SMETA 6.0: Sedex Ethical Audit

Supplier Ethical Data Exchange (SEDEX) is one of the world’s largest collaborative platforms for sharing responsible sourcing data on supply chains, used by more than 50,000 members in over 150 countries. With an estimated 230,000 audited sites, SMETA may well be the most widely used ethical audit format in the world.

Because the SMETA methodology is recognized by an ever increasing number of companies and the audit results can be shared in the Sedex Database, the unified methodology reduces audit duplication and lightens the burden for suppliers.

In order to reflect the ongoing evolution of ethical auditing techniques, SEDEX updated the format: SMETA 6.0 in 2017. It’s not new to the industry, but it’s still new to quite some organizations, based on the recently received inquiries. Therefore, we make a recap on it.

Today is the International Women’s Day. Women rights is one of the perspective in a SMETA audit, so such discussion today has additional meaning.

What is SMETA 6.0?

SMETA 6.0 is an audit format that describes good practice in ethical auditing. As one of the most commonly used ethical audit methodologies in the world, SMETA plays an important role in the effort to ensure responsible sourcing and transparency in supply chains. SMETA audits focus on labor standards, health & safety in the workplace, and optionally also on environmental aspects and ethical business practices.

What’s New in SMETA 6.0?

SMETA 6.0 preserves the structure and underlying principles of its previous versions. SMETA is based upon the ETI Base Code, which has not seen major changes in the last couple of years.

Still, the new version introduces a number of improvements and changes:

  • Sedex has created a supplemental approach for private employment agencies, to assess the working conditions of workers who are supplied by private employment agencies to work temporarily at user enterprise sites.
  • Section 0.A on Human Rights: A new section has been dedicated to the management of human rights. The section focuses on assessing the extent to which the sites understand and manage their human rights impacts. Information will be gathered as observations rather than non-compliances, as specific non-compliances are captured in the other relevant sections of the audit report. SMETA 6.0 is not a full Human Rights Assessment, but instead a check on the site’s implementation of processes to meet their human rights responsibilities.
  • Each section now contains measurement criteria for good examples, which gives greater visibility to good practices that go beyond the requirements of the code or the law.
  • Section 8 – Regular Employment contains a new set of measurement criteria related to recruitment practices. The purpose of these new criteria is to provide greater transparency on the situation of agency workers and contracted workers.
  • The Pillar ‘Business Ethics’ has been overhauled. From version 6.0, it is allowed to note non-compliances for business ethics. The section focuses on compliance with the applicable laws and regulations as well as the prevention of fraud, bribery and corruption.

Where to Find the Relevant Documents?

SMETA guidance consists of 2 parts, with one part describing the audit methodology (called “Best Practice Guidance” – BPG) and the second part details Measurement Criteria. Both documents are available on the Sedex website. Also available for download are a template for the SMETA audit report and a template for the corrective action plan. Click here for more information, such as Sedex Audit service processes.

Supports by DQS

As an effort for the industries’ sustainable development, DQS is a member of the Sedex Associate Auditor Group and has SMETA auditors all over the world for Sedex Audit service.
On the other hand, DQS Academy provides EHS related professional training courses.

供應商商業道德信息交流機制(SEDEX) 是世界上最大的分享供應鏈中的負責任採購信息的協作平台之一。Sedex 擁有來自150多個國家合共超過50,000名會員。在全球有近230,000個受審核場地,SMETA 可能是世界上最被廣泛使用的道德審核模式。

由於SMETA方法得到越來越多公司的認可,加上供應商可以和大量買方在 Sedex 數據庫中共享審核結果,這樣可以減少重複的審核並減輕對供應商的負擔。

為了反映道德審核技術的不斷發展,SEDEX 在2017年更新了新一代模式:SMETA 6.0。這對業界來說並不陌生,但基於近來收到的一些查詢,SMETA 6.0 對一些組織來說仍然是新事物。 今天是國際婦女節,而婦女權益是SMETA審核中的一個方面,所以今天做這樣的討論也更有意義。

什麼是SMETA 6.0

SMETA 6.0是一種審核模式,描述道德審核的良好實踐。 作為世界上最常用的道德審核方法之一,SMETA在確保供應鏈中負責任的採購和透明度方面發揮著重要作用。 SMETA重點關注工作場所內的勞工標準,健康與安全,以及環境和商業道德。


SMETA 6.0有哪些新功能?

SMETA 6.0保留了以前版本的架構和基礎原理。SMETA是基於基於道德交易倡議 (ETI) 基本準則,這準則在過去幾年都沒有太大更改。然而新版本引進了一些改進和變化,例如:

  • Sedex為私營就業機構增設補充內容,以評估由私營職業介紹所提供的在企業工作的臨時工人的工作條件。
  • 關於人權的第0.A:新的章節是專門關於人權管理方面。 本節重點評估企業對其人權的了解和管理程度。 資訊收集只會用作觀察而非不符合項,因為在審核報告的其他相關部分包含具體的不符合的情況。 SMETA 6.0不是一個完整的人權評估,而是對企業實施的履行其人權責任的過程的一個檢查。
  • 現在每個章節都會包含良好示例的衡量標準,從而更好地了解何謂超出準則或法規要求的良好實踐。
  • 第8節 – 正規就業 包含新的一套與招聘相關的衡量標準。 這些新標準的目的是為派遣工和合約工人的情況提供更大的透明度。
  • 商業道德章節已經被徹底變更。 從版本6.0開始,允許記錄商業道德的不符合項。 本節重點關注企業是否遵守適用的法規以及防止欺詐、賄賂和腐敗。


SMETA指引由兩部分組成,第一部分描述審核方法(稱為“最佳實踐指引” –  BPG),第二部分詳細介紹衡量標準。 這兩份文件都可以在Sedex網站上找到。另外,還可以在Sedex網站上下載SMETA審核報告的模板和糾正措施計劃的模板。按此瞭解更多關於Sedex 審核服務流程等信息。


致力於業界的可持續性發展,DQS 是 Sedex 授權審核組織 的成員之一,提供Sedex 審核服務的審核資源分佈全球各地。
DQS 學堂提供EHS相關專業培訓課程


Note: SMETA is trade mark of Sedex.
Reference source: DQS CFS