AIM-PROGRESS - Program for responsible sourcing
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Mutual Recognition

What is it about?

To reduce audit fatigue and align on key issues of responsible sourcing, several AIM-PROGRESS brand manufacturers agree to mutual recognition of responsible sourcing audits of their suppliers, where possible.



Why do it?


AIM-PROGRESS seeks to promote responsible sourcing while reducing the duplication of supplier assessments. Members companies all have responsible sourcing programs which may include the request for on-site assessments (audits) of suppliers. To reduce audit duplication, costs and fatigue companies - through the Mutual Recognition mechanism - recognize supplier audits completed on behalf of another company.



How to do it?


Step 1: The first step is to benchmark company audit protocols against a joint set of common criteria. If the audit protocol is equivalent to  a majority of elements of our commong benchmark - SMETA 5.0, now being evolved into SMETA 6.0 - (85% commonality at a minimum), companies can participate in the Mutual Recognition initiative. The protocol benchmarking is supported by the ITC (International Trade Center).

Note: AIM-PROGRESS is currently enhancing its common audit protocol requirements to include new elements of SMETA 6.0 which has recently been released.


Step 2: The second step of mutual recognition is to agree to the general principle of accepting other companies' audits. Members do this by signing on to the joint Mutual Recogntion statement.


Step 3: Companies then share their list of audited suppliers over the last three years via the AIM-PROGRESS Secretariat who assembles the lists into one common document, which is sent back to participants in sufficiently aggregated and anonymous format to avoid anti-trust concerns.


Step 4: Companies check the list for suppliers they use and who they haven’t yet audited. If they find any, they request these suppliers to share the assessment/audit reports directly with them or, if they are a member of a data sharing platform, such as SEDEX, upload them via the platform, which provides a secure online data exchange between suppliers and customers.  In this way a new audit can be avoided.


Watch our Mutual Recognition Film to find out more:


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