The following will run in my PPB magazine President’s Perspective column in December. The PSA program is only successful with the work of the Product Responsibility Advisory Group and hundreds upon hundreds of member companies. Thank you.
Product Safety Aware Reaches A Milestone
What a difference two years makes. It was in January 2014 that we announced the PPAI Product Safety Aware (PSA) program to the industry. Under the terms of the program, each company seeking to do business through PPAI channels must become Product Safety Aware by having at least one employee complete four hours of product safety education.
Developed by PPAI’s Product Responsibility Advisory Group (PRAG) and vetted through industry committees and advisory groups, the PSA program was intended to enhance an industry-wide commitment and a culture where companies are not only aware of product safety but are leading the discussion at every level in the promotional products channel. We have long been the go-to industry resource for education and resources related to your compliance obligations, and this initiative builds on those efforts.
But, that’s not to say we didn’t have our share of detractors in the early days of the program. A number of companies resisted the program because they either believed the program didn’t apply to their businesses or because they thought four hours of education was excessive. But, I am pleased to report that every PPAI-contracted exhibitor at Expo East 2015 was Product Safety Aware, every company that advertises in PPB is Product Safety Aware and every company you’ll see on the show floor when The PPAI Expo opens next month in Las Vegas will be Product Safety Aware.
Leaders in regulatory compliance now laud PPAI as the poster child for how to create a product safety awareness program. So, where do we go from here? Now our focus turns to keeping the industry up to speed on all developing issues. Under the Product Safety Aware program, companies must simply complete at least two courses every two years to maintain their PSA designation. In the years to come, PPAI is committed to continuing its leadership in product responsibility and expanding our focus to reflect the broader mission and scope of this initiative.
We’re not focused exclusively on product safety anymore, and we’re not just focused on one set of regulations. There are really five pillars of product responsibility—product safety, social compliance, environmental sustainability, supply chain security and product quality. And our intent is to build a library of resources around each of these critical components. This was clearly reflected by our recent rebranding of what was formerly the PPAI Product Safety Summit to the Product Responsibility Summit. This year, the Summit broadened its scope to address social responsibility issues and challenges. In subsequent years, the Summit will address each of those pillars in turn, while never abandoning its roots in product safety.
Product responsibility is becoming a differentiator as more organizations become aware of how their sourcing decisions can impact their financial position, mitigate the risk for bad press and enhance a brand’s image in the market. There is no “easy button” or “fast pass” that is going to get us where we ultimately need to be, but I am very pleased to report that as a result of our Product Safety Aware initiative we have all taken at least the first steps on this path.
If you want to learn more about the Product Safety Aware initiative or any of our product responsibility resources, please reach out to our public affairs team and they will be happy to help you.
Thanks for your continued support of this important industry initiative. And as always, let me know if there’s anything I can do to help you grow your business.