BSI, the business standards company, has launched its first global risk management standard for supply chains aimed at improving transparency for suppliers and buyers at organisations of all sizes globally.

The 'PAS 7000 Supply Chain Risk Management - Supplier prequalification' has been created in response to industry demand, with three quarters of executives considering supply chain risk management important or very important, BSI said.

"As supply chains increasingly span continents, and brands become ever more exposed due to the demand for increased transparency, the challenges for procurement teams to assess the suitability of suppliers increases," it added.

The standard aims to answer three questions relating to any organisation's supply chain partners: Who are they? Where are they? Can they be relied upon?

PAS 7000 provides companies with a uniform set of common information requirements that reduces duplication of effort in completing tender forms and aids procurement in bringing consistency to the supplier base. It establishes a model of governance, risk and compliance information for buyers to pre-qualify suppliers and confirm their intention and ability, to adhere to key compliance requirements.

"Today's consumers and employees demand integrity from the organisations they deal with," said Howard Kerr, chief executive at BSI. "Acting with integrity requires confidence in all those involved in delivering a service, anything else risks brand reputation.

"The benefit of this new standard is that it helps brands to align their supply chain with their corporate values by adopting an internationally defined framework of good practice for supplier pre-qualification."