The Corona-pandemic has revealed that the industry is in dire need to reduce the number of duplicative and therefore unnecessary audits.

We, the Intl. Apparel Federation (IAF) and the Intl. Textile Manufacturers Federation (ITMF), are committed to reduce audit and standard fatigue in the industry. Therefore, we are supporting efforts like the Social Labour Convergence Program (SLCP), that is working to implement an industry-wide framework to assess social and labour conditions. This framework includes a standard-agnostic tool and verification methodology which collects objective social and labour data that stakeholders can use to identify opportunities for improvement and track progress.

The next step to reduce audit and standard fatigue is to align standards. Therefore, we have started the so-called Standard Convergence Initiative (SCI) which serves as a platform to discuss and develop a strategy as well as the tools to achieve these objectives. The auditing conduct of standard holders, along with brands, retailers and other buyers’ decisions determines if we are moving firmly in the direction of less unnecessary overlap of audits.

Ultimately, IAF and ITMF members and relations will be asked to recommend to their members to work with those standard holders that are committed to reduce audit and standard fatigue.

To this end, IAF and ITMF collaborate with the International Trade Centre (ITC) to promote transparency and convergence in the conduct of the main standard holders, including brands and retailers and 3rd party standard holders, measuring to what extent they are contributing to the reduction of audit and standard fatigue. For this purpose, we have identified four criteria which will serve as guidelines to judge the progress made.

These criteria are:

  • Criteria 1: Willingness to harmonize standards (Standard Holders)
  • Criteria 2: Compliance with OECD and ILO Guidelines
  • Criteria 3: Use existing platforms for conducting audits
  • Criteria 4: Auditors certified internationally
PDF-document with the criteria

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