Compliance & Auditing Standards
About Our Standards
The QCA Compliance Accreditation Program is based on a gap-analysis methodology validated by third party audit. It 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.
The standards and principles used for evaluating the effectiveness of an Applicant’s manufacturing compliance program include:
- Product Safety – ISO9001:2015 components related to design and development and processes highlighted in the CPSC’s Handbook for Manufacturing Safer Consumer Products
- Quality – ISO9001:2015
- Social Accountability – United Nations Global Compact’s Ten Principles as embodied in the laws of the country of manufacture and United States Customs law.
- Supply Chain Security – United States Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection Agency’s Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) Program.
- Environmental Stewardship – United Nations Global Compact Principles related to the Environment as incorporated in the laws of the country of manufacture and ISO9001:2015 standards related to environment and process control.
Requirements for Completion
Compliance Accreditation Program for Suppliers
The QCA Compliance Accreditation Program for Suppliers requires an Applicant to successfully complete all phases of the 5 Pillars of Compliance – Product Safety, Quality, Social Accountability, Supply Chain Security and Environmental Stewardship – to be eligible for accreditation. More
All are required to:
- Fully document their manufacturing and sourcing compliance program policies, procedures and processes
- Demonstrate consistent implementation of those elements in a series of third-party audits
- Implement corrective actions to the extent necessary to address deficiencies that may be noted in those audits.
Stepped Compliance Certificate Program for Distributors
The design of QCA’s Distributor Compliance Program allows a Distributor to select a designation level for pursuit. More
Step 1: Outline Your Company’s Compliance Processes
All programs require completion of the Distributor Compliance Questionnaire. The Questionnaire provides an overview of the Applicant’s compliance-related processes in the areas of Product Safety, Quality and Social Accountability. Successful Applicants are awarded Distributor Advocate status.
Step 2: Define Your Company’s Brand Assurance Processes
The scope of the Distributor Compliance Certificate covers Product Safety, Quality and Social Accountability. For clients with rigorous compliance programs, the Distributor Compliance Certificate evidences the effectiveness of an equally rigorous compliance assurance program. Like the Supplier program, full documentation of related processes is required, but is limited to the headquarters.
Step 3: Validate Your Company’s Brand Assurance Processes
The Strategic Sourcing Certificate requires successful Distributors to examine the supplier / manufacturer selection process and ongoing manufacture control as it relates to risk mitigation in compliance assurance. Scope is again limited to Product Safety, Quality and Social Accountability. Third party audits of supply base factories are required for the successful completion of the Distributor Strategic Sourcing Certificate.
QCA’s auditing standards are available to Compliance Program participants. Guidance documents and questionnaires are published in both print and electronic formats. An overview of QCA’s standards are available in the QCA Knowledge Series published on this website. See our FAQs for additional information.
The Compliance Committee works with the Executive Director of Compliance in maintaining the QCA Compliance Accreditation and Certification Programs and annually define organizational compliance program objectives.
Additionally, the Compliance Committee’s scope of work includes assessment of performance through review of the QCA Compliance Scorecard; review and evaluation of recommendations for granting re-accreditation/re-certification and, as applicable, rescinding accreditation/certification; and administration of the QCA Appeal Process.
Related to the established standards on which the Compliance Accreditation Program is established, Compliance Committee Members are tasked with evaluating tools, whitepapers and evaluating proposed alternative compliance-focused accreditation/certification programs, based on completed benchmarking exercises led by the Executive Director for Compliance.