to exist on 1st November 2018.
  • We will be transitioning the existing Audit Company Group (ACG) accounts across to a new audit account.
  • All new Audit accounts will be known as Affiliate Audit Companies (AAC).

Why are auditor account changes occurring?

We are making these changes to improve the quality of audit data for our members and ensure that there is clear criteria that auditors must meet to conduct a SMETA audit.

What changes are being made to Independent Auditors Accounts?

Independent Auditor accounts will close on 31st October 2018. Independent Auditors can apply for a new Affiliate Audit Company account with Sedex. If auditors meet the criteria, their accounts will be automatically migrated across to the new Sedex Auditor Accounts by 1st November 2018.

What will happen to any open non-compliances in the closed accounts?

Independent Auditors will no longer be able to access their audits after 31st October 2018.
Independent Auditors will need to follow-up and complete all open non-compliances by 31st October 2018. Sedex recommends that all open non-compliances are closed within three months of an audit. Any non-compliances that are still open on 1st November will have their status changed to “Open – Auditor account suspended”. It will not be possible to mark them as closed in future unless the auditor registers for a new Sedex Audit Account as an Affiliate Audit Company.

Can Independent Auditors still access old audits?

Independent Auditors can access all audit data until 31st October 2018. From 1st November, Independent Auditors will be unable to access audit data via their previous account. If Independent Auditors would like to continue accessing their account, they can apply for a new Auditor Account as an Affiliate Auditor Company. If the auditor successfully meets the criteria all audit data will be migrated across to their new account.

Will Buyer (A), Buyer/Supplier (AB) and Supplier (B) Members still be able to access audits completed by Independent Auditors?

All members will continue to have access to all old audit information and will not be impacted by these account changes.

Can auditors keep using SMETA?

All Independent Auditors can continue conducting SMETA audits until 31st October 2018.From 1st November 2018, SMETA audits can only be conducted by Affiliate Audit Companies. Each Audit report downloaded will carry a reference number to show that it was officially downloaded from Sedex Advance. If Independent Auditors choose to continue to use the old SMETA template it will not be considered as an official SMETA audit after 31st October 2018.