Understanding Sedex Audits: A comprehensive guide for ethical supply chains
sedex certification

Understanding Sedex Audits: A comprehensive guide for ethical supply chains

In our day-to-day lives, market competition is at its peak. However, with ongoing competition and challenges, some businesses are not solely working for profit, but they serve as responsible citizens of the country and work similarly. They are making an impactful move towards society and environmental growth by contributing to change-making. Social audits are one-way businesses can be consistent and report on their social and environmental impact. A social audit is the process of reviewing a company’s operations, business practices, and policies to evaluate its social, environmental, and ethical impact. 


As you are all aware, the supply chain plays a pivotal role in linking when a business depends on outsourcing. It becomes an important aspect to check that the suppliers or vendors with whom we are working as partners are functioning in an ethical manner that is beneficial for both of them. Thus, we believe that a standardized framework becomes one of the most productive ways to keep track of functioning at the supplier’s site and also helps to build a transparent supply chain. Let us get deep into this to gain proper insights about what SEDEX is, its benefits for working in the industry, and much more. 

What is SEDEX?

SEDEX expands for the Supplier Ethical Data Exchange. It is a non-profit organization that assists companies to smoothly manage global supply chains in an ethical and responsible business practice manner. It is also helpful in generating transparency through the presentation of a data exchange. Additionally, SEDEX offers a web-based database, which allows suppliers or vendors to communicate about ethical data or moral information, such as audit reports, with their customers. In a similar way, customers can monitor their suppliers and view the ethical reports shared with them for better analysis and work processes. 

What is SMETA? 

SMETA is referred to as the SEDEX Member Ethical Trade Audit. It is a social auditing methodology, allows companies to examine or evaluate their websites and suppliers to comprehend the working processes of their supply chain. Moreover, SMETA is responsible and crafted in such a way that it assists auditors in conducting thorough audit research that encircles all aspects of meaningful or relevant business practice, including SEDEX’s four pillars of labor, health and safety, environment, and business ethics. 

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What are SEDEX 2 Pillars and 4 Pillar Audits? 

Sedex certification offers two pillars of audit structures: 

  • SMETA 2- pillars of support
  • SMETA 4-pillars of support. 

Let’s explore these two concepts deeply to understand the pillars of SMETA Audits 

SMETA 2-Pillar Audit

This is basically monitoring the rules and regulations, ensuring that workers do not face any issues about their working rules or safety guidelines. 

  1. Labor Standards: The main aim of the 2-Pillar Audit is to maintain rules and regulations for working. In this pillar, auditors will assess the working conditions, working hours, compensation and wages, work contracts, discrimination, child labor, forced labor, and other work-related practices. The auditors will keep their eyes on the suppliers or businesses to check whether they are following international labor laws and regulations or not.
  2. Health and Safety: This parameter includes workplace safety, tools to tackle emergencies, like fire extinguishers, etc., and key beneficial terms for employees to maintain health care. The auditor will monitor how the business is performing with these things and whether employees benefit from them.

SMETA 4-Pillar Audit

It covers a more approachable scope of moral values and works, incorporating biological and business ethics. It ties up with the advancement of responsibility towards the workers as well as for the environment and corporate societal position, including the improvement of the functioning of representatives by encouraging them.

  1. Labor Standards: Like the 2-Pillar of Help Survey, the 4-Backing Point Audit includes certain work rules and guidelines, working circumstances, wages, salaries, and business practices.
  2. Health and Safety: As in the 2-Pillar of Help Survey, the main target of this is to ensure health, safety, and security in the work environment.
  3. Environment: The third pillar of help revolves around environmental supportability. This includes evaluating how an association affects the environment, the board, energy conservation, and other standard assets.
  4. Business Ethics: The fourth pillar will help, in general, have greater business ethics. This can consider all factors and include and assess issues related to corruption, paying installments on time, transparency, and ethical business practices.

SEDEX Benefits

Discover the numerous benefits of having Sedex certification in the overall development process. Some of the many are as follows:

  • Recognition as a socially compliant organization
  • Receiving the status of SEDEX-approved supplier and being updated in the SEDEX directory
  • An opportunity to expand through export
  • Compliance with legal, contractual, and regulatory compliance
  • With this certification, you can manage multi-tier data and other statistics smoothly and effectively. 
  • Assists in the improvement of the overall structure and provides a clear vision to promote business ethics norms and regulations. 
  • Reduced workload and greater employee involvement

Why is SEDEX certification important?

Ethical Profile: This certification will be helpful for businesses to maintain their reputation in the market by showing a commitment to moral business practices. such as creating an environment where equal opportunities prevail, perfect work conditions, and responsible work traditions.

Market accessibility opportunities for businesses: It will be a great chance for the suppliers they get the trust of the buyers and retailers because of their SEDEX certification, which is being preferred by them for further business strategies; moreover, this can facilitate the certification companies’ access to new markets and prospects.

Risk oversight: This certification will be helpful to identify any risk causing harm to the business. The SEDEX Certification reduces the chance of any mistakes happening that could lead to a bad reputation for the company; overall, this helps in maintaining the company’s image or reputation. 

Compliance with regulations: This Sedex certification helps reduce any sort of legal risk or issue by monitoring that a business complies with relevant rules and regulations.

Sustainability: SEDEX Certification aligns with sustainability goals, encouraging responsible resource management and environmental protection.

How can Legal4sure help your organization get SEDEX certification?

We at Legal4sure are well-established SMETA consultants for your SEDEX certification services. Our team is filled with experienced or skilled consultants and auditors who will help you efficiently receive SEDEX certification. We will help you ensure the facility is sustaining its ethical and responsible practices throughout its global supply chains by conducting surveillance audits.

Our skilled consultant team at Legal4sure can assist you with all the mandatory steps to grow your business and guide you through the implementation process. Having served various top clients like Flipkart, TATA, Reliance, and the list goes on, to get their organizations SEDEX certified with a proper and complete training process, Legal4sure has rich experience and the much-needed competence to help your organization get SEDEX certification without any difficulty. To learn more about how you can strengthen your organization with SEDEX, reach out to our consultants now.

Industries Legal4sure serves 

  • Plastic,
  • Rubber 
  • Textiles
  • Food 
  • Pharma 
  • Leather 
  • Furniture 
  • Toys 

Steps for Acquiring Sedex SMETA Certification 

There are various steps through which legal4sure ensures that the suppliers easily achieve the Sedex certification with complete documentation and verification. These steps are as follows: 

  • Registration: The foremost thing is to register online on Sedex to become a member of A or AB-based.
  • After this, you have to link your Sedex registration number provided by member A to step into the next process.
  • Carry out gap analysis: The next important step is to do a complete analysis and find the gap in the existing documentation. 
  • SAQ fulfillment comprises a set of questions online on the Sedex platform. There would be a set of questionnaires (self-assessment questions) that need to be completed before processing the documentation.  
  • Appointment of the leader to lead sedex implementation 
  • Defining roles, responsibilities, and authorities. 
  • Develop the required documents as per the compliance norms.
  • Conduct Audits.
  • Completion of audits with all the gap closures. 
  • Apply for SEDEX SMETA Audits & complete the Audits  

Follow these steps to achieve Sedex certification quickly and efficiently. It’s important to directly contact Legal4Sure or check our official documentation to get precise and up-to-date information on the services they provide as a compliance partner in Sedex SMETA audits. Furthermore, Sedex itself might list reputable compliance partners on its website or platform.

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