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Additional resources and information about the Validated Audit Process.
The Validated Audit Process (VAP) has been created to increase efficiency and reduce redundancy of CSR audits in the electronics industry supply chain. Below is a glossary of commonly used VAP terminology.
First Party Audit: An audit usually performed by the company or department within a company upon itself. A first party audit is usually conducted by the organization’s internal audit group, however employees within a department or company may also conduct an assessment similar to a first party audit. In such an instance this "audit" is generally referred to as a "self assessment”. 1st Party Audits are excellent tools for gauging an organization’s continuous improvement efforts as well as measuring the return on investment for sustaining that effort.
Second Party Audit: An audit of another organization’s program not under the direct control or within the organizational structure of the auditing organization. Second party audits are usually performed by the customer upon its suppliers (or potential suppliers) to ascertain whether or not the supplier can meet existing or proposed contractual requirements.
Third Party Audit: An objective assessment of an organization’s system conducted by an independent, outside auditor or team of auditors. The term "third party" is synonymous with the VAP APM and VAP audit firms whose primary responsibility is to assess an organization’s system for conformance to the Code.
VA: Validated Audit
Validated Audit: EICC approved third party audit managed in accordance with approved quality processes and overseen by the selected Audit Program Management Firm to meet “EICC Validated Audit Program Quality Requirements”.
Validated Audit Process Operations Management Team: EICC management team responsible to support and guide the VAP to ensure program success. The VAP OMT includes one member of the EICC Board of Directors at a minimum.
VAP CAP Advisory Committee: Designated EICC group to act as a VAP escalation arbiter. Participants must possess adequate knowledge and experience and represent a balance between organizational entity types across the supply chain. Outside experts may be utilized as approved by the VAP OMT.
The Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) is a group of companies working together to create a comprehensive set of tools and methods that support credible implementation of the EICC Code of Conduct throughout the electronics industry supply chain.
The Validated Audit Process is an industry solution for improving business practices by providing companies assurance in identifying risks and driving improvements and robust management systems for labor, ethics, health, safety and environmental conditions in the Information Communication Technology supply chain. It is a third party Validated Audit service that provides an independent audit of a supplier, potential supplier, and/or a company’s own facilities.
The end-to-end process and the Audit Firm are independently managed by the EICC Audit Program Manager (APM) to ensure process integrity and adherence to the EICC VAP Quality Management Guidelines. The Auditee is required to provide necessary Corrective Action Plans following the release of the Validated Audit Report (VAR) and undergo a closure audit as needed.
There are five primary steps to the EICC VAP process, all of which are guided by the APM.
Additional detail is available on the main VAP page.
The scope of a Validated Audit includes all common and customer specific areas of a facility or portions as agreed to by the APM and the Auditee.
The VAR is always owned by the Auditee. The Auditee Agreement obligates the Auditee to provide access to and distribution of the VAR to interested Audit Buyers who are approved by the Auditee and to ensure the VAR results are available for industry wide aggregation and reporting. The Auditee is free to provide the VAR to additional customers at no cost beyond the initial cost of the audit.
See the main VAP page to view the Auditee Agreement.
By design the VAP provides for sharing of the VAR at the discretion of the Auditee. There are three primary functions that allow for this:
All parties in the VAP will sign a non-disclosure agreement, known as the Agreement for the Exchange of Confidential Information (AECI), with the EICC. The Audit Program Manager and the Audit Firms are under the same confidentiality agreements with the EICC and are the only parties with access to confidential information required throughout the VAP. Information will be available as defined by the VAP contracts and existing business agreements. Any sensitive information will be protected in compliance with all applicable legislation.
See the main VAP page to view the AECI.
There are two primary ways in which Validated Audit Reports are generated based on who the Audit Buyer is:
The Audit Buyer will pay the cost of services (Validated Audits, CAP Management, and/or Validated Closure Audits) in advance of the audits being conducted. This may require audit buyers to get special permission from their purchasing and procurement departments.
The fee includes Audit Program Management and the Third Party On-Site audit cost. Costs vary due to the size and complexity of a specific facility. Details will be provided as your company engages with the APM.
Audit buyers will be invoiced for the VAP audit as a part of the contracting process before the audit is scheduled. Payment terms are 60 days. Audits can be scheduled and conducted once the contracting is completed, but the final audit report will not be released until payment has been received.
The duration of a facility VA depends on the size (geographic and number of workers) and complexity (processes) of a facility, and may range from two to 12 person days on site depending on the specific factors of a site. The actual planned time on site is determined by the APM once a completed Self Assessment Questionnaire from the Auditee has been received.
A VAR is valid up to two years. Typically a new VA would be driven by a customer risk assessment and/or significant changes in a facility such as in size or by adding additional processes, new management, etc. The reports can be obtained directly from the Auditee. The APM will ensure Audit Buyers get access to the VARs they have purchased. The APM may provide a validation check with the final released report as requested.
Validated Audits can be requested at any time by contacting the APM.
Validated Audits are conducted globally according to the availability of EICC approved auditors. Contact the APM for specific regional details.
Once a validated audit is requested, it is up to the Audit Firm assigned by the APM and the Auditee to confirm a mutually agreeable date. An interested customer of the auditee may request a specific target date up front directly to the auditee. Confirming the schedule is a part of the contracting process managed by the APM.
The Validated Audit Process provides the highest quality information gathering and analysis of working conditions at a facility within the industry. In order to ensure this consistent level of quality, the EICC has implemented the following key components of its program:
The APM used a rigorous process to select the current auditors based on training and experience. The EICC has contracted with Verité to provide preparatory auditor certification training for Labor & Ethics. Information and class availability is posted on the EICC events page. Individual auditors may begin the process of obtaining EICC Auditor Certification for Labor & Ethics through the International Registrar of Certificated Auditors (IRCA) after having completed the Labor and Ethics Auditor Training. In parallel the VAP continues to ensure all of the selected Audit Firms have received VAP training from the Audit Program Manager until the necessary number of third party auditors have been certified by IRCA.
The VAP Operations Management Team (VAP OMT) is currently working to develop performance recognition such as a certificate of performance. This is not available at this time but will be communicated to VAP participants once finalized.
See the main VAP page for contact information.
See the main VAP page for information about contractual documents.
The EICC is the independent administrator and central contracting organization of the VAP. Audit Buyers execute contracts with the EICC to purchase validated audits. The EICC contracts with the APM and the Third Party Audit Firms to run the VAP. Auditees execute the Auditee Agreement.
The EICC Insurance Certificate is available upon request from the APM.
In 2014 the VAP program will complete its one-thousandth audit, with the audit protocol being carried out in 20 countries.
Please see the main VAP page for additional information and contact details.
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