Frequently asked questions

FAQ about S-Rating

How long is the S-Rating valid for?

The S-Rating is valid for a maximum of up to six years. The procedure has to be completed again after the S-Rating has expired at the latest.

Can I improve my S-Rating?

Yes, you can improve the result of your S-Rating at any time. Use the suggestions for improvements from NQC to do this. You can find these in the questionnaire after you log in.

What criteria influence the result?

The self-assessment questionnaire (SAQ) reviews your company using the following key criteria: Code of Conduct, working conditions and human rights, occupational health and safety, corporate ethics, and environment. If you already actively promote these areas in your company and can furnish appropriate proof, answering the questionnaire should not pose any difficulties.

Who can I contact if I have any questions?

You can contact NQC at any time if you have technical questions about the platform and the SAQ by sending an email to auto.support@nqc.com, by calling +44 845 299 2996 or via live chat.

We will answer your questions about the S-Rating at s-rating@audi.de.

Can I speed up or shorten the process?

You have the option of downloading the current questionnaire, SAQ 4.0, as a PDF file and discussing the questions in advance with your colleagues. It also makes sense to look at the documents to be furnished as proof in the questionnaire in advance and check that they are complete and up to date. The subsequent review of your answers in the self-assessment questionnaire generally takes five work days and cannot be sped up.

Where do I find out my rating result?

The sustainability rating (S-Rating) is now visible for your company location on the homepage area of the ONE.KBP. You can find your S-Rating below your profile details.

Please note that the S-Rating is a location-based rating and that you will only be able to see the S-Rating for the company location that you are currently logged on for.

If you would like to see detailed information about your rating, please select "Further information" below "My S-Rating”.

FAQ about SAQ

Who has to fill out the self-assessment questionnaire?

The self-assessment questionnaire has to be filled out in principle by all companies that would like to enter into a business relationship with us. Companies that employ fewer than 10 people are exempt from the disclosure obligation. They can arrange to be exempted from participating in the S-Rating.

Why is the self-assessment questionnaire necessary?

The self-assessment questionnaire is necessary so that we can gain insights into your commitment to the environment and your social conduct. As a global corporation, sustainability is a core element of the production process at Audi, irrespective of the location or its size. In order to ensure that our business partners share the same approach, they under go the S-Rating procedure at the start of the business relationship. Only a positive S-Rating constitutes the basis for cooperation.

How much time do I have to fill out the self-assessment questionnaire?

A time limit has not been set for filling out the SAQ. Please note, however, that the audit by NQC generally takes five work days. Please include these days in your calculations if you are in the middle of a bidding phase for a call for tenders.

What does it cost to register on the platform?

Registering on the platform and completing the SAQ are free of charge for you.

In what languages is the SAQ available?

SAQ 4.0 provides the option of answering in six languages: German, English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Chinese (Mandarin).

Can questions in the SAQ change?

Yes, the catalog of questions in the SAQ is revised on a regular basis and new questions are added. As soon as a new version of the SAQ is available, all suppliers are required to fill out the questionnaire again.

What is the DUNS number?

The DUNS number is a unique numerical code that is used to clearly identify a company. The DUNS number (Data Universal Numbering System) was developed by Dun & Bradstreet and is now regarded as an international standard.

 

How do I get an invitation code?

You will receive the code inviting you to take part in the S-Rating from us by email. The code will be issued to you after you have successfully registered on the ONE.Group Business Platform of the Volkswagen Group. Please enter the invitation code before filling out the SAQ on the supplierassurance.com platform. 

What does it cost to participate in the S-Rating?

Participation in the S-Rating and also the related steps are free of charge for you.

How long does it take to assess the SAQ?

The review of the questionnaire by NQC generally takes five work days. In this step, checks are carried out to see whether the documents you have uploaded to provide verification for your answers are valid. You cannot edit the SAQ during this period.

What do I need a declaration of principles for?

With a declaration of principles, you emphasize the meaning of a certain topic for your company and at the same time increase its significance. Furthermore, it provides your employees with guidance for aligning their own actions to the corporate objectives. As a binding frame of reference for external and internal partners, a declaration of principles highlights at a glance the values and standards that underpin your company.

