One of the main drivers for setting up AIM-PROGRESS was to enable mutual recognition of ethical audits with the objective of reducing audit costs and fatigue. A simple spreadsheet through which member companies share supplier sites they have audited over the last three years - duly anonomysed by the Secretariat - provides a central resource for participants to check whether a supplier they wish to audit has already undergone an assessment by another company, and which they might be ready to recognise. We are pleased to report that the latest list contains over 18,000 supplier sites which are available for mutual recognition of audits.
Of course, mutual recognition can only work if audits are based on equivalent audit protocols - the AIM-PROGRESS benchmark is the SMETA 4 pillar audit. Given the increasing member expectations for ethical audits AIM-PROGRESS is actively contributing to an enhancement of SMETA to include more checkpoints, such as land rights, migrant labor, human trafficking, increased environmental and business integrity expecations. The updated SMETA protocol is expected for the end of 2016.
To learn more about how AIM-PROGRESS enables mutual recognition you can go to the relevant page on our website.