Ethical requirements are becoming increasingly important in a globalised landscape and guaranteeing governance mechanisms in large scale production has rapidly become an essential component to any business. The NHS Supply Chain (NHS SC) has introduced ethical requirements to be reviewed as part of an independent Labour Standards Assurance System (LSAS) which is closely linked to the SA8000 audit protocol.
The LSAS is a system to guarantee that suppliers strive to uphold a certain standard within production. The main aim is to secure a fair procurement process and that ethical standards are upheld throughout the value chain. Modern global production is complex, multifaceted and the key to proactively manage the supply chain is to aim for increased transparency leading to minimized risk. By undertaking an LSAS audit an organisation can ensure that labor standards are managed and monitored in order to support drive for further improvements. The audit is also a beneficial tool to demonstrate to stakeholders that labor standards are being effectively managed within the supply chain.
The audit protocol for a LSAS audit consists of four levels of maturity:
Each level has clear goals attached and aims to secure progression for the audited party to achieve the next level of maturity. Level 1 is the minimum level a supplier has to reach before NHS will venture into cooperation and this must be done within 6 months of the contract launch. In some cases, deadlines for suppliers to achieve compliance to the higher LSAS levels may also be presented. For an organisation that is also looking to implement the Modern Slavery Act, LSAS is an excellent starting point for a compliance journey.
RINA is accredited by SAAS to conduct SA8000 audits and approved by the National Health Service Supply Chain (NHS SC) to carry out LSAS audits. We are experts on global supply chains and sustainability and come with 150 years of experience from a variety of sectors. When your business needs a trusted collaborator and partner in the strive for excellence through the LSAS process, we will use our knowledge to support a successful venture and outcome.