Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production

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Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP) is an independent, objective, non-profit team of global social compliance experts dedicated to promoting safe, lawful, humane and ethical manufacturing around the world through certification and education. The WRAP certification program mainly focuses on the apparel, footwear and sewn products sectors.

The organization is charted to develop a series of codes and practices governing manufacturing conditions worldwide and is also tasked with licensing independent auditing firms to conduct audits based on those codes and practices. It is not a membership organization, and does not certify brands or businesses, only facilities.

In the interests of impartiality, WRAP's charter requires that a majority of its board members come from outside the apparel industry. Active support is provided by the International Apparel Federation and over 20 additional trade and industry associations.

Over 1,700 factories from 60 countries have participated in WRAP certification alone in 2008. In 2009, WRAP gave its backing to the Tannery of the Year awards programme that seeks to promote best practice in the tanning industry.

Responsible Production[edit]

The codes and practices of WRAP are based upon a core set of areas where responsibility must be demonstrated:

  • Compliance with Laws and Workplace Regulations
  • Prohibition of Forced Labor
  • Prohibition of Child Labor
  • Prohibition of Harassment or Abuse
  • Compensation and Benefits
  • Hours of Work
  • Prohibition of Discrimination
  • Health and Safety
  • Freedom of Association & Collective Bargaining
  • Environment
  • Customs Compliance
  • Security

WRAP compliance requires that factory management adopt the WRAP principles in writing, including the assignment of dedicated staff to ensure the required practices are implemented throughout the facility. An internal audit system must also be in place to ensure continuous compliance.

Accredited Auditors[edit]

Auditors are required to be licensed in order to perform WRAP audits and must also be licensed separately for each country in which it wishes to be an auditor. A list of licensed auditors can be found on the WRAP website.

WRAP also serves as the certification body. Unlike traditional ethical trading programs, WRAP certification is provided directly by WRAP, and not by the auditing firm. An auditor's guarantee that a manufacturer adheres to WRAP's ethical code is not enough. WRAP must certify that the manufacturer is compliant in order for the manufacturer to claim to be WRAP compliant.

Auditing Process[edit]

Manufacturers must first notify WRAP for a request for audit. An application form is filled with basic information about the manufacturer's profile and location. WRAP will collect an application processing fee, which is separate from the auditing fee.

Manufacturers must then choose and contact a WRAP certified auditing firm to arrange a date and time for an audit and an audit fee is paid to the auditing firm. Specific audit dates are unannounced and manufacturers are given a 30 day time range in which an audit will take place.

A WRAP handbook and self-assessment form will be handed to the manufacturer who must read and perform the self-assessment and return it to the auditor.

Upon satisfactory completion of the self-assessment, the auditor will arrange for the audit to take place.

An audit typically involves reviewing the manufacturers documents regarding labor contracts, working hours and company policies and involves a survey and inspection of the working conditions and interviews with random employees in their local language.

Inspection of Working Environment[edit]

The working environment is inspected to ensure that workers operate in a safe environment and are not deprived of the necessities of life. The machines that workers operate should be periodically inspected for safety with inspections recorded, and protection must by provided by installing blade guards, covers for exposed machine belts, fences around electrical boxes, goggles and gloves for handling corrosive materials and fire safety equipment and fire escapes musts be maintained. Workers must be allowed the freedom to travel and exit the premises, have access to clean water, have well-lit and well-ventilated working areas, and workers must by given adequate privacy.

Inspection of Working Hours and Compensation[edit]

Documentation must be supplied that shows the working hours and compensation of each employee. Attention is paid to overtime, weekends and holidays to ensure that employees comply with local laws with regards to overtime compensation and maximum overtime allowance. Since such documentation could be easily forged, auditors will also inspect other official and unofficial paperwork such as invoices, receipts, travel records, raw material delivery records, daily progress reports, security guard checkpoint reports and mates receipts and cross reference their signatures and timestamps to check if they conflict with the actual reported working hours and days.

Interviews with Employees[edit]

Employees are randomly selected and privately interviewed to see if their reported facts support or conflict with what is reported by the manufacturer. Because employees can be bribed to provide false data, auditors will try to catch the employees off guard to obtain true facts of the working hours or compensation. For example, an employee being interviewed may be told by the auditor that a security guard swears that they saw them working late at night (interviewer is deliberately lying here) and the auditor may ask if they were properly compensated for that overtime, but in fact any statement of adequate compensation may already have incriminated the manufacturer whom consistently makes the case that all employees do not need to work overtime.

WRAP Certification[edit]

Manufacturers who pass the audit are issued a certificate by WRAP, which is valid for 6 months (Silver), 1 year (Gold) to 2 years (Platinum).

Platinum Certificate[edit]

Awarded to a facility that has demonstrated full compliance with all WRAP principles for three consecutive years, and has successfully “passed” each audit with no corrective actions and have best practices in place beyond Level A. Facilities that meet these criteria will be issued a two-year certificate. The facility will be subject to an unannounced audit during its two-year certification. Facilities must maintain continuous certification to qualify for the “Platinum” certificate.

Gold Certificate[edit]

A one-year certificate is awarded to a facility that has demonstrated full compliance with all WRAP principles during the first audit, or in subsequent audits. The one year certification begins from the date of issue of the certificate, not from the date of the audit. (The “Gold” certification is equal to WRAP’s current compliance certificate.)

Silver Certificate[edit]

A six-month certificate will be issued to facilities that demonstrate substantial compliance with the WRAP principles, but have minor non-compliances in policies, procedures or training that need to be addressed. Facilities may not have any “red flag” noncompliances such as child labor, egregious health & safety or environmental issues, prison labor, forced labor or involuntary labor, or harassment or abuse of employees. Facilities must demonstrate that employees are paid the legal minimum wage and any required overtime compensation.

Training Program[edit]

WRAP administers a comprehensive training program that has become one of the leaders in the industry. All of WRAP's accredited monitors must undergo an intensive 5-day Lead Auditor Course and attend regular refresher training sessions in order to maintain accreditation. Additionally, WRAP offers a 2-day Internal Auditor Course for factory personnel charged with maintaining compliance in a facility. WRAP has also been a leader with its Fire Safety Awareness Course that focuses on the prevention of fires via the 5-step Risk Assessment Process

See also[edit]

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