The ethical compliance of Vernacare International and it's supply chain is one of the founding principles on which VCI conducts trade.
Vernacare International employs dedicated and trained staff to ensure that the Labour Standards Assurance Scheme (LSAS) by the NHS, and other ethical standards are communicated and upheld within the company. Ethical policies and performance are reviewed as a key component of the annual Management Review as a minimum.
Vernacare International holds a level 4 status to LSAS at its Worksop site, the highest level awarded for a Labour Scheme, and have dedicated plans to bring the other VCI sites to the same level within the next 3 years.
All Tier 1 suppliers to Vernacare International undergo an Ethical audit by the VCI team, or a selected third party. This ethical audit consists of Health & Safety, Employment law and compliance, as a minimum, to the Ethical Trade Initiative (ETI base code) which details requirements of forced or banded labour in respect to Modern Slavery.
Audits are carried out on a regular basis according to the risks associated with the product supplied, and the location in which the supplier resides. The results of these audits are communicated between Vernacare International and the supply chain, and we work proactively to ensure any areas for improvement are carried out and that the requirements of the ETI base code are not only implemented but understood in full.
Under the LSAS scheme all critical suppliers have a copy of the VCI Whistle Blowing Policy, written in the native language, thus allowing concerns over safety, or product quality, to be raised anonymously to the Vernacare International team by any supply chain worker. We actively encourage our supply chain to be familiar with the ETI base code and assist in directing them to the relevant information in their native language.
We engage the services of a local representative for the high risk areas of the supply chain, so that issues and concerns may be raised direct with the representative. This allows a more proactive approach to Ethical and Quality compliance, rather than relying entirely on an audit scheme.