SAI's Social Fingerprint® at Timberland's Global Summit in China

The 1st Social Fingerprint® Trainer Certification course - Timberland assessors to help improve supplier capacity
Feb 2, 2012 4:30 PM ET

Social Fingerprint® at Timberland's Global Summit

The training opened up with an exercise to help the auditors understand the attitudes, skills and knowledge needed to be a good auditor, and then compare that with the attitudes, skills and knowledge needed to be a good consultant. Auditors are focused on identifying issues in factories, whereas consultants are focused on identifying and implementing the solutions to those identified issues. This exercise also  supports the assessors' transition from auditing to their new focus on supplier capacity building. The auditing function is now managed by VF staff, since Timberland was acquired by the VF Corporation in September 2011.

A key focus of the training was to compare a code-based approach with a process-based approach to social compliance. To drive improvement within a company, it is essential to supplement the traditional focus on code compliance and code violations, and to address the processes and systems that the company has in place. The Social Fingerprint® program takes a process-based approach to driving social compliance, encouraging more dialogue and supporting continual improvement.  

SAI Lead Trainers, Mike Lee and Shirley To, helped to provide a local context to social compliance challenges that assessors face. This was illustrated through examples of how Social Fingerprint® has been used in China to help measure factories' systems, then to develop and implement improvement plans.
The course was the first step for the assessors to become Certified Social Fingerprint® Trainers. As certified trainers, they will be able to conduct independent evaluations, and provide training and technical assistance to the suppliers with an ultimate goal of helping suppliers to have a Certified Social Fingerprint® Team Leader at their facility who will lead the improve process.