With Covid-19 disrupting AIM-Progress members’ on-site audit activities, companies are looking to new technological capabilities to safely continue to monitor supplier compliance and drive engagement practices.
In particular, virtual assessments, coupled with direct worker engagement practices, are replacing many traditional on-site supplier audits where markets are restricted to auditors or sites are not allowing access to outside individuals.
AIM-Progress members believe that disruption of supply chains will continue well into the future, and that virtual assessments will play a role in the “toolbox” of supplier assurance approaches going forwards.
To counter the risk of diverging protocols and standards for virtual assessments,
leading to potential duplication of supplier assurance efforts, AIM-Progress has published a statement encouraging its members to apply a mutual recognition approach to virtual assessments, meaning that, in principle, they recognize supplier virtual assessments completed on behalf of another company, and will review assessment reports to confirm whether they meet their company requirements.
Our common baseline for virtual assessments is the Sedex Virtual Assessment (SVA) and we recommend the SVA as a good standard of practice against which to compare any other virtual assessments which suppliers may have undergone, or benchmark against any own-company assessment standards members may have developed.