BASELINE CRITERIA FOR FACTORY AUDITS
ACCEPTABLE QUALITY LEVELS
AsiaInspection use the ISO 2859 tables (also known as AQL tables) to measure acceptable levels of quality of the products they inspect. These tables are a US standard with equivalents in all national and international standardisation organisations (ANSI/ASQC Z1.4,ISO 2859, NF06-022, BS 6001, DIN 40080).
SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY STANDARDS
The Social Accountability 8000 (or SA 8000) Standard is the first global ethical standard. Its objective is to ensure fair sourcing and production of goods and services.
Much like ISO 9000 for quality management and 1S0 14000 for environmental management, the SA 8000 provides a set of standards for evaluating social accountability in the following areas:
CHILD LABOUR: Companies may not support the use of child labour. The Social Accountability International (SAI) standard defines child labour as the work of "any person under 15 years of age, unless local minimum age law stipulates a higher age for work."
FORCED LABOUR: Companies may not support the use of "forced labour."
HEALTH AND SAFETY: Companies must provide a safe and healthy working environment for their employees.
FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION AND RIGHTS TO COLLECTIVE BARGAINING: Companies must respect the right of all employees to form and join trade unions of their choice and to bargain collectively.
DISCRIMINATION: Companies may not engage in or support discrimination in hiring, compensation, access to training, promotion, termination or retirement based on race, caste, national origin, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, union membership, or political affiliation.
DISCIPLINARY PRACTICES: Companies may not engage in or support the use of corporal punishment, mental or physical coercion or verbal abuse.
WORKING HOURS: Companies must comply with applicable laws and industry standards on working hours.
COMPENSATION: Companies must ensure that wages paid for a standard working week meet at least legal or industry minimum standards.
MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS: Top management must define the company's policy for social accountability and labour conditions to ensure that it includes a commitment to conform to all requirements of this standard and national and other applicable laws.
DURING PRODUCTION INSPECTION (DUPRO)
The production is inspected when at least 20% of the order has been completed so as to ensure that contractual obligations regarding specifications, packaging, packing and marking are met. If improvement and rectification recommendations have been given during an Initial Production Check, the During Production Inspection determines whether or not this advice has been successfully heeded. More generally, the During Production Inspection makes it possible to provide recommendations on site, so that the quality is maintained throughout the entire production phase.
FACTORY AUDIT (FA)
With reference to ISO 9000, SA 8000, and the customer’s specific requirements, an AsiaInspection Auditor will perform the Factory Audit. All the important elements, such as quality system procedures, production capacity, child labour, staff facilities, hygiene, etc. are audited. A Factory Audit Report is issued by the Auditor. It enables customers to efficiently select a high-qualified vendor base.
PRE-SHIPMENT INSPECTION (PSI)
This Production Inspection is carried out when at least 80% of the products ordered are export packed. Samples are selected at random, according to sampling standards and procedures. The Inspection ensures that the production is in accordance with the specifications, purchase orders or letters of credit.
INITIAL PRODUCTION CHECK (IPC)
This process is carried out at the beginning of the production line and is based on the customer's specifications and reference sample. The Initial Production Check focuses mainly on the quality of the components and materials used in the production process. It also includes a visual check on the quality of packing materials and accessories. The Quality Inspector will also monitor the assembly process and check the first production run. The Initial Production Check allows an early (and thus cost- saving) prevention of defective components as well as timely corrections if needed.