For a modern business, an ethical supply chain is no longer an optional "feel-good" PR tool. Today, consumers, governments and NGOs are putting increasing pressure on brands and retailers to ensure transparency throughout their supply chains. Social accountability is an important element of a company's sourcing and marketing strategy, which helps ensure better product quality, foster consumer loyalty, and emphasize good corporate citizenship.
QIMA offers comprehensive ethical audit programs that can be conducted according to international standards, your company's in-house specifications or our own Best-In-Class Protocol.
All QIMA ethical audit programs cover the following aspects:
If your company already has a social accountability program in place, QIMA can tailor its existing ethical audit programs to suit your needs and ensure the compliance of your suppliers to your specific requirements.
Our professionally certified auditors can conduct ethical audits according to all major internationally recognized social audits standards, including:
Using the best practices of existing standards and building on our own experience from performing over 10,000 audits every year, we have developed our own Best-In-Class ethical audit protocol.
When QIMA auditors visit a factory, they use GPS coordinates to confirm that your products are only being manufactured at the approved facility, and no unauthorized subcontracting is taking place.
Our on-site process consists of:
Furthermore, our Supplier Workshops (held before and during the audit) help educate your suppliers about the audit program, get them more involved and help them achieve compliance.
Our worker interviews are structured and held in a way that ensures transparency and honesty. During the interview, our auditors use voice stress analysis and cross-check information to detect any deception or inconsistencies. Factory staff are also given an opportunity to provide anonymous feedback.
QIMA has adopted an approach based on the key competences of auditors – attitude, skills and knowledge – in line with the reference tools developed by the Global Social Compliance Programme (GSCP).
All QIMA auditors are professionally certified and undergo regular training to stay up to date with the latest standards and regulatory requirements. The average QIMA ethical auditor has performed 580 audits.
Child labour: Companies may not support the use of child labor. The Social Accountability International (SAI) standard defines child labor as the work of "any person under 15 years of age, unless local minimum age law stipulates a higher age for work."
Forced Labor: Companies may not support the use of "forced labor."
Health and Safety: Companies must provide a safe and healthy working environment for their employees.
Freedom of Association and Right to collective Bargaining: Companies must respect the right of all employees to form and join trade unions of their choice and to bargain collectively.
Discrimination: Companies may not engage in or support discrimination in hiring, compensation, access to training, promotion, termination or retirement based on race, caste, national origin, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, union membership, or political affiliation.
Disciplinary practices: Companies may not engage in or support the use of corporal punishment, mental or physical coercion or verbal abuse.
Working hours: Companies must comply with applicable laws and industry standards on working hours.
Compensation: Companies must ensure that wages paid for a standard working week meet at least legal or industry minimum standards.
Management systems: Top management must define the company's policy for social accountability and labor conditions to ensure that it includes a commitment to conform to all requirements of this standard and national and other applicable laws.
With over 2,500 trained and qualified inspectors and auditors, we guarantee to be at any factory within 48 hours. We follow the strictest hiring standards, employing only university graduates, with a minimum requirement of five years experience in quality control and auditing. Each inspector and auditor is native to the area in which they work, with an unparalleled expertise in local business practices.Service Coverage Map
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