Sedex Stakeholder Forum

The Sedex Stakeholder Forum (SSF) brings together leaders from across the ethical trade and responsible sourcing industry to discuss the challenges they face and solve collaboratively. The forum is also home to SMETA, one of the world’s most widely used audit formats.

The SSF was previously known as the the Associate Auditor Groups / AAG.

The SSF working groups

The SSF is made up of a collection of dynamic working groups. The members within these groups include brands, retailers, suppliers, NGOs, industry experts, associations and monitoring firms, all of which are significantly involved in ethical trade auditing. The forum is active with a variety of members participating from all over the world and audit companies convening in the audit network group. Local user groups are currently taking place in the UK, China and Latin America to tackle regional-specific issues.
The SSF working groups operate collaboratively to develop responsible sourcing content and methodologies that are ‘fit for purpose’. This content and the methodologies are designed for all users and impacted people (Sedex members, non-members, workers and their communities) with the main aim of improving business performance and workers’ lives.
The working groups also provide guidance and direction to Sedex staff, helping them develop the products and services that will most benefit Sedex members to manage responsible sourcing in their supply chains.


 Upcoming Sedex Stakeholder Forum

The SSF group meet biannually. The next meeting will take place in October 2018. We will announce more details in the coming months. If you have questions, please email


List of SSF audit company members

* Member of regional SSF (China) only

Being a member of the SSF does not affirm the competencies of, or certify, auditors. Sedex does not approve auditors or audit bodies.

Sedex will accept audits from all auditors and we believe it is the right and responsibility of our members, purchasers and suppliers to decide and agree which auditors they will use.

How do I join the SSF?

To apply for Sedex Stakeholder Forum membership please complete the application form and return to Participation in working groups is a condition of SSF membership. Read the SSF Terms of Reference.

The annual fee for SSF membership (audit companies and non-members) is based on company turnover. Access to the SSF for Sedex members is included in their membership fee.

Group turnover Annual fee
>£250 million £7,200
£10-250 million* £2,940
£5-10 million* £720
<£5 million* £360

* NGOs: income rather than turnover

What are the benefits of being a member of the SSF?

Members of the SSF benefit from:

  • A chance to shape the future of ethical auditing and contribute to future versions of SMETA
  • Recognition by the global community of Sedex members as helping to drive convergence and best practice in auditing
  • Permanent log-in facilities and a pre-populated email address on Sedex Advance, making it easier for a supplier to select you as their chosen auditor
  • Access to Supplier (B) member self-assessment data, once you have been nominated as an audit partner of that member
  • Access to non-compliance and other data relating to audit reports uploaded by your own company
  • Listed on the Sedex website

Please note that Sedex does not certify or accredit auditors/audit companies and being a member of the SSF does not infer any increased competence.

Can I use Sedex without being a member of the SSF?

Yes, you do not need to be a member of the SSF in order to perform, or upload a SMETA audit or any other kind of audit onto Sedex Advance. We encourage all auditors to use the system. See our Auditors page for more information on how to use Sedex as a member of the Audit Company Group.