Collaboration with external stakeholders is key
But deep collaboration within industries is also crucial: at ICS, members meet every month, share audit tools, monitoring rules and factory audit results when they work with the same factory. ICS members now also share consolidated data on risks analysis by country and topics. These various forms of mutualization are non-competitive topics between ICS members, formalized by a signed Code of Conduct to which members commit to.
ICS actions are based on shared tools and a common methodology applied by all ICS members and securing a complete control of the audit process by brands.
Online CAP monitoring
ICS audits are mandated and managed by member companies. Audit launch is a member prerogative, which ensures a total control of the use of ICS tools.
Audits are performed by third party ICS-accredited audit companies.
ICS audits are neither certificates nor labels.
ICS members share common monitoring rules when critical non-conformities are identified in the factories.
Handbook for factories
ICS elaborated the Social Handbook for factories in 2017 to accompany factories into their understanding of ICS audit’s process, scope and rating system. The Handbook also informs the audited factories on the list of documents that will be analysed by the auditor as well as on the interviews and documents review sampling size.
The Handbook for factories is part of the ICS recent development of supporting tools and guidance for its members’ supplying factories and partners with the aim to sustainably enhance compliance. (available on page Resources)
ICS members share thousands of factories and audits on the ICS database. ICS members only have access to the production sites they work with to ensure confidentiality. The ICS database is not a sourcing platform but it aims at sharing audit results and corrective action plans in order for brands to engage on common rules and to commit to the same threshold requirements. ICS members are then free to establish their own corporate reading grid.
Online CAP monitoring
In December 2017, ICS launched a new feature on its database: the online Corrective Action Plan monitoring. Until then, ICS members used to individually engage with their suppliers and factories on the recommended corrective actions resulted from observed non-compliances during the audit. Now, ICS online CAP allows audited factories and related actors in its supply chain to upload evidences (e.g. renewed permit, non-discrimination policy etc.) on the ICS database. ICS members then verify and validate the evidences for the CAP to progress. The CAP advancements are then mutualized between linked ICS members. This IT evolution enhances the collaboration on improving compliance along the supply chains.