The Supplier Ethical Data Exchange (Sedex) is a non-profitable organization for businesses, who are committed towards the continuous improvement of ethical performance within their supply chains. It was founded in 2001 by a group of UK retailers to merge the social audit standards and monitoring practices.

Through SEDEX a registered user can store, access and share online information in a secured way. This being a multi user system, buyers can view and manage data for multiple suppliers. As well as suppliers can share data for multiple buyers. It is fully secured and the access is based on the user profile.

Sedex is not a certification audit, but it’s the name of the organization and SMETA is the name of an audit methodology. The concept used describes a methodology based on the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) Base Code.

Sedex leads to work with buyers & suppliers to deliver improvements in responsible and ethical business practices in global supply chains. Sedex composes of four pillars that are Labour, Health and Safety, Environment and Business Ethics. While audits can be carried out for 2 pillars or 4 pillars.

SMETA 2 Pillar audit coverage

  • Labour
  • Health & Safety
  • Additional Elements:
  • Management Systems
  • Entitlement to Work
  • Subcontracting and Homeworking
  • Environmental Assessment (shortened)

SMETA 4 Pillar audit Coverage (Additional to SMETA 2 Pillar audit coverage)

  • Environmental Assessment (extended)
  • Business Ethics

Applicability (Which organizations can apply for SEDEX compliance??)

  • Manufacturing units including sub-contractors
  • Service sector including Educational institutes, Hospitals and other service providers.
  • Any other business units irrespective of nature of business, size and location.

Focus Points – Implementation of Sedex requirements

  • Labor Standards.
  • Health and Safety.
  • Management Systems.
  • Entitlement to Work.
  • Subcontracting and Homeworking.
  • Environmental assessment (complex)
  • Business Ethics.

Benefits of SMETA Audit (Sedex Requirements)

  • Availing the Status as an approved supplier to parent organization
  • Recognition of socially compliant organization
  • Opportunity for exports. Supplier Approval by overseas customers
  • Mandatory requirement for being an out-sourcing sub-contractor to parent company
  • Compliance with business, legal, contractual, and regulatory requirements
  • Improved structure and focus with respect to Business Ethics and Anti-bribery Management System

Sedex Requirements Implementation Process by PQSmitra

The initial review of the existing practices being followed at the organization is the starting point for the SMETA audit in accordance with SEDEX requirements. PQSmitra Team helps in easy understanding of the SEDEX requirements and simple methods for practical implementation. 100% documentation support is offered to achieve successful audit results.The implementation process is described below:

  • Initial visits and review of the existing system with respect to SEDEX Requirements
  • Gap analysis and planning for compliance
  • Documentation including procedures, work instructions etc.
  • Internal audits to verify the compliance prior to final audit
  • Management review
  • SMETA audit (2 Pillars or 4 Pillars)as per SEDEX requirements.
  • Closure of non-conformities