Helping to Keep You and Your Brand Safe
The Quality Certification Alliance (QCA) was established to address the need for a comprehensive manufacturing compliance accreditation program in the promotional products industry.
The nature of the promotional products industry is that many key customers are also household names that seek to promote their corporate brand with promotional products that embody their corporate principles. Consumer-facing brands have a low threshold for bad publicity, particularly when it isn’t a product they, themselves, manufactured.
The QCA Compliance Accreditation Program, based on a methodology similar to the International Standards Organization’s (ISO) model, requires an Applicant Supplier to (a) fully document their manufacturing compliance program policies, procedures and processes, (b) demonstrate consistent implementation of those elements in a series of third-party audits, and (c) implement corrective actions to the extent necessary to address deficiencies that may be noted in those audits.
5 Pillars of Compliance in the Program
1) Product Safety & Regulatory Compliance
Product Safety combines the policies, procedures and protocols for two concepts in the design and manufacture of consumer products:
- Regulatory Compliance: All products and decorating materials must meet applicable regulatory standards for safety, labeling, environmental protection and other legally required standards and limits; and
- Safety: All products and decorating materials must not be manufactured or designed in a way that makes them dangerous to person or property when used according to their intended use or reasonably foreseeable unintended use and abuse.
Effective programs incorporate management practices that provide for the predictable output of products from a company’s manufacturing processes and ensure that goods continue to meet the intended requirements.
3) Social Accountability
Labor standards policies are designed to ensure that a minimum set of protections, including basic rights, fair treatment and safe working conditions are provided to all workers who produce the product that is then sold/provided to your customer.
4) Supply Chain Security
A comprehensive Supply Chain Security strategy protects infrastructure and resources, minimizes disruptions impacting a company’s ability to deliver their customers’ orders and Quality works in tandem with law enforcement authorities to combat terrorism, illegal drug and arms trade and other criminal activities.
5) Environmental Stewardship
A QCA Accredited Supplier has procedures in place that ensure products manufactured and imported by them or on their behalf are produced in a manner that protects the health of the people and the environment in which those products are manufactured and distributed.
Who Can Apply to Participate
Promotional products companies that are registered as a “Supplier” with the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI), or the Promotional Product Professionals of Canada (PPPC), are incorporated in the United States, its territories, or Canada are eligible to apply for the QCA Accreditation Program. A “Supplier” per the definition provided by the PPAI means a promotional products company that manufactures, imports, converts, imprints or otherwise produces or processes promotional products offered for sale through promotional consultants. These requirements may be verified by an audit of production and purchase records prior to acceptance of the application for membership. The Corporation’s Board may adopt additional qualifications for membership from time to time. For application information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Accreditation Leads to Greater Profitability and Growth
Accreditation and Certification are necessary components of business operations today, it’s simply the “new normal”. More and more, large companies are only interested in vendors who understand the importance of safety and compliance and who insist on it as it relates to every component of the manufacturing and import process. It’s the component that allows companies to take the next steps to greater, more lucrative opportunities to work with larger companies. QCA Accreditation: social awareness and conscience-driven growth and profitability.
The Corporation’s Accreditation is only open to a promotional products company that is registered as a “Supplier” with the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI), or the Promotional Product Professionals of Canada (PPPC) and incorporated in North America.
“For any company looking to really evaluate and tighten up their processes, going through the QCA Accreditation Program is a great, honest look that reveals all your strengths and your imperfections. If you are truly committed to brand safety and improving as a company, this is a great process to go through.”