The development of guidelines for reference audit tools aims to foster a common interpretation of auditing at production sites.
- It is expected to contribute to the definition of a clear and consistent message to auditors as well as to suppliers about reference requirements.
- It also aims at supporting the elimination of duplication.
The guidelines have been developed by an Expert Working Group on Audit Systems and Methodology. Formed in December 2007, the group was composed of seven experts drawn from the GSCP Task Force:
- Hugo Byrnes, Director, Product Safety and Consumer Affairs, ROYAL AHOLD
- Brian Collins, Supplier Development Manager,& Simon Herbert, Supplier Assessment Manager, HALLMARK
- Bruno Colombani, Social Ethics Manager, CASINO
- Paul Dearman, International Ethical Trading Manager, TESCO
- Daniele Giomi, Ethical Sourcing Regional Manager Europe & Turkey, WAL-MART
- Virginie Saudrais, Chargée de mission Environment & Social, CARREFOUR
- Alain Souppart, Head Manager, Technics & Quality Department, AUCHAN
The GSCP Audit Process and Methodology Reference Tools were published in October 2009
download the tools here
The Expert Working Group, with the close support of two auditing companies (STR and SGS), developed a set of draft Reference tools on:
- audit process
- alert notification
- pre-audit employment site profile
- audit report
- audit checks
- finding summary & corrective actions
- supplementary audit information
These drafts were aimed at gathering best practices for each step of the audit process in order to bring consistency to the way audits are prepared, led and followed-up. They are based on identified best practices drawn from existing systems and processes.
The draft Reference tools were then opened for consultation to gather feedback from a global audience of companies and key stakeholders in order to ensure that they reference best practices and represent a broad consensus. The consultation ran from August to December 2008.
The Expert Working Group gathered and reviewed all comments received through the public consultation.
In parallel, the Expert Working Group tested the draft tools in selected production sites in order to help assess their quality, efficiency and accuracy. A total of 7 test audits were led in 5 countries for 6 different types of products. Both comments and test feedback allowed the Expert Working Group to finalise the Reference tools. The review phase was led with the close support of the consultancy firm Impactt.
Advisory Board's input
The draft Reference tools were reviewed by the Advisory Board. They formulated recommendations on how to improve the Reference tools and ensure they reflect best existing practice.
Executive Board’s input
Following the Executive Board internal review of all recommendations suggested for improvement, and a feedback session with the Advisory Board, an unanimous agreement was reached on the GSCP Reference tools on Audit Process and Methodology in October 2009.
The Reference tools on Audit Process and Methodology were published in October 2009.
GSCP Reference Tools on Audit Process and Methodology - Review Protocol
The GSCP Reference Tools for Audit Process and Methodology will be reviewed on a regular basis in order to ensure that it constantly reflects existing best practices and represents a wide consensus among stakeholders.
The first review started in December 2009, the second review will take place in 2012 and then every three years.
First Review Timeline and Process
All suggestions can be shared via the website review page. All completed submissions will be thoroughly reviewed once the consultation period comes to an end. The Advisory and Executive Boards will then evaluate the need for revision of the Reference Tools for Audit Process and Methodology. Any approved revisions to the tools will then be made available publicly.
Reference Tools on APM
Development Phase: January 2008 to August 2008
Consultation Phase: August to 15 December 2008
Review Phase: January 2009 to July 2009
Publication: October 2009
First Review of Reference Tools on APM
Consultation phase: 30th March – 15th June 2012
Review Phase: 16th June 2012 – 31st January 2013
Expected publication: first semester 2013
For any questions regarding the work on Audit Process and Methodology, please contact Didier Bergeret, GSCP Senior Manager on