Compliance Programs: Social Accountability Is A Good Place To Start
The same approach is also being taken by hard goods companies when they refer to using a Disney or Coke certified factory. No doubt these audits imply a sense of the factory's capabilities in the areas of compliance, but this does not mean a comprehensive compliance program is in place. Rather, these factories have been audited to the specifications Disney or Coke have in place. As I've mentioned in a previous Compliance Chat blog post ("Picture Day" - Why Factory Audits Aren't Enough), there are many issues with using audits and only audits as your compliance program.
Social accountability requirements and regulations such as California Prop. 65 have been embraced and around long enough that they have almost become entry-level compliance standards. But the introduction of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) as well as additional state-level product safety regulations changed the game. Social accountability is no longer enough. Today, having a comprehensive compliance program that not only includes product safety but also addresses your clients' corporate social responsibility needs is essential. You are making a major blunder if you outsource product safety, social accountability or any other aspect of compliance.
WRAP and FLA are great programs that address social accountability, and they are a good place to start the compliance journey. However, you must understand that they are a component addressing one area of a comprehensive compliance program, which should also include product safety, product quality, environmental stewardship and supply chain security.
If you have ever worked with any of the Fortune 1000 companies that have their own compliance teams, you realize they rarely outsource the responsibility for compliance to the factories that are manufacturing products on their behalf. Rather, they retain control to ensure the compliance standards they have set for themselves are truly being met. Learn from their best practices, and you'll be headed in the right direction.