The Audit Process
We are often asked “How does an audit work, and what do you do during an audit?” The audits ICG conducts are based upon an established code such as WRAP or SMETA, or to a company’s own code.
- Prior to starting an audit, we meet with the client by phone or in person to understand the expectations the company has regarding the audit of their own facilities or their supplier’s facilities.
- We fully explain the audit process from initial contact with the facility, what the process entails, materials we will examine, and management and employee interviews, and photos to be taken.
- Determine the length of the audit based upon the available budget taking into account code-specific requirements. For example, WRAP requires a certain number of audit days and number of employees to be interviewed based upon the size of the workforce.
- We identify any specific areas of concern on the part of the company.
- We will sign a non-disclosure agreement between ICG and your company if requested.
- A member of our audit staff will be assigned who speaks the local language and is knowledgeable of the local laws, customs and business practices.
- The audit is conducted to determine compliance with the standards outlined in the company code and/or audit instrument. It is not an exercise to determine where the facility is deficient but to determine overall how the facility fares against generally accepted business and social norms.
- Where appropriate, during the audit we will share best practices which have been adopted by leading socially responsible companies. Which we have identified during our decades of audit experience.
- The audit process is as follows:
- Opening meeting – Meet with the management team to explain the events of the day, documents we will need to review, employees to be interviewed and the need for a facility tour. As management to sign the ICG Statement of Integrity and any relevant documents requested by the client.
- Conduct the audit – which may last one to five days based upon the size of the facility and number of employees.
- Closing meeting – review the audit findings, non-conformances identified, review the written corrective action form and ask for management to sign the action plan.
At the conclusion of the audit, several documents will be prepared and sent to the client for review.
- A detailed audit report is prepared which clearly demonstrates where the facility is in compliance and the areas which need improvement.
- A separate non-conformance report is prepared which focuses on the areas which need attention along with a timeline to address the areas. The non-conformance report is prepared at the conclusion of the audit, reviewed with local management, and once agreed upon is signed by the auditor and the facility manager.
- Where possible and practical, non-conformances may be cleared during the audit as they are pointed out during the audit.
- The audit report, non-conformance report and photo report (if requested) are delivered to the client within five business days of completing the audit.
- It should be noted that all audit reports are reviewed by a member of management before they are transmitted to the client.