On 19 July, the fifth online seminar planned for this year by Ethical Trade Forums was held on the topic of Social Compliance and audits in companies.

Although the initially planned duration was one and a half hours, it was extended to more than two hours during which all the topics contained in the presentation were developed and the different questions of the attendees were shared both, during the registration to the seminar and throughout the session.

ETF director Sergio Barberá was the speaker, as he is an Expert SA 8000 – APSCA and SMETA auditor and has extensive practical experience in this field.

After an introduction to Social Compliance, he went through the different existing initiatives for different sectors, the nine classic SA8000 requirements and the additional ones, to move on to the existing types of social audits such as GRASP, SMETA, BSCI, AIM, ICS and SA8000.  He also delved into the types of audits according to their duration, scope, profile of auditors, etc., to end this block by reviewing new trends such as Agenda 2030, responsible sourcing, etc.

Then he focused on some of the work developed in the area of action of Ethical Trade Forums applicable to this area, including the results of surveys on the impact of the good practices presented at the Forums, as well as some of the conclusions drawn from the last June Event.  This information is interesting to know in order to verify that the impact of the work carried out by the companies as part of the ETFs can indeed be reliably measured.

The content of the session then focused specifically on the SMETA social audit. It went through all the necessary steps of a standard audit, explaining each one in detail, with different examples and its supporting tools.

The process, compliance requirements, how to deal with an audit and its benefits were the topics of the last part of the presentation which, according to the feedback received afterwards, was of great interest to the attendees.

Given the extensive information content presented by the expert, and at the request of the attendees, a second part of this Seminar will be organised in which some of the contents presented will be discussed in greater depth. The date of this Seminar will be communicated soon.