Ethical Trade and Responsible Sourcing Program

Update on the Global Standard for Ethical Trade & Responsible Sourcing

Following feedback received from sites, CBs, auditors and other stakeholders, we have concluded that now is the time to revise the Global Standard for Ethical Trade & Responsible Sourcing, so that it more closely aligns with the requirements of ISO 17021.

As well as harmonising the audit protocol so that our CBs can become accredited to ISO 17021 with their local Accreditation Bodies, it will enhance and support the work of our Compliance Programme, and also sites that aspire to achieve certification to the Global Standard.

In addition, our application to be benchmarked against the Consumer Goods Forum’s Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative criteria has recently been accepted and we are delighted to be working towards achieving recognition, in tandem with our first accredited CBs.

In the meantime, Issue 2 of the Global Standard is currently going through Technical Advisory Committee review. The intention is that it will be published in October 2020, together with the updated, best-in-class auditor and site training and support that BRCGS is well-known for. 

Revisiting the Ethical Trade & Responsible Sourcing Risk Assessment

Although we are revising the Global Standard for Ethical Trade & Responsible Sourcing, the Risk Assessment remains unchanged. As you may recall, the Risk Assessment provides sites with a health check against the 5 Vital Signs of ethical trade and responsible sourcing and is a separate product to the Standard. It takes a half-day to deliver the Risk Assessment by a trained BRCGS auditor and it can be bolted onto a Product Safety audit or can be stand-alone.

If you have auditors that are interested in qualifying to conduct Risk Assessments, the auditor training can be found on the BRCGS Bookshop. It costs £150 per person and is delivered in 3 webinars which take about a half-day to watch, followed by an exam. Once an auditor has passed, their CB then updates the individual’s auditor profile and submits it to BRCGS for approval in the usual way.

Despite ongoing Covid-19 restrictions we have been able to continue discussions with specifiers and their sites to roll out projects where the Risk Assessment will be delivered as a bolt on to Product Safety audits. We hope to showcase these case studies at the next Delivery Partners’ conference, to show how it works in practice.

You can find more information about the Risk Assessment on BRCGS Participate or you can purchase a downloadable pdf copy from the BRCGS Bookshop.