The Children’s Place is a brand signatory member of the SLCP. Our responsible sourcing team took part in the SLCP Phase 2 Verification Pilot to better understand how assessments can be utilized within our program.

The SLCP’s aim is to create a converged assessment framework to collect supply chain data on factory compliance and worker health and safety. The Children’s Place participated in the Phase 2 of the SLCP pilot with four factory partners. We also utilized three different verifiers for these factory self-assessments. The learnings have proved important for us as we recognize the SCLP model will require a shift in our mindset and internal processes. There were three main highlights for us in the first pilot phase.

First, we were able to deploy the tool successfully across multiple geographies, as we piloted in Africa, China and South-East Asia. TCP operates in 23 countries around the world, so ensuring the model can be leveraged globally, and executed by different types of partners, is critical to our supply chain needs. The content was understood by each of our partners and we believe the tool will be even more effective once translated to local languages in subsequent iterations.

Second, the pilot gave us a perspective on how we might integrate SLCP assessments into our current auditing program. TCP engages with factory partners differently based on business importance and risk profile. From the pilot learnings, we see an opportunity to quickly leverage SLCP assessments in partnership with a segment of our suppliers upon launch. As the majority of our current factory audits are conducted by our internal team, we also see a future opportunity to redeploy resources to enhance training and capacity building activities, as we integrate SLCP practice.

Lastly, we were encouraged by the structure of the SLCP self-assessment model. We found the tool to have a strong focus on management systems, with assessment questions focused on policy, governance, training and continuous improvement. The tool will provide helpful information to aid in capacity building with our partners in the supply chain.

We remain very encouraged with the benefits SLCP can bring to us and our suppliers. We see how the model can reduce audit fatigue and assist in building common practice. Our goal now is to determine how to use the SLCP approach in the deployment of our audit capital and process. We look forward to the next phase as we continue our learnings.