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The EICC Validated Assessment Process (VAP) is the leading standard for onsite compliance verification and effective, shareable assessments.
One of the most fundamental EICC programs is the Validated Asessment Process (VAP), which is the leading standard for onsite compliance verification and effective, shareable assessments. Since 2009, EICC members have completed more than 2,500 VAP onsite compliance assessments conducted by independent third-party audit firms that have been approved by the EICC to execute the VAP protocol. As the program has grown it has become more complex, with hundreds of auditors from nine firms in more than 20 countries.
The EICC recognizes that the primary value of an onsite compliance assessment is not in the identification of issues at a factory, but in the correction of those issues. We want to recognize those factories that demonstrate their commitment to corporate responsibility through verified closure of the issues identified in a VAP assessment.
We offer three levels of recognition:
To meet the requirements for recognition, all assessments must be a VAP (no CMA/AMA) and be verified through a VAP Closure Assessment.
The below documents are selected chapters from the 5.1.1 VAP operations manual, which became effective on Feb. 15, 2017. Please note the entire VAP operations manual is not publicly available. If you have any questions, please contact us.
Assessments carried out on EICC member facilities and their suppliers' facilities are completed by independent third-party auditors specially trained in social and environmental auditing and the VAP protocol. Trainings for auditors and corporate audit program managers are run by the internationally recognized, nonprofit supply chain sustainability group Verité at multi-day, in-person trainings that take place several times per year. Please see the EICC events calendar for a complete listing of these trainings.
A typical VAP onsite assessment at a single manufacturing facility may last 2-5 days and includes a thorough document review, interviews with management and employees and a visual site survey. Auditors from the independent third-party firms are specially trained to spot hard-to-find VAP protocol violations like instances of forced labor, and are specialists in understanding contexts where some violations are more common, such as excessive working hours in areas with high migrant worker populations.
VAP reports written by the independent audit firms must be submitted to the Assessment Program Manager (APM) for review and quality control. The APM comes from leading social responsibility consulting firm Sumerra. Sumerra does not conduct their own assessments but manages the VAP process, including overseeing quality control of VAP reports.
Where VAP assessments uncover non-compliances to the protocol, those findings are rated by severity as “minor,” “major” or “priority.” All three categories of findings have specified periods of time during which the facility in question must remedy the findings and implement systems to prevent reoccurrences. Remedy and prevention plans are part of corrective action plans (CAPs) referenced above.
A key initial impetus for the founding of the EICC, and one of its continued benefits to its members today, is the practice of sharing audits. Many EICC members share common suppliers, and those suppliers also share common suppliers. Whenever a single EICC member audits its own or a supplier’s facility, the member can share the findings with other customers of that facility that are also EICC members. Sharing audits saves EICC members and their suppliers millions of dollars each year, which not only creates business efficiency but also ensures that cost is less of a barrier for companies seeking to ensure that their facilities and those of their suppliers are living up to the EICC Code of Conduct and protecting workers and their communities.
Scheduling a VAP Assessment
To see what translations are available for EICC’s different tools, view this overview document.
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