Certification & audit

The ICTI Ethical Toy Program provides robust, trusted, industry-leading social compliance audits and toy factory certification.

About our certification

ICTI Ethical Toy Program Certification focuses on social compliance issues pertinent to toy manufacturing. Our Audit Checklist is regularly reviewed to respond to the evolving needs of toy factories, brands and retailers, reflect changes in regulation and to integrate good practice.

Our Certification is the leading industry-wide standard which international toy buyers trust; over two-thirds of the world’s toys are produced in Ethical Toy Program Certified factories. The program covers all types of toy and juvenile products from plush and plastic to electronics and chemistry sets.  

Ethical Toy Program certification plays a major role in reducing audit duplication by providing a single responsible toy sourcing standard that is requested and accepted by toy brands and retailers worldwide. 

Becoming Ethical Toy Program Certified also helps to drive improvements in manufacturing businesses and increase competitiveness by reducing worker turnover, increasing worker satisfaction and creating a better more productive workplace.

Certification process

Ethical Toy Program Certification meets the unique manufacturing requirements of toy production.

Our certification process is made up of the following five steps.

Go to Getting certified

Our approach to factory monitoring 

All ICTI Ethical Toy Program audits are unannounced and conducted by one of four accredited auditing firms, Progress Visits are different, they are announced post-certification visits for factories. A factory will haven at least one audit and one visit per year.

Each Ethical Toy Program audit report is reviewed by our Program Monitoring and Development team who determine the final result. The result is based on examination of non-compliances identified by auditors and takes into account any comments or responses reflected by the factory management in the Corrective Action Plan.

Accredited Audit Firms:

Accredited Auditors and Progress Visit Specialists:

Ethical Toy Program audits can only be conducted by either accredited auditors from accredited audit firms or authorised Ethical Toy Program staff members.

Ethical Toy Program Progress Visits can be conducted by PV Specialists from accredited audit firms, authorised Ethical Toy Program staff members or other specialist organizations. The list of accredited auditors and PV Specialists is available here.

Types of Audits and Visits

The Ethical Toy Program includes the following core audits and visits all factories:

  • Initial Certification Audit (ICA) or Initial Annual Audit (IAA)
    A full unannounced audit for first time applicants (ICA) or reapplying applicants (IAA), conducted within two months of application
  • Progress Visit (PV)
    An announced factory visit for all certified factories to review and discuss progress in maintaining IETP social compliance standards, conducted within two to four months of the date of certification, this is an announced visit which factories can plan for in advance

Other audit types:

  • Follow Up Audit (FU)
    Unannounced audit, only applies where critical violations are found at audit
  • Surveillance Audit (SA)
    Factories in Probation are required to undergo three unannounced Surveillance Audits within a year
  • Quality Control Audit (QCA)
    A full unannounced audit which can be conducted at any factory if deemed necessary by the Ethical Toy Program
  • Transparency Re-audit (RA)
    This unannounced audit applies where there are transparency issues found. It is granted to factories who show transparency during the 20 working days Factory Response Period. 12 months of records are required
  • Desktop Review (DR)
    This is used to follow up on the progress of corrective actions for minor violations

Audit integrity

Honesty, integrity, and trust are at the core of the Ethical Toy Program.

All our staff, our appointed third-party auditors, and progress visit specialists, must observe the laws and regulations of the jurisdiction where they are located, and maintain a high standard of professional ethics when conducting business. 

We take a zero-tolerance approach to bribery and corruption.

Our dedicated Integrity Team is responsible for the implementation of our integrity policy within – and across – the Ethical Toy Program.

Go to Integrity

Certification

A factory will be classified as Certified once all requirements have been met. 

Our five factory statuses differentiate between fully-compliant factories (Certified) and those which are making progress towards achieving full compliance (Assessed or Progressing).

Pre-certification statuses Assessed and Progressing recognize factories which are working towards full IETP Certification. 

Certified

Certification valid for 12 months

Factory has no open non-compliances.

Progressing

Status valid for 6 months

If a factory has been audited and does not have any Critical Non-Compliances but some Minor and Major Non-Compliances (no more than 30% in any section of the checklist), then they are eligible for the status of Progressing. These factories must respond and correct these findings appropriately and in a timely manner. For example, the factory must submit a Corrective Action Plan and start remediation within 3 months of the audit to be eligible for Progressing.

Assessed

Status valid for 10 months

If a factory has been audited they will be assigned Assessed, according to the severity of the violations, a follow-up audit might be assigned. 

Probation

Certification valid for 12 months

Probation certification is a valid type of certification, factories in Probation are committed to remediating Record Inconsistency which they have shown transparency.Probation certification is only available for factories who have previously held an Ethical Toy Program certification.

Terminated

Status valid for 6 months

If a zero tolerance violation is found at any time, a factory's certification will be immediately revoked and they will be assigned the status of Terminated for at least 6 months, according to the severity of the violation, before they can reapply for certification.

Resources to support factories

Head to our Factory Resource Library for everything factories need to get from application to certification and beyond.

Go to Factory resources

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