As one of ten authorised partner audit firms, TÜV SÜD has provided audit services on behalf of the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA) since the beginning of this year. RBA is the world's largest industry coalition dedicated to furthering corporate social responsibility in global supply chains. Founded in 2004, the non-profit organisation now has more than 140 corporate members directly employing more than 6 million people. More than 3.5 million people from over 120 countries contribute to the manufacture of RBA members' products.
RBA members, including many leaders in the electronics, IT, telecom, automotive and retail industries, support the rights and wellbeing of workers and communities worldwide that are affected by the global supply chain. RBA regular and full members commit to and are held accountable to a common code of conduct. RBA training and assessment instruments help ensure improvement of social, environmental and ethical aspects within a company and its supply chain.
This is where the third-party auditing firms come into play: they help ensure that RBA members comply with the established RBA standards. “The Validated Assessment Program (VAP) is the quality standard for on-site compliance verification”, explains Kapil Bansal, Senior Vice President TÜV SÜD America. “Standardisation enables comparable benchmarks to be applied across all countries participating in the programme. By conducting the audits, TÜV SÜD helps ensure that participating companies and their suppliers in various countries operate in compliance with the RBA Code of Conduct.”
An on-site audit according to the VAP standards takes between two and five days to complete. It comprises thorough document review, interviews with management and workers and a visual on-site inspection. TÜV SÜD is authorized to use RBA audit toolkits with RBA approved auditors. TÜV SÜD auditors are APSCA registered social compliance auditors as well. They specialise in identifying major non-conformities with the code, such as violations of restrictions on working hours and their underlying root causes.
The RBA Code of Conduct defines standards needed in the following areas: Labour, Health and Safety, Environmental protection, Ethics, and Management Systems. TÜV SÜD supports the RBA by providing expert auditing and assessment of compliance with these standards.
Press-contact: Dirk Moser-Delarami