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100% exam success for Verner Wheelock Ethical Team

Ethical Team at VWA with certificates

Left: Samantha Day and Vicki Andrews with their certificates

Verner Wheelock are delighted to reveal that every member of their Ethical Team has recently passed their IRCA Social Systems Auditor/Lead Auditor examination. This qualification is seen as the industry standard for social auditors and is recognised worldwide.

MD Alison Wheelock explains, “Our Ethical Team, including myself, is responsible for organising and co-ordinating all our audits. We liaise with both customers and our team of experienced APSCA social auditors, providing pre and post-audit support, to ensure that the whole process runs smoothly.

SA8000 ethical audit training gives greater understanding

We decided to take the training, which is based on the international SA8000 Standard, so that we all have a really good, detailed understanding of all elements of carrying out an ethical audit from an auditor’s point of view. For example, the pressures facing companies and auditors and the legal context under which they are operating. Also standards, codes of conduct, specifications, social issues, the benefits of a social management system etc.”

The intensive 5-day course was delivered by SGS at Verner Wheelock’s training centre in Skipton, North Yorkshire. Verner Wheelock’s Ethical Team have now proved themselves capable of planning, conducting, reporting and following up an audit of a social system against SA8000, or the ETI Base Code on a SMETA audit.

“We aren’t planning to carry out any ethical audits ourselves, we’ll leave that to our team of professional ethical auditors,” adds Alison. “However, we do review Audit Reports and Corrective Action Plans within the team before they are published on the Sedex platform. This training will help us to answer even more customer and auditor queries. It has also given us a sound understanding of what our auditors do and the challenges they can face on a typical audit.”

Verner Wheelock are perhaps better-known for outstanding results in HACCP, Food Safety, Auditing and specialist training for the food industry. However they have been delivering ethical audits for over 20 years. Last year the company undertook 270 SMETA ethical audits for growers and manufacturing sites in the UK and Ireland.  Verner Wheelock is an Affiliate Audit Company (AAC) with Sedex and a member firm of APSCA (Association of Professional Social Compliance Auditors).

Could you be a social auditor for Verner Wheelock?

“We are extremely busy and always looking for more social auditors to join our nationwide team,” says Alison. “If there is anyone out there who has experience in this field and is interested in working with us, or becoming an auditor, please get in touch.”