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A Toolkit for Responsible Businesses
Boy working in match-making industry

Auditing: Getting Started

Auditing is central to the implementation of an effective social compliance system and should be followed by the process of audit results, evaluation of audit data, and planning and activities based on this evaluation.

As discussed in Step 1, Engage Stakeholders and Partners, if you are part of an industry or multi-industry group, this group may already have trained auditors available and/or auditor training materials.  It may have complete audit tools that comport with the group’s code.  Many of these groups, such as the Global Social Compliance Program (GSCP) and the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI), coordinate to conduct joint audits of shared suppliers, or to share audit reports.

Once you have targeted certain areas of your supply chain as higher risk and communicated to the relevant individuals and organizations their roles and responsibilities in your social compliance system, you can begin to set up audits.  To ensure successful audits, you will need to make sure you have the right personnel in place, and that they have the tools they need.

The Key Role of Workers and Unions

One of the most effective ways to monitor supply chains is through workers themselves and the unions that represent them.  Workers and unions can bring issues to your company’s attention before any audit takes place.  If a union is present in a workplace being audited, it should be consulted up front; if no union is present, worker interviews and input should be an integral part of the audit.

In any audit, when violations are found, you should remediate them. This is covered in detail in Step 6, Remediate Violations.

Continue to The Audit Team   >>