Clarks conduct a mixture of announced, semi-announced and unannounced audits.
Unannounced audits have been restricted in 2020-2021 due to Covid implications and the overarching requirement to ensure that health and safety of the audit team. Unannounced audits have the element of surprise, which can be useful. However, to successfully conduct an audit, it is important we have access to the management, relevant documents and records, and to the workers. Arriving at the facility on a day where the management is not there or the workers are not on shift, will not facilitate the audit process and may damage relationships for limited gain. That said, unannounced audits have a particular function: they can be used for due diligence checks, to verify information on modern slavery, or to investigate or follow-up on a specific or previous issue. Unannounced audits may also be used effectively to investigate the labour practices of a new supplier.