Large organisations are facing increasing pressure to ensure that their suppliers adhere to ethical conduct on issues such as corruption, environmental and human rights practices.

To ease the burden on these organisations The Ethics Institute has launched the “Ethically Aware” accreditation. The accreditation can be obtained through the Ethically Aware Supplier Induction (EASI) programme.

EASI is an e-learning programme for companies who want to train their suppliers on responsible business practices. It is intended to help suppliers reflect on ethical challenges relevant to their business and provide them with tools for promoting responsible conduct in their organisations.

“EASI was designed to create an engaging learning experience on a topic that is often neglected,” says Prof Deon Rossouw, CEO of The Ethics Institute. “It is an interactive programme filled with animated video content, case studies, practical scenarios and exercises.

“The entire course – including the assessment – should take between two and three hours to complete,” says Kris Dobie, who developed EASI. “The four main topics of the course include Doing Business with Integrity, Treating Employees Fairly, Impact on Society, and Environmental Impact.”

The EASI content has been developed to align with the requirements of the supplier codes of conduct of a number of large organisations. It also aligns with the requirements of the United Nations Global Compact – an international standard on ethical business practices.

While the “Ethically Aware” accreditation does not guarantee ethical conduct by a company, it does provide organisations with a measure of comfort that a supplier has undergone the training and are aware of ethical requirements.

The “Ethically Aware” accreditation is valid for two years from date of completion, or until the senior manager who completed the training is no longer part of the management team.