What is URSA?
URSA; It is an acronym formed from the initials of Understanding the Responsible Sourcing Audit, which is translated into our language as Responsible Sourcing Audit. URSA can be explained as a certification activity that includes standards and requirements related to an audit carried out to ensure that companies in the position of supplier comply with the laws and necessary regulations of the country in which they operate. In other words, suppliers can be audited and certified by authorized institutions within the scope of this certification activity. URSA also means "she-bear" in English.
In fact, URSA is a kind of independent control mechanism. In other words, URSA; It is an audit protocol that also evaluates the compliance of suppliers with the additional requirement of Unilever´s Responsible Sourcing Policy (RSP). Thanks to control protocols such as URSA; suppliers not only meet compliance requirements, but also become part of a continuous improvement process. With the Fundamental Principles in URSA, Unilever has identified some key elements on responsible sourcing to fulfill its commitments for sustainable growth. Besides; There are some mandatory requirements (Mandatory Requirements) for suppliers who want to establish and maintain a business relationship with Unilever. These criteria are valid for all suppliers, regardless of their field of activity or the type of product/service they provide.
The URSA Audit may also be referred to as the Social Compliance Audit (SUD). Some of the criteria required in this audit are;
• Under no circumstances should a person or persons younger than 16 years of age be employed in the enterprise,
• Foreign nationals who do not have a residence and work permit should not be employed,
• None of the personnel working in the enterprise should be paid below the minimum wage,
• Under no circumstances should there be any violation of transparency, including payment and/or payroll records,
• Under no circumstances should there be any SSI and/or tax debts in the business.
What is URSA Certificate?
The document referred to as the URSA Certificate or the Ursa Certificate; It is the document or documents owned by the firm that has successfully completed the URSA audit. This certificate is issued as a result of the inspection carried out by authorized inspection institutions. Audits of farms, farmer groups, manufacturing units, operators, traders, exporters and logistics units, in short, all organizations within the scope of URSA, can be carried out by private companies with experienced audit staff in accordance with the responsible sourcing principles of Unilever company.
Thanks to the audit with URSA, related companies can be audited and evaluated for many other issues beyond the protocols accepted by the industry. For example; labor standards, occupational health and safety, human rights, commercial integrity, environmental management and land use.
There are other audits, standards and organizations that serve a similar purpose to the URSA Audit. Examples include the BSCI Association, Fama Audits, the Inditex Group and the SEDEX Organization. These are; Organizations, supervisory mechanisms or associations that serve similar purposes, such as improving working conditions in global supply chains.
URSA Consulting; It is the consultancy service given regarding the audit called URSA Audit. This consultancy service can be provided by private companies. The purpose of this consultancy service; It can be explained as providing the necessary training or information services to the companies that will be under the control of URSA, providing the necessary documentation assistance and informing the personnel and employees about this issue. Within the scope of consultancy service related to URSA;
• Preparing both personnel and managers for questions that may come within the scope of audits by creating a list of questions,
• Creation of necessary documentation,
• Other preparations for audits,
• Audit rehearsal,
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Audit Process for Obtaining URSA Certificate
URSA covers much broader topics than industry-accepted protocols. In this context, it evaluates the practices of the suppliers regarding the following subjects;
• Working standards,
• Occupational health and Safety,
• Human rights,
• Business integrity,
• Environmental management and land mandate rights.
To meet Unilever´s compliance requirements and achieve the Good Practice Criteria, suppliers must successfully pass the URSA audit. Unilever suppliers or organizations wishing to become new suppliers must register their companies with the Unilever Supplier Qualification System (USQS) to initiate the audit process. The process followed regarding the audits;
• Creation of the request for the audit,
• h for inspection making preparations,
• Performing the inspection at the operation sites,
• Making messages after the audit,
• Making and evaluating the necessary verifications after the audit,
Companies that will be under the control of URSA;
• Personal records (attendance records, payrolls, monthly statement of accounts),
• Occupational health and usage records (building layout, power plant, workplace and working license, model report, building permit and building permit, number of design and fire equipment such as project),
• Environmental records (such as workplace environmental permit, EIA out-of-scope report, environmental protection documents, waste declarations),
• Other records (such as recruitment and junior students, daily audit records, internal and external subcontractor lists),
The system regarding its records and these records should be preserved in some way.
How it will be done from the company that wants to get the URSA certificate, if it benefits from a business before this document is obtained, it will benefit.