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Responsible Business Alliance (RBA) Code of Conduct Assessments

Social, environmental and ethical industry standards

Responsible Business Alliance (RBA) Code of Conduct Assessments

Social, environmental and ethical industry standards

What is the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA) Code of Conduct Assessments?

The Responsible Business Alliance (RBA) is the world’s largest corporate social responsibility coalition in global industry supply chains. Almost all electronics companies source components from multiple suppliers across the world, and it can be challenging to ensure that all those suppliers follow best practice when it comes to the principles of corporate social responsibility.

Responsible Business Alliance members can be confident that their suppliers and their own factories follow the highest social, environmental and ethical standards to ensure your employees and those of your suppliers are treated well. Implementation of the Code of Conduct not only improves your brand’s reputation but also ensure your profits remain stable while reducing the risks of negative publicity.

Why is the Responsible Business Alliance important?

Following the Responsible Business Alliance Code of Conduct demonstrates that your company takes the rights well-being of its workers seriously. Today’s consumers are increasingly concerned about the way the products they use are manufactured, and they prefer to buy products from brands they perceive as ‘ethical’.

If a brand is found not to follow the highest standards when it comes to workers’ rights in its facilities – or sources components from companies that treat employees poorly – its reputation can be badly damaged. Shareholders are likely to demand change and profits could be affected by negative publicity. Ensuring that both your own facilities and those of your suppliers follow the RBA Code of Conduct means you significantly reduce these risks.

Auditing facilities and your supply chain:

  • Ensures the highest health & safety standards and fair conditions for workers
  • Protects your brand
  • Instils trust in consumers and business customers
  • Mitigates the risk of expensive civil litigation or industrial action if found to be violating standards
  • Ensures business operations are environmentally responsible

TÜV SÜD is an RBA-approved third-party audit firm

TÜV SÜD is among a select number of organisations that are licensed to audit against the Responsible Business Alliance Code of Conduct. As one of the nine founding members of the APSCA (Association of Professional Social Compliance Auditors), we work closely with you to provide a one-stop service for auditing working conditions in your own factories and in your suppliers’ facilities to ensure they meet the standards set out by the RBA Code of Conduct.

Our expert auditors are trained to follow the RBA audit toolkits and are able conduct thorough and in-depth assessments of your sites. This gives you a comprehensive compliance program ensuring strict business integrity during the audit process. Our service is offered globally, with an RBA-authorised audit firm per country. One of the most fundamental RBA programs is the Validated Assessment Program (VAP), which is the leading standard for onsite compliance verification and effective, shareable audits.

The RBA offers three levels of VAP recognition which TÜV SÜD can conduct:

  • Platinum: for factories with a minimum VAP score of 200 and all Priority, Major and Minor findings closed
  • Gold: for factories with a minimum VAP score of 180 and all Priority and Major findings closed
  • Silver: for factories with a minimum VAP score of 160 and all Priority findings closed

TÜV SÜD’s Responsible Business Alliance (RBA) Code of Conduct services

TÜV SÜD has extensive knowledge and experience of the auditing process for the electronics industry supply chain. The RBA Code of Conduct auditing process lasts 1-6 days depending on the size of the facility being assessed. Our auditors are also trained to spot hard-to-find violations such as instances of forced labour.

We offer three types of RBA-approved auditing services:

  • Validated Assessment Program (VAP) audit: An RBA-approved, independent third-party audit firm provides an onsite audit of a supplier, potential supplier, and/or a company’s own facility. The end-to-end process and the audit firm are independently managed by the RBA Audit Quality Manager (AQM) to ensure process integrity and adherence to the RBA VAP Quality Management Guidelines. The Auditee is required to provide necessary Corrective Action Plans following the release of the Validated Assessment Report (VAR) and undergo a closure assessment as needed.
  • Customer Managed Audit (CMA) (non-VAP audit): An assessment of a facility overseen by one of the facility's customers
  • Auditee Managed Audit (AMA) (non-VAP audit): An audit overseen by the auditee

TÜV SÜD is also able to provide actionable plans to improve the conditions for workers on sites.

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