Certification & audit

The ICTI Ethical Toy Program provides meticulous, 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 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 auditing 

All ICTI Ethical Toy Program audits are unannounced and conducted by one of four accredited auditing firms. A factory will undergo two or more audits per year.

Each audit 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 in the Corrective Action Plan.

Accredited Audit Firms:

Accredited Auditors:

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

Types of audit

  • Initial Certification Audit (ICA) or Initial Annual Audit (IAA) A full audit for first time applicants (ICA) or reapplying applicants (IAA), conducted within two months of application. This is a core audit which all factories must undergo.
  • Progress Audit (PA) A ‘check-up’ for all certified factories, conducted within 2 - 6 months from the date of certification. This is a core audit which all factories must undergo.
  • Follow Up Audit (FUA) Only applies where critical violations are found at audit.
  • Surveillance Audit (SA) Factories in Probation are required to undergo three Surveillance Audits within a year.
  • Quality Control Audit (QCA) A full audit which can be conducted at any factory if deemed necessary by the Ethical Toy Program.
  • Transparency Re-audit (RA) This 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.

Audit integrity

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

All our staff – and our appointed third-party auditors – 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

Seal classifications

A Seal of Compliance will be issued to the factory once all requirements have been met. We award four different seal levels depending on weekly working hours.

A60 Seal

40 weeks ≤60hours

Max. 12 weeks >60 but ≤66 hours

A Seal

40 weeks ≤66 hours

Max. 12 weeks >66 but ≤72 hours

B Seal

40 weeks ≤72 hours

Max. 12 weeks ≤78 hours*

*Any week should not involve more than 25% of the total number of the workers.

C Seal

Any weeks ≤78 hours

Probation Seal

Probation seal is a valid seal type. A probation seal could be granted when Critical Violations are identified. Factories in Probation must be willing to demonstrate their commitment to comply with our requirements. Probation seal is only available for factories who have previously held an Ethical Toy Program seal.

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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