What is sqas-africa?

SQAS-AFRICA is a system to evaluate the Safety, Health, Environment, Quality (SHEQ), Security and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) performance of Logistic Service Providers (LSPs) using standardised audit questionnaires, carried out by independent certified auditors. SQAS-AFRICA avoids multiple assessments by individual chemical companies. It helps companies select new LSPs and offers a tool for evaluating continual improvement. SQAS-AFRICA is a key element of Responsible Care® applied to logistics operations.

A SQAS-AFRICA leads to a certificate and offers a detailed factual assessment report. The system provides information on the strengths and weaknesses of LSPs as observed during the audit and provides the opportunity for LSPs to take ownership of their improvement action plan.

Benefits of SQAS-AFRICA 

  • Continual improvement in logistics operations
  • A cost-effective tool for chemical companies (less auditing) as well as for LSPs (fewer audits)
  • A systematic approach focusing on issues that need attention and improvement
  • Enhances the overall image of the chemical industry

SQAS-AFRICA expands the coverage of Responsible Care® throughout the product supply chain, focusing on continual improvement of SHEQ, Security and CSR within the LSP industry.

SQAS-AFRICA Categories in Brief

There are three specific SQAS-AFRICA categories covering the different types of LSPs active in land-based logistics:

  • SQAS-AFRICA Transport Service;
  • SQAS-AFRICA Tank Cleaning; and
  • SQAS-AFRICA Warehouse

Each of the SQAS-AFRICA questions is supported by a guideline, which provides a detailed explanation of the expected standard for each question.

SQAS-AFRICA Core is common across all the categories and covers Management Practices, SHEQ, Security, CSR and Procurement of Services.

The Assessment Process in Brief

  1. Any LSP or distributor (on its own initiative or at the request of a chemical company) may decide to have an SQAS-AFRICA audit performed. LSPs are advised to familiarise themselves with the applicable questionnaires and the associated guidelines before requesting an audit.
  2. The company to be audited selects an auditor from the list of Accredited SQAS-AFRICA Auditors available on the CAIA website: https://www.caia.co.za.
  3. The company to be audited downloads a blank Pre-Audit Document (PAD) from the CAIA website.
  4. The company to be audited fills in the PAD with all the applicable information necessary for the auditor to identify the scope of the audit.
  5. The completed PAD shall be sent to CAIA by the company to be audited.
  6. CAIA shall send the completed PAD to the auditor.
  7. The auditor determines the time needed to carry out the audit on the basis of the information provided in the PAD by the company to be audited.
  8. The accredited auditor completes an SQAS-AFRICA Audit Planning Form and sends it to CAIA two weeks before the start of the audit. This form contains the contact name and e-mail of the company to be audited. CAIA may verify if the planned audit is in conformity with the SQAS-AFRICA audit process before uploading the information on the CAIA website.
  9. The auditor carries out the audit.
  10. After completion of the audit, the auditor shall send the audit report by e-mail to CAIA within one week following the audit. CAIA shall send the report to the audited company and will not share the audit report with any other third-party without the audited company’s consent.
  11. CAIA shall list/update the audited company details on the CAIA website within three days of receiving the audit report. Only those companies that obtain an average score of 90% or above AND 100% on mandatory questions shall be listed as SQAS-AFRICA approved companies on the CAIA website. Companies that are audited for the first time and fail the audit shall be given 90 days to rectify their non-conformances, while all other companies shall be given 30 days to rectify their non-conformances.
  12. CAIA shall issue a certificate to the SQAS-AFRICA-approved companies (refer to step 11) within two weeks of receipt of the final audit report. Only companies that obtain an average score of 90% or above AND 100% on mandatory questions shall be issued with a SQAS-AFRICA certificate of compliance.
  13. The audited company shall develop an Improvement Action Plan. This plan can be updated at any time during the validity period of the certificate and may be requested as objective evidence during the re-audit of the company.
  14. The audited company can use the SQAS-AFRICA Logo as described in the “Conditions for use of the SQAS-AFRICA logo” document.
  15. All audit reports shall be archived after two years, by CAIA.
  16. A re-audit shall take place before the end of two years. A CAIA representative shall e-mail audited companies, to announce the expiry of the certificate two months before the expiry date.
  17. An intermediate audit carried out at the company’s request shall not change the validity period of an SQAS-AFRICA certificate.

For more information, refer to the following documents:

  1. SQAS-AFRICA Guidelines
  2. SQAS-AFRICA Accreditation Manual for Auditors

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