What does a declaration of principles contain?

A declaration of principles should be understood as a commitment to complying with applicable laws and international standards. The contents focus on the issues that are most relevant to your company, define targets for these, and lay down corresponding responsibilities. As a sign of transparency and openness, a declaration of principles is furthermore a commitment to an open exchange of views with internal and external partners.

What formal requirements have to be observed in a declaration of principles?

A declaration of principles can focus on a specific subject area or cover different subject areas. The correct form for your company depends among other things on the size of your company, your risk exposure, requirements arising from management systems, and external requirements. A formally correct declaration of principles contains your company logo as well as what the current version is. Furthermore, the executive management commits to the declaration of principles and its contents by signing it. The area of application for example for subsidiaries is also an integral part of a complete declaration of principles.

What do I do with a declaration of principles?

You use the declaration of principles for internal and external communication by making it available to view for example on your website. Additionally, the declaration of principles should be a fixed and integral part of compulsory training programs, for example for new hires. The declaration of principles serves as a basis for describing procedures and processes that are used to deal with the corresponding subject areas. It is therefore important that the declaration of principles is revised and updated on a regular basis.

FAQ about on-site check

Why do I have to undergo an on-site check?

An on-site check is generally arranged only if NQC identifies inconsistencies or major gaps or omissions when reviewing your SAQ. The location-specific review takes place only if the result of the SAQ suggests an increased sustainability risk.

What does it cost to take part in an on-site check?

Participation in the on-site check is free of charge for you on two occasions. You would have to pay the fees for this yourself only in the event of a third review.

 

To what extent does the result of the on-site check affect my score in the S-Rating?

The on-site check is about inspecting the practical implementation of the information you have provided in the SAQ. It is intended to help you identify deficiencies that negatively impact the S-Rating and to show you actions that you can take to remedy these deficiencies. The on-site check is a supplement to the SAQ but does not release you from your obligation to continuously improve the self-assessment questionnaire.

How long is the on-site check valid for?

In principle, the on-site check is valid for up to five years.

What happens if I do not agree with the result?

If you do not agree with the deficiencies recorded in the report, please state this during the final meeting with the assessor. By subsequently signing the report, you confirm that you agree with the deficiencies that have been identified and that the report may be sent to us. If you subsequently have questions about the final report, please contact us or our service provider Intertek.

What is a CAP?

The Corrective Action Plan (CAP) is a catalog of measures that the sustainability assessor that we have commissioned draws up after inspecting the factory premises. The assessor will discuss with you during the final meeting all of the deficiencies that are identified in the plan and how these can be remedied. By signing the plan, you confirm that you have taken note of it and give your consent that this report can be sent to us.

Can I improve the result of the on-site check by implementing corrective actions afterwards?

Yes, you have the possibility of remedying deficiencies identified during the on-site check by implementing the measures recommended in the Corrective Action Plan (CAP). The implementation of the measures will be reviewed by our service provider and us in what is known as a reaudit.

FAQ about compliance check

What does the compliance check mean for my S-Rating?

The compliance check is carried out as an additional audit only if there is a risk of corruption or money laundering. If you are not actively requested by the Volkswagen Group to take part in the compliance check, there is no need for you to take action here.

What does it cost to participate in the compliance check?

Participation in and the performance of the compliance check is free of charge for you.

Can I still be considered as a business partner despite the compliance check?

Yes, the compliance check is used to promptly identify risks such as corruption and money laundering and to review any doubts there are about the due diligence obligations of our business partners. If the compliance check turns out to be negative, i.e. there are no risks, it will be possible to continue the cooperation also in the future.

 

What is BPDD?

The Business Partner Due Diligence (BPDD) is an audit of the due diligence obligations of our business partners and is used to promptly identify risks such as corruption and money laundering.

Who can I contact if I have any questions?

You can find information about the compliance check here: Business Partner Due Diligence. Please do not hesitate to contact the BPDD team at BPDD@volkswagen.de if you have any other questions on this subject.

S-Rating training offers

S-Rating training offers

We want to support you on your path to greater sustainability. That is why we regularly offer training programs that explain the S-Rating in detail and lead you through the steps necessary to obtain it.

Read more

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