Transparency and visibility are key elements in making the promotional products industry safer, and more conscientious, in its business practices. When it comes to transparency, a visible supply chain is an integral part of implementing and adhering to the high standards, processes and procedures that deliver results.

Companies that opt to pursue QCA Accreditation have their management practices measured and evaluated to ensure predictability in the secure delivery of product manufactured and shipped under the company’s name.

As part of the QCA Accreditation process, companies will fulfill several supply chain security-related requirements, including:

  • A documented security policy that applies to all members of the supply chain as well as their headquarters.
  • A documented protocol for controlling entry to and exit from the workplace, as well as a documented means to assess the effectiveness of similar protocols in the supply base.
  • A documented mechanism for recruiting and identifying workforce.
  • A documented protocol for assuring visibility to all levels of the supply chain.
  • A documented protocol for validating all merchandise shipped under the auspices of the company is shipped in a secure manner from the manufacturing source to the company’s domestic warehouse.
  • A documented protocol for controlling access to all information technology platforms.
  • Supply Chain Security compliance-related accountabilities are assigned to a senior position.

Supply chain security has become increasingly important after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. As a result, US Customs and industry representatives catalogued best practices that assure security throughout the supply chain while facilitating trade. Customs—Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT) prioritized management practices and other criteria into an assessment regime that may result in three classes of certification.

QCA applicants aren’t required to achieve CTPAT certification in order to become accredited, yet QCA does advocate CTPAT certification as a best practice. Companies that have a Tier 1 or higher CTPAT certification may be able to use that in documentation for QCA supply chain security testing.