Sedex members ethical trade audit (SMETA)

Social and ethical audit

Social and ethical audit


Sedex is one of the world’s leading ethical trade service providers, working to improve working conditions in global supply chains. They provide practical tools, services and a community network to help companies improve their responsible and sustainable business practices, and source responsibly. Sedex developed Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit (SMETA) as a audit methodology for ethical trade.


Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit (SMETA) is an audit methodology. It provides a compilation of best practice ethical audit techniques to help auditors conduct high quality audits that encompass all aspects of responsible business practice, covering Sedex’s four pillars of Labour, Health and Safety, Environment and Business Ethics.


Using SMETA, companies can identify good practices in employment conditions. Auditing using SMETA offers benefits such as providing evidence that your company has a commitment to ethical trading, which is increasingly valued by consumers. It ensures that you can legally claim your products are ‘fair trade’ and as such gain a competitive edge by demonstrating your ethical stance


TÜV SÜD is one of the Sedex Affiliate Audit Companies (AAC) and is authorised to conduct both SMETA audit and Sedex Virtual Assessment. We are able to give both the SMETA-2 pillar and SMETA-4 pillar audits.

A SMETA 2-Pillar audit comprises:

  • Labour Standards
  • Health and Safety
  • Additional Elements
    • Universal Rights covering UNGP
    • Management Systems
    • Entitlement to Work
    • Subcontracting and Homeworking
    • Shortened Environment Assessment


A SMETA 4-Pillar audit includes all the elements found in the 2-Pillar audit and in addition the following:

  • Environment (extended) – this replaces the Environment (shortened) section detailed above
  • Business Ethics


With the complicated and prolonged situation of the COVID 19 epidemic, SEDEX has introduced a virtual assessment service. TÜV SÜD Vietnam is one of the Affiliated Audit Companies (AACs) that have been vetted and approved to conduct the Sedex Virtual Assessment.

The Sedex Virtual Assessment is broken down into six key process steps, which will be outlined in this section of the document. The process steps are:

  1. Sedex Virtual Assessment Request
  2. Site Suitability Checks
  3. Assessment Planning
  4. Assessment Preparation
  5. Assessment Execution
  6. Reporting

To know if your factory is suitable to conduct a Sedex Virtual Assessment, please contact us through [email protected].


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