SAC Verifier Code of Professional Conduct
The Sustainable Apparel Coalition expects individuals vetted and approved through the Verification Program Manager to follow the principles outlined in the The Sustainable Apparel Coalition Verifier Code of Professional Conduct.
Verifiers must promote a culture of integrity. They must manage and address verification integrity and bribery risks that may exist before, during and after each Higg verification. Verifiers must not knowingly be a party to any illegal activity, or engage in acts that are discreditable to the SAC.
Conflict of interest and impartiality
Verifiers must be impartial and avoid conflict of interests that may create an incentive to report inaccurate facts. Verifiers must not accept anything (e.g. bribes, gifts, benefits, hospitality, meals, entertainment) of any value from a facility (including its management, employee, or affiliates) before, during, and after Higg verification with the exception of items explicitly allowed under defined circumstances (e.g. lunch, transportation).
Verifiers shall manage risks and ensure compliance with all applicable laws related to corruption. The highest standards of integrity are to be upheld in all business interactions. Verifiers shall have a zero tolerance policy to prohibit any and all forms of bribery and corruption.
Verifiers must maintain confidentiality with respect to information gathered while executing Higg Index FEM verification. Verifiers must take reasonable steps to prevent unauthorized access to information collected during or relating to Higg FEM verification. This includes information available on the Higg.org platform.
Intellectual Property Rights
Intellectual property rights are to be respected; transfer of technology and know- how is to be done in a manner that protects intellectual property rights; and, customer information is to be safeguarded.
Following verification standard
Verifiers must perform verifications in accordance with the SAC instructions and standards. The Verification protocols provide a step by step instruction for conducting verifications. Further verification guidance can be found in the most current How To Higg Manual under the “How this will be verified” section of each question at howtohigg.org.
Verifiers must act in a respectful manner to all persons including management, workers, and other facility personnel. Permission to take photos and walk through the facility must be obtained before performing said activities.
Verifiers must act in a safe manner at all times, respecting and following site specific safety rules, including but not limited to, wearing Personal Protective Equipment and reading all caution signs on facility premises.
Verification Outcome Reporting
Ensuring authorized access
Verifiers shall have systems in place to ensure all data is collected, stored and transferred in compliance with applicable law, is secure and only accessible by authorized persons.
Verifiers are required to share verification results via the Higg.org platform in a timely manner as outlined in the verification protocol.
Sharing Verification Results
The verification results may not be shared with any other entities for any purposes. The verification results are entered into Higg.org for posting purposes. Sharing of the verification results shall be done via the Higg.org platform by the owner of the information, which is the factory that hired you for verification and gave you “Verifier” permissions on higg.org.
Verification Privacy General Rules
Verifiers should observe the following rules to ensure they are protecting information collected during all verifications:
- Verifiers will not leave their belongings such as notes or other verification related documents out in the open for public consumption
- Verifiers shall ask permission from facility staff when accessing information related to verification topics.
- Verifiers will ensure any electronic devices are secured with a password to prevent access to verification information.
- Verifiers shall not discuss the, verification results, or any other information gained from the verification with anyone outside of the facility management staff, the verification team or the Verification Program Partner, and only as necessary to finalize the verification results.
Sensitive Information Handling Rules
The verifier may come across sensitive information during the course of a verification. Sensitive information during a verification may include, innovative designs or processes, price sensitive information, strategy documents, and any other information which differentiates the facility providing them with a competitive advantage. Sensitive information should be guarded under extreme care and with security measures to ensure its confidentiality.
- Sensitive information is confidential and verifiers should not share it with any person or organization.
- Verifiers should not request or use sensitive information data unless necessary for the verification.
- If sensitive information is accidentally provided and is not needed for the verification, Verifiers should return it and not share that information.
- Verifiers should not include specific details about sensitive information in the verification report.