OEKO-TEX® training more auditors for STeP certification

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Since STeP certification for Sustainable Textile Production was introduced in June 2013, the International OEKO-TEX® Association has trained a total of 57 auditors in Europe and Asia. During this time and in addition to 8 pilot projects at various stages, 8 certifications for the rotating transition from OEKO-TEX Standard 1000 to STeP have been carried out, and 17 new clients entered into the web-based assessment tool.

In the first week of April 2014 in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, 11 more OEKO-TEX experts from North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia were trained as STeP auditors in all matters concerning STeP. By deploying technicians and engineers from OEKO-TEX institutes and their offices throughout the world for this demanding training, members of the International OEKO-TEX Association vouch for the high value placed on sustainability in textile production.

Guided by OEKO-TEX® Association trainers, the prospective auditors successfully completed a four-day training program, working through the six STeP certification modules with the help of practical examples. The information they swapped on their different cultural backgrounds and on the current state of the textile industry in their homecountries of Cambodia, China, India, Australia, USA, Brazil, Italy, France and Germany also enriched the workshop for participants.

The training sessions emphasised independence, neutrality and uniformity in the assessment of production processes in the textile chain. Other key training content involved working with the STeP Assessment Tool on a daily basis and creating checklists for audits, as well as drawing up test reports as a prerequisite for a uniform approach. To ensure this in practice as well, auditors who had not yet done field work for companies were accompanied and guided by an experienced colleague.

STeP Modules

Consistency in the different auditors’ assessments of gradation in the individual STeP modules is especially important. They must clearly recognize and distinguish between:

  • unacceptable results/conditions (no-gos)
  • minimum requirements in Level 1, but which already exceed national legal requirements
  • higher STeP requirements in Level 2 (average European level)
  • implementation of Best Available Techniques and modern management techniques in

Level 3

Since STeP certification can assimilate other, already existing management systems for cost saving at companies, various management systems were presented and commonalities worked out. In particular these include ISO 9001 (quality), 14001 (environment), OHSAS 18001 (occupational safety) and SA 8000 (social responsibility). Using company policy and existing indicators as a basis, the auditors learned how to check the efficiency of management systems by asking simple questions. Find out more on auditor training by sending an email to: step@oekotex.com.

Source: www.oekotex.com

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