THE AUDIT PROCESS
TfS Audit Preparation Process
Follow-Up Actions and Timelines
TfS SUPPLIER AUDITS – THIRD PARTY QUALIFIED AUDITORS
- Audit firms that have proven records of established internal controls and quality management are invited to a Request for Proposal process.
- The final decision on whether an audit firm will be accepted or not rests with the TfS Steering Committee.
- Audit firms that have passed the pre-qualification process will be announced here.
- Audit firms that have successfully passed the application process can nominate auditors for the TfS pre-approved auditor pool.
- TfS audits require auditors to prove competencies and experience in a whole range of sustainability issues.
- To maintain continuously high audit standards, TfS has developed a set of reference criteria that serves as a basis for approving auditors before working on behalf of TfS.
- On a random sample basis, TfS members will conduct witness audits.
- This means that audits will be accompanied by experienced staff assigned by the individual TfS member.
- The witness auditors will report their findings to the TfS Office which will establish relevant statistics and information for an annual review of the auditor performance and the auditor pool.
Audit Companies & Contacts
TfS Audits are conducted by the following pre-approved audit companies: DQS, ERM, Intertek, SGS. You can select the audit company of your choice. These audit companies all operate globally and can conduct an audit in any country, subject to availability. In order to schedule your TfS Audit, you can contact the Global Account Managers under ‘Main Contacts’ or the local office indicated in your country, where available. If your country or regional contact is not listed below, please approach the ‘Main Contacts’ of the audit companies to schedule your audit. All audit company contacts are provided below.
Refer to Main Contacts tab
SHARING OF AUDIT RESULTS
The Audit Findings Will Be Documented in a Standardized Report
The audit report will consist of:
The company profile contains basic information about your firm such as its size, revenue, operating countries, etc. Confidential data like customers or prices will not be disclosed.
While positive findings highlight achievements with regard to sustainability, negative findings may be minor, major or critical for which corrective actions must be defined.
The Audit Guidance and Reporting Template includes the auditor’s remarks for each audit question.
The audit Corrective Action Plan contains all corrective actions (incl. deadlines) that the supplier and the auditor have agreed on to remedy the negative audit findings.
The Audit Sharing Process
The success for the supplier and the TfS audit program depends on sharing the supplier’s audit report.
An audit for one is an audit for all
Advantages of Sharing the TfS Audit Report
Frequently Asked Questions
The TfS Audit Program facilitates improvement of the sustainability performance within the supply chains of the chemical industry. Audit reports generated within the TfS Audit Program create transparency through in-depth examinations of suppliers’ sites and operations. A TfS Audit can neither be passed nor failed, but it highlights areas of improvement, thus, enabling interaction between customers and suppliers in an efficient and effective way. Efficiency is increased by sharing TfS Audit reports and other recognized audit schemes among TfS Members. Effectiveness is ensured by maintaining a questionnaire that is covering all relevant CSR topics.
The audit program is based on good practices and builds on reference frameworks such as the United Nations Global Compact, the Responsible Care Charter, and the Conventions of the International Labor Organization. Please have a look at the online training tools in different languages provided on the webpage.
Suppliers are requested to meet certain standards and continuously improve in the following areas:
• Management: Management in charge, policies, continuous improvement, management systems, risk assessment training
• Environment: Environmental compliance, waste, air emissions, climate change, water and roundwater, wastewater, energy, nuisance (noise & odor), land use & biodiversity, soil, hazardous chemicals
• Health & Safety: health & safety compliance, product safety, transport safety, process safety & storage, occupational health & safety, emergency preparedness, medical care, security, hygienic facilities
• Labor & Human Rights: labor & human rights compliance, child labor, forced & compulsory labor, working hours, minimum wages, freedom of association, discrimination, special work contracts
• Ethics and Governance: supplier standards, memberships, business integrity, privacy & intellectual property, fair completion, disciplinary & compliant procedures
Only pre-approved audit firms are allowed to perform a TfS audit. Audit firms should meet specific criteria such as quality management, adequate auditor trainings and availability of auditors in key markets. Only auditors with an appropriate level of industry knowledge, audit experience as well as technical and language skills are pre-approved to perform TfS audits.
There are several quality assurance mechanisms that assure consistent and high quality audits, for example, witness auditors evaluate the audit process against pre-defined criteria. That means, experts of TfS members accompany auditors on a sample basis and evaluate the auditor’s competence and the audit process.
There will only be announced audits.
The auditor will finalize the audit report and provide it to the supplier no later than ten working days after completion of the audit.
The supplier may formally comment on the audit observations and findings within a ten-day working day period.
After the comment period, the auditor will send the audit report to the TfS Office for quality review before it is shared among TfS members.
The validity of a TfS audit depends on the audit results:
• No or minor findings: TfS audit report is valid for 36 months
• Minor findings: expected to be closed within twelve months
• Minor / major / critical findings: set-up of a Corrective Action Plan required
• Major / critical findings: Follow-up audit within 12 months required
Depending on the results of the follow-up audit, a re-audit may be required. The re-Audit shall be conducted after twelve months unless specified differently in the CAP.