What are the Fast Forward Core Standards?

Excerpts below are from the Fast Forward General Regulations, available to SEP Subscribers and Member Brands.

1.3 Audit Overview

The Fast Forward Audit is a management systems audit, developed by ethical and labour standards auditing experts in seven areas of ethical compliance:

Core standards

  1. Workers are eligible to work in the UK
  2. Workers are paid at least the national minimum wage
  3. Workers are treated fairly in accordance with employment law
  4. Workers are provided with a safe and hygienic working environment
  5. Workers are not subjected to mistreatment and have access to remedy
  6. The business has an appropriate structure, overarching business and ethical policies, performs due diligence on its supply chain, and accurately calculates and pays tax in accordance with legislation.


  • The business maintains an effective and relevant Environmental Management System (EMS)

Within each area of ethical compliance, the Fast Forward Audit assesses businesses’ performance against a set of technical standards mapped to national legislation and good practice standards, including the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) Base Code. The Fast Forward Audit reviews management systems control points (policies and procedures, training and communication, monitoring and governance) that are examined by the Auditor to assess adherence to the technical standards. The management systems approach places the onus on the business to prove compliance to the standards, rather than on the Auditor to prove non-compliance. The seventh compliance area – environmental management – is optional, with the decision made by the commissioning Brand.