APSCA Code and Standards of Professional Conduct (Code)
A Member Firm was requested to perform a Social Compliance Audit at a facility
located in an area considered a hot spot with significant incidences of a disease
involving an easily transmittable infection/disease, such as COVID-19. In planning
the Social Compliance Audit, the facility indicated that they had not taken any
practical steps to avoid exposure or transmission of the infection and that there had
been cases recently reported among the workers in the facility.
In this situation, the Member Firm should follow the appropriate process steps to
evaluate the health risk for the auditor – and identify any potential steps to reduce
the risk to an acceptable level.
If the Member Firm reasonably concluded that the auditor would be in an
environment that presented a significant risk of exposure to the disease – and there
were not appropriate steps being taken at the facility (e.g. screening; personal
protective equipment) to mitigate risk, the Member Firm should not schedule or
perform a Social Compliance Audit at this facility.
If there were changes in conditions or sufficient safety precautions were being taken,
a Member could accept and perform the Social Compliance Audit to the extent there
were no longer significant personal health risks for the auditor.
A Member Auditor was performing a Social Compliance Audit at a facility where the
related Member Firm had previously conducted an audit without an issue. During
the factory walk through and management interviews, factory management gave the
Member Auditor a sense the Member Auditor’s safety would potentially be at risk if
the overall result of the audit was not positive for the factory. In response to the
situation, the Member Auditor contacted the Member Firm to report on the
circumstances with the factory and the related safety concern.
After consideration of the threats, viewed to be credible, and the fact that there
were no immediately available steps to mitigate the risk - there should be an
expectation that the Member Auditor could not effectively perform the Social
Compliance Audit and the audit should be immediately terminated.
To the extent there were changes in conditions at the facility at some point in the
future or other factors mitigating the risk to the auditor – potentially including
changes in ownership and management of the facility, a Member could logically
accept and perform the Social Compliance Audit to the extent there were no longer
significant safety risks for the auditor.
Version & Date:
Code Guidance on Audit Effectiveness and Auditor Safety D-117
Version 1 – March 11 2021
Authorized by: Executive Board
Date Printed: 22 April 2021
This document is no longer version controlled once printed.
Page 4 of 4.