SMETA Audits - Sedex Member Ethical Trade Audits (Intro to)

Date: Thursday,
March 2, 2023

10:00 AM PST | 01:00 PM EST

90 Minutes
Kenneth Zabel 
Webinar Id:
21 Days Left To Register


One Attendee
Unlimited Attendees


One Attendee
Unlimited Attendees ?


Live + Recorded
$299 $348  
One Attendee
Live + Recorded
$599 $698  
Unlimited Attendees ?


With over 30,000 members worldwide, the SEDEX community provides companies with the assurance that their partner meets the best practice requirements of the SMETA catalog in terms of sustainability in the supply chain.

Companies that have a SEDEX audit performed according to the SMETA guidelines and share this information in the database can show their buyers that they respect the principles of ethical and social sustainability in production. The findings of your audit are used to produce a detailed report for the SEDEX database. There you can provide your clientele with insight into the audit results and thus demonstrate you meet the requirements of your clientele.

A SMETA includes assessing compliance to Labor Standards (including Entitlement to Work, Subcontracting, and Homeworking), Health & Safety, workers’ rights, an Environmental Assessment, and Business Ethics.

On the other hand, buyers get the opportunity to effectively manage their supply chain according to these principles and thus reduce their risk. A SMETA audit looks into the areas of a company (supplier) where they may be lax in their adherence to the principles set forth by SMETA guidelines. This includes suppliers who are responsible for meeting ethical standards throughout the supply chain.

The SMETA standard itself focuses on using audits and reviews to improve the training of employees, improve supplier management, and stop the occurrence of forced labor or dangerous products. These audits help create policies that eliminate fraudulent and inappropriate actions from happening again.

  • SMETA intends to eliminate harmful practices such as forced labor
  • SMETA focuses on using audits to improve supplier management skills
  • SMETA has created intentions around educating employees about how not to let things like forced labor or other abusive activities with their suppliers happen

In terms of training and education, SMETA looks into whether or not suppliers are providing accurate and relevant training and other guidance materials. In addition to this, they also look into whether or not the training and other guidance documents are complete and accurate. In many cases, auditors conduct interviews with the employees of a company. During these interviews, they obtain further information on the attitudes and behaviors of the staff. From this information, the auditors create documents that focus on the areas of greatest concern. As a result of this, the auditors determine the areas of greatest concern and then create a draft of the SMETA guidelines for each supplier.

Why you should Attend:
A social audit is one of the best ways to understand the working conditions at a supplier site. An auditor physically attends the site - or workplace - of a business, enabling the auditor to assess the conditions on the ground.

Social audits enable businesses to assess their suppliers, monitor the health and safety of workers, and signal zero tolerance of human rights abuses such as child and forced labor. Once an audit is complete, buyer and supplier businesses can work together to address any issues, based on a Corrective Action Plan (CAPR).

This social audit methodology is designed for suppliers to share one report with multiple customers, meeting multiple customer requirements and reducing duplication in social compliance auditing.

SMETA is not a certification process or standard - it is one of the most widely used ethical audit formats in the world. The Ethical Trade Initiative (ETI Code) serves as the basis. As a rule, the impetus for a SEDEX audit comes from a supplier’s customer.

  • Demonstrate compliance with high standards for human rights and working conditions
  • Transparency of your social commitment to potential partners, clients, and customers
  • Exchange of information on an internationally recognized database; member audit firms post audits in the Sedex database and provide you with a link you may post or share with business partners.
  • Help ensure responsible business practices across the value chain

The auditor will check your information for compliance with the criteria of the SMETA. At the same time, auditors record any deficiencies and develop a concept with you to implement the identified potential for improvement through suitable measures.

Sedex helps more than 55,000 members in more than 180 countries to work together to better manage their social and environmental performance and implement measures to protect people, the environment, and their businesses.

Areas Covered in the Session:
  • Sedex Self-Assessment Questionnaire
  • Labor Standards, Entitlement to Work, Subcontracting, and Homeworking
  • Health & Safety
  • Focus on workers' rights
  • Environmental Assessment
  • Business Ethics - ethical business aspects
  • Accessing the Sedex Audit Database

Who Will Benefit:
  • Sales/Marketing Managers
  • CEOs
  • Human Relations Manager
  • Compliance Managers
  • Director of Operations

Speaker Profile
Kenneth Zabel began his career in quality management working for global product certification agencies. After working for NSF International for ten years, he managed certification programs at ETL Semko (Intertek) and CSA International (Canadian Standards Association). Ken has trained certification engineers and auditors across North America and in the U.K., Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, China, and South Korea. He has conducted workshops in Dubai for governmental administrators from Saudi Arabia on the benefits of, and how to implement programs compliant with ISO 9001:2015.

Ken’s SMETA and social compliance auditing began in 2017 for Asia Inspection (today QIMA). As a contractor, he has also conducted audits for ELEVATE, SGS North America, Intertek, Bureau Veritas, and UL-STR (Underwriter’s Laboratories).

You Recently Viewed