Self-Assessment Questionnaire

One of the key tools that Sedex members use to inform their responsible sourcing programmes is the Sedex Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ). The SAQ is completed by Sedex Supplier (B) and Buyer/Supplier (AB) members when they register a new site.

For Suppliers, the SAQ:

  • Helps you share information about your ethical practices with multiple customers – no duplication means it saves you time, money and resources
  • Supports your learning about ethical standards and practices
  • Aids you in finding strengths in your business practices and areas to improve
  • Acts as a pre-audit tool, so you can share data with a prospective auditor prior to their inspection


For Buyers, the SAQ:

  • Offers a wealth of useful information to assess suppliers on
  • Helps you determine strengths and areas to improve in your supply chain
  • Can be used to determine next steps and priority areas
  • Flexes to fit the supplier, so you only get the information you really need
  • Feeds data into the Sedex Risk Assessment Tool, to help you assess risk in your supply chain


Based on industry best practice

Sedex does not set policy or have its own code. The Sedex Self-Assessment Questionnaire is based on the following codes:

  • ETI Base Code: 2014 (Ethical Trading Initiative)
  • SA8000:2014 – Social Accountability (SAI – Social Accountability International)
  • ISO 14001:2015 – Environment Management System (International Organization for Standardization)
  • OHSAS 18001 occupational health and safety management system (Occupational Health & Safety Advisory Services)


Four key pillars

In addition to a site profile section containing details on the site of employment, the SAQ collects data across four key pillars:

  • Labour standards: includes questions on wages, working hours, children and young employees, freedom of association, non-discrimination, forced labour and human rights
  • Health & safety: includes questions on management, training, emergency and fire safety and worker health
  • Environment: includes questions on environmental management, waste, raw materials, water, energy and pollution
  • Business ethics: includes questions on bribery and corruption


Sector-specific profiles

The SAQ is divided into six sector profiles. Depending on the industry a supplier’s site of employment is in, they will have varying questions in the SAQ, relevant to that industry. This means that suppliers only answer questions that are appropriate to them and provide useful information to their customers. The six sector profiles are:

  • Manufacturing – 225 questions
  • Service providers – 217 questions
  • Heavy engineering – 210 questions
  • Agriculture (big) – 203 questions
  • Intermediaries – 93 questions
  • Agriculture (small) – 67 questions


The global SAQ

The global SAQ enables a supplier company headquarters (HQ) to share a selection of questions relating to company-wide policies across all, or a selection of their company sites and subsidiaries. This saves members time and effort and reduces duplication, because they don’t have to answer the same questions multiple times for multiple sites. Site administrators are unable to overwrite company-wide policy questions answered in the HQ SAQ, which also helps maintain quality data.


More information

If you have any question on the Sedex Self-Assessment Questionnaire get in touch with your Account Manager or the Sedex Helpdesk.

Find out about our other products & services

Helping you get the most out of your Sedex membership

See more