Intelligent Testing Support (TestLess)
The product safety landscape is rapidly changing with global regulations controlling the safety of retailed consumer products increasing significantly in recent years. A proactive approach to product safety ensuring that global regulations and NGO expectations are met is key for all global brands to avoid exposure and associated consequences such as brand damage and litigation.
With that in mind, we accept that it is not possible to test everything, for everything!
The purpose of an intelligent testing protocol is to provide a risk based assessment of all products sourced. It is recognised that embarking on a testing programme will take time to be completely effective. It is also recognised that managing intelligent testing within the leather industry, particularly for retailers in a design led brand, is challenging due to the dynamic supply chain. The aim of any testing system is to gain as much assurance as possible regarding the absence of restricted chemicals in products being manufactured and sold. As confidence in the supply chain increases the frequency and volume of testing should decrease accordingly.
“The purpose of an intelligent testing protocol is to provide a risk based assessment of all products sourced”
An intelligent testing programme can play a crucial role in a business due diligence efforts; it is important to prove that the business took all reasonable precautions and exercised all due diligence to avoid any regulatory breach being committed.
The term reasonable is difficult to quantify and will vary depending on the type and size of business, jurisdiction of retailed product, product specific risks, and end users In all cases documentary evidence is vital, as work not recorded is legally considered work not done.
The use of this defence will require proof of actions, which will involve documented processes and procedures such as an intelligent testing programme.
Furthermore, the system needs to be well communicated, all findings documented and corrective actions put in place as necessary.