By Fibre2Fashion.com (First published on April 19, 2010)
Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP) is an independent and international NGO, dedicated to certifying facilities that engage in lawful, humane and ethical operations. It is the world’s largest labour and environmental certification program for the apparel manufacturing sector.
WRAP conducts internal auditor training in countries throughout the world, to assist facility managers in understanding WRAP principles and buyer’s social compliance requirements. WRAP’s training is certified by International Register of Certificated Auditor (IRCA), the world’s largest certification body for management systems auditors in London, England.
Those successfully completing the course will have thorough knowledge of WRAP requirements which will assist them in gaining WRAP certification and meeting compliance needs of their customers.
The Social System Foundation and Internal Auditor Training Course that WRAP provides for factories all over the world, combines a one-day Social System Foundation Course (IRCA Course A17331), with a two-day Internal Social System Auditor Course (IRCA Course A17332).
After the intensive training, attendees get a thorough understanding of how suppliers can continually assess factories to maintain compliance with local laws and customer codes.
Mr Avedis Seferian, Director of Compliance Administration at WRAP, was recently in India to conduct a training program in New Delhi, the capital of India. Fibre2fashion caught up with him and took the opportunity to speak to him and understand more about the WRAP training course and to know, how it helps the apparel manufacturing sector.
We began by asking him as to how attending a WRAP training course, will help the companies from the apparel export sector, to which he replied by saying, “Attending a WRAP training course will help give a company better information about what is required to obtain WRAP certification, and a better understanding of a management systems approach to social compliance.
“This will be helpful for exporters because WRAP certification improves a factory’s competitiveness by opening more doors of the factory to international buyers. Further, it also helps impact the factory’s bottom line directly, because the management system that the facility implements in order to obtain WRAP certification will make it a much more, efficient production unit.
“This is because a socially compliant facility will have higher worker satisfaction, which in turn will result in higher worker productivity. Also, it lowers worker turnover, which in turn lowers all the related costs involved with having to constantly hire new employees (finding them, training them, the opportunity cost lost in getting a new hire to the same level of efficiency the previous worker was at prior to leaving, etc).”
He concluded by observing, “So in all these ways, WRAP training and subsequent certification can greatly help companies from the apparel export sector by improving their ability to compete in the global marketplace.”
Next we asked him as to what extent has WRAP been able to bring changes in the way the manufacturing activity of apparels is conducted, to which he said, “WRAP is a social compliance certification program, and, as such, does not directly impact the manufacturing activities of a factory itself.
“Rather, the focus is on the labour, environmental, customs and security aspects of the operation. In all of these areas, a WRAP certification makes a factory a better place, and to the extent that, this results in a more efficient and productive labor force, WRAP is thereby also able to impact the manufacturing activities and make them also more efficient.”
Since, he was in India, we asked him to rate the social compliance parameters of Indian clothing companies when compared with other Asian countries, to which he diplomatically answered by saying, “India is an incredibly large and diverse country and it is therefore impossible, not to mention unfair, to paint all Indian clothing companies with the same brush when it comes to their social compliance levels.
“There are many excellent factories in India, just as there are many factories that need to improve. The important thing is that the general awareness about the importance and impact of social compliance issues is high, and factories are implementing measures necessary to reap the benefits of good management systems, to enable them to seek certification and get the competitive edge that brings.”
Notice: The WRAP blog may feature links to external sites as an enhancement to the post. WRAP is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.