Step 2 – Audit
To conduct your RJC audit
- You must contact and hire an RJC accredited audit firm (list available from the link below). Audit firms are service providers and we recommend you contact several to find the best arrangement for your business. Audit costs will vary depending on the size of your company, the types of risks you have and the areas of operation.
- Once you have chosen an audit firm, send them your completed self-assessment. The audit firm will then decide which sites to visit (this is the 'audit scope').
- Arrange a suitable date with your audit firm. Auditors get booked up quickly (generally three months in advance), so plan ahead to complete the audit before your certification deadline (you have two years from joining the RJC to get certified).
- During the audit, your auditor will verify that your company conforms with the RJC COP provisions.
What to expect from your RJC audit
- In order to develop a schedule for the audit, your chosen audit firm will usually ask you for some information about your company in terms of business activities, location of facilities, number of employees and usually a copy of your self-assessment.
- This helps the auditor to better understand your company and develop a workplan for the audit, in terms of which sample of sites to visit, and which topics to cover at each site and allocated time per topic.
- The date(s) and times of the audit activities will be agreed with you in advance of the audit.
- Start the audit with an opening meeting, to confirm the objectives of the audit and the schedule of activities during the audit
- Conduct a walk around of your facility to better understand the business operations and to look at how certain policies and procedures, such as health and safety and environmental management, are being implemented in day to day activities and whether they conform with the requirements of the RJC COP
- Conduct interviews with coordinators/managers/directors who have responsibilities for the issues covered by the RJC COP to understand how they are managed across the business for example: CSR or sustainability
- Conduct interviews with a sample of employees/workers chosen at random to assess whether the policies and procedures are being followed. These meetings are done confidentially, without the presence of management.
- Review documentation such as policies, written procedures and records of activities. The auditor can look at these in any format (paper or electronic), just ensure they are easily accessible on the day of the audit. Below are some examples from different provisions of the material your auditor may wish to review. Please note that your auditor may ask to see records selected by them at random. See examples below:
- Non-discrimination (provision 20)
- Health and safety (provision 21)
- Conduct a closing meeting to discuss the audit findings and next steps.
- The auditor will prepare an audit report for you detailing the objectives, scope, methodology and audit findings. The report will also include a recommendation for certification. You are required to review and approve this report prior to it being sent to the RJC for processing and then issuing you your certification.
Tips on contacting RJC accredited audit firms
- Contact as many audit firms as possible from the list available from the link below – however ensure that the audit firm is accredited to audit your type of business and in your country. Please contact the RJC using the details below if you are unclear on this.
- Feel free to negotiate the best price – even on re-certification audits. Speak to a number of audit firms to find the best arrangement for you
- Audit firms are a service provider, please remember you can ask for what suits you, including a more experienced auditor
- Completing the RJC audit as part of customer expectations such as for Signet, to demonstrate conformance with the Signet Responsible Sourcing Protocols (SRSPs)? Don’t forget to tell your auditor about this when planning the audit – they need to know this information in advance to ensure they allocate enough time during the audit to fulfil the SRSP requirements.
- Prepare! Complete your self-assessment as thoroughly as possible to ensure there are no unexpected surprises on the day/s of your audit and make sure all the relevant documents and people are readily available on the day of the audit. We recommend at least three months to complete the self-assessment.
- Arrange a suitable date with your audit firm. Auditors get booked up quickly (generally three months in advance), so plan ahead to complete the audit before your certification deadline
- Is a mid-term review required as a result of your audit findings? Don’t forget to ask your auditor to fully explain what you should expect from the mid-term review audit. Be sure to close out your non-conformances and arrange with your auditor to have your mid-term review audit (desktop or site visit) completed before the deadline
- If in doubt, speak to the RJC! Contact details below.
Selecting a RJC accredited audit firm
RJC aims to develop a wide range of audit firms with relevant experience across a breadth of operating regions. The pool continues to grow and we welcome interest from potential audit firms to expand the availability for members.
Need some help?
If you have any questions or concerns about selecting a RJC accredited audit firm or require additional support, the RJC has a dedicated Training Manager, Maria Mursell who is on-hand to provide you with support. Simply call the RJC London office on +44 (0)207 321 0992 or click the button below to get in touch via email.