Business Social Compliance Initiative

Introduction :

Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) was founded in 2003 for the purpose of developing the tools and procedures for the European Business Social Compliance Programs. Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) is the common European platform of retailers, industry and importing companies for monitoring and improving social standards in supplier countries for all consumer goods. The BSCI is based on the labour standards of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and other important international regulations like the UN Charter for Human Rights, as well as on national regulations. The Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) was officially launched on 30 November 2004. It represents a coordinated effort by the European retail industry to implement a harmonized code of conduct and improve working conditions in supplier countries on a voluntary basis. The driving force behind the BSCI is the Brussels -based Foreign Trade Association (FTA), which is the association for European commerce lobbying particularly on foreign trade issues.

What are the benefits of the BSCI?

The benefits of the BSCI as a broad and comprehensive monitoring system for social standards in the supply chain are numerous:

Synergy effects, reduction of multiple auditing thereby reducing costs are one characteristic. Factories/companies which are being audited can improve their competitiveness through improved social standards as better working conditions and an improved management system leads to better product quality, higher productivity, fewer work accidents, less sick leave producing more highly motivated workers and lower staff turnover. The result of this is an improvement ethically, but also economically for both involved employers as well as employees. The economic advantages in this respect – in parallel taking into account the objectives to reduce excessive overtime and raise salaries where necessary, have been shown in research studies in this field. Therefore, benefits of the individual company also have a positive effect on the broad public.

Does the BSCI provide a certification?

The BSCI is not a certification system and therefore does not issue a certificate. The BSCI provides a specific process with uniform management instruments for Members, suppliers, auditors and qualifiers. This approach ensures uniform audit procedures and evaluation and therefore comparability of the results.If I do not get a certificate what do I receive as proof of the audit? The cover page of the audit report outlining the results and the validity of the audit can be displayed in the factory premises and be used as proof of the audit.

Which products are covered by the BSCI?

Audits within the BSCI can be conducted in any production facility worldwide. The type of articles covered by the BSCI varies widely. There are quite a number of department stores as members, who sell all sorts of soft goods, clothing, home textiles, small appliances, toys, and accessories. There are also members that focus on one particular product group, for example clothing stores, shoe retailers, baby products, or sports goods. For the implementation of the BSCI in the food industry, the BSCI has developed a special module for the primary production (farms)
BSCI Social Requirements

  • Management Practice.
  • Documentation.
  • Working Time
  • Remuneration.
  • Child labour/Young Labour
  • Forced Labour/Discrepancy Measures/Prison Labour.
  • Freedom of Association and Collective Bargain.
  • No Discrimination.
  • Working Conditions.
  • Health and Social Facilities.
  • Occupational Safety and Health.
  • Dormitories.
  • Environment.

BSCI Best Practices for Industry

The BSCI currently recognizes SA8000 as its best practice. Some points of crucial important are as follows

  • Policy Establishment.
  • Proper Planning and Implementation.
  • Management Review.
  • Control of Subcontractors/Suppliers/Sub-suppliers.
  • Control of Home workers.
  • Compensation.
  • Child Labour.
  • Evasion.
  • Outside Communications.

Commitment of BSCI audited companies

At present, BSCI audited companies have to commit themselves to auditing and integrating 2/3 of their soft goods suppliers or 2/3 of their buying volume in defined risk countries into the compliance program. SA8000 Auditors must carry out this auditing and integrating within a timeframe of 3 ½ years after joining the BSCI. The Supervisory Council checks the fulfillment

Immediate requirements:

Social :

Work/labor rights

  • Conditions of work
  • Safety at work (ILO 184)
  • Safe work environment
  • No forced labor (ILO 29&105)
  • Child labor prohibited (ILO 182)
  • Condition of employment
  • Minimum age (ILO 138)
  • Equal remuneration (ILO 100)
  • Workers empowerment
  • Freedom of association (ILO 87)
  • Collective Bargaining (ILO 98)
  • No discrimination at work (ILO 111)

Short-term requirements:

Environment :


  • Equipment and training on chemical
  • use
  • Storage/disposal/waste
  • Management of chemicals


  • Pollution management
  • Disposal of waste


Disposal of grey waters and run off

Social :

Social/human rights

  • Housing and sanitary facilities in place
  • Gender issues
  • Cultural/religion rights (ILO 169)
  • Indigenous rights
  • Minority rights

Work/labor rights

  • Conditions of work
  • Safety at work (ILO 184)
  • Training on safety issues
  • Safety equipments and emergency
  • kits
  • Safe handling chemicals
  • Healthy work conditions
  • Access to safe drinking water
  • Access to sanitary facilities at work
  • Access to medical assistance/
  • insurance
  • Training requirements on site
  • No use of physical violence
  • Condition of employment
  • Contract labour policies and
  • practices
  • Transparency of employment
  • practices
  • Leave days clearly specifi ed
  • Timely payment of wages
  • Minimum wage requirements

Work/labor rights

  • Condition of employment
  • Living wages to cover basic human
  • services/savings
  • Maximum number of working hours set 


The Background of BSCI

Initiated by the Foreign Trade Association, based in Brussels, a group of European retail companies and associations have developed the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI). The BSCI is based on ILO labor standards and aims at continuously improving the social performance of suppliers. The ultimate objective is an aim for factories to become certificated to standards such as SA8000 or equivalent and thus sustainable enhancing working conditions in factories worldwide. Local and European stakeholder networks are part of this project.

The Requirements of BSCI Code of Conduct

  • Legal compliance
  • Working hours
  • Compensation
  • Prohibition of child labor
  • Prohibition of forced labor and disciplinary measures
  • Freedom of Association and the right to collective bargaining
  • Prohibition of all forms of discrimination
  • Workplace Health and Safety
  • Management Systems
  • Environment and Safety Issues

BSCI Evaluation Scheme Structure

Part A – Recording Master Data: Business and master data of supplier company.

Part B – BSCI Audit: Recording and evaluation of compliance with minimum social and environmental requirements. The implementations of corrective actions arising from Part B are compulsory.

Part C – Recording and Assessment of Best Practice for Industry: Part C audit is compulsory; implementation of corrective actions arising from Part C is voluntary.

Following an initial audit where serious issues have been found, corrective actions may be required before arranging for a re-audit to close these out.

SGS is an accredited audit company for the BSCI program and has experience of conducting thousands of audits against this program with a dedicated Product Manager ensuring consistency across all countries.

Our global network of auditors enables a quick and cost-effective response in most major manufacturing areas; while dedicated key account managers can support large programs where BSCI members are seeking to monitor supply chains against BSCI requirements

 Management Represantive

 To Whom It May Concern:

This is to certify that Mr. …….. is the Admin Manager of …………Ltd. His responsible duty is to be informed and discuss of all kinds of Administrative & Compliance issue with top management of company and take step for proper solution. The management also announce that, he have been appointed as Management Representative for BSCI Audit program in all the existing facilities of ………………. Ltd.

As a Management Representative He has also committed to establish, maintained and implemented all requirements & Code of Conduct of BSCI.


This is to certify that the management of ……….Ltd. is fully aware of BSCI & Local/ National applicable laws & Regulations. Management also committed to establish maintained and implemented all of the BSCI policy & Local/ National applicable Laws & Regulations in the facility.

Business Social Compliance Initiative