IV. Buyer Engagement with Better Work

IV.1 How can buyers engage with Better Work: Overview of Partnership verses Participation? 

International buyers sourcing products from factories contribute much to the success of the Better Work programme by helping to drive improvements among their suppliers. Likewise, Better Work can give buyers a one-stop shop for progress in their supply chain conditions with a focus on broad, lasting changes.

We have two schemes for working with buyers:


Buyers getting to know the programme may work with us as participants. This means they engage some of our services and work with us on conditions in a number of their supplier factories.

Further details of our Participants scheme and to sign up,  please contact our buyer relations focal points


After becoming familiar with how we work, buyers may like to graduate to become one of our buyer partners. This provides much wider and more strategic benefits than the Participant scheme. Buyer partners are involved with the programme at a deeper level and get to take part in its governance, structure and more. They also have several commitments as part of their partnership with Better Work including stopping other forms of factory auditing.

See Better Works Buyer Partners at: http://betterwork.org/global/?page_id=361

Further details of our Partners scheme and to sign up, please contact our buyer relations focal points


IV.2 What extra value and services do buyer partners get (beyond participants)? 

  • Opportunity to help define the future of the programme through participating in its governance and structure (through Advisory Committee)
  • PR and marketing opportunities
  • Access to national policy debates and engagement with industry stakeholders on strategic and cross-sector issues
  • Quarterly calls with country programmes to update on both sectoral, programme and factory specific remediation issues
  • Prioritised assessments and reporting on request
  • Priority access to special services and pilots e.g. SMS or grievance procedures projects, environmental and footwear pilots
  • Participate in factory level activities e.g. Joint Advisory and Training opportunities
  • Access to Partner only Buyers Forum Sessions which commonly include deep dive sessions into national issues, discussions with local stakeholders, sessions to define the future priorities and direction of the programme.


IV.3 What do buyer Partners commit to? 

  • Committing to the programme in spirit and practice
  • Engaging in the governance decisions of the programme (via a buyer representative on the Advisory Committee)
  • Stop auditing factories in Better Work programme
  • Support factory in continuous improvement
    • Not dropping or downgrading factories based on compliance results (provided the factory is making progress)
    • giving sufficient time for sustainable improvements
  • Not charging back any of the buyer fees to factories (the factories already pay for the services they receive).
  • Establishing clear internal roles and responsibilities and lines of communication with Better Work staff.
  • Providing information that allows Better Work to effectively plan, resource and scope services to the benefit of all partners.
  • Engaging suppliers and intermediaries to support the programme.

Better Work encourages its Buyer Partners to examine their own sourcing practices to encourage positive alignment between compliance and sourcing.

Buyers unwilling to meet the above commitments are not eligible for partnership and should engage as participants.