SQAS (Safety & Quality Assessment System) is a system to evaluate the quality, safety,
security and environmental performance of Logistics Service Providers (LSP's) and Chemical
Distributors in a uniform manner by single standardised assessments carried out by independent
assessors using a standard questionnaire.
An SQAS assessment does not lead to a certificate but offers a detailed factual report which each
chemical company needs to evaluate according to its own requirements.
The SQAS Principles
Cefic, the European Chemical Industry Council, centrally manages the system and ensures its
integrity and success. The system is based on four pillars:
- A common questionnaire for each category of companies
- The accreditation of assessors
- The electronic database of assessment reports
- The Service Group
The SQAS Questionnaires and Modules
Cefic has developed five specific SQAS questionnaires for the different types of LSP active
in land logistics and one for chemical distribution, in close co-operation with the involved partner
companies and their associations. The questionnaires and the associated databases of assessment
reports are accessible via the modules listed on the "home page". The logistics modules cover
Logistics Service Providers offering transportation and other logistics services to chemical
companies. The SQAS Distributor / ESAD module addresses chemical company customers - the chemical
Similarly, CDI (Chemical Distribution Institute) coordinates a number of assessment modules to cover
the various Maritime activities. These modules are covered in separate systems.
As a consequence, each industry sector (transport, cleaning, warehousing, etc) can be assessed with
a common questionnaire. SQAS avoids multiple assessments by different individual chemical companies
at the same logistics company, which prevents duplication of efforts and saves resources at both
The SQAS Assessors
The assessments are done by professional auditors who are trained and accredited by Cefic
for each type of assessment. They are also closely monitored by Cefic to ensure a continuous high
and uniform quality of work across Europe.
New candidate assessors are referred to the link "Assessor Accreditation Documents" for further
information on how to become an SQAS Accredited Assessor.
The Electronic Database of Assessment Reports
The assessment reports are stored in a central database, split per module. The electronic
database allows better accessibility, transparency and easy analysis of the assessment results, but
is secured to provide access to authorized persons only.
Chemical companies use these assessments for Risk Management in support of their product stewardship
activities. The reports provide useful information on the strengths and weaknesses observed during
the assessment. The chemical producers use the reports in their selection of new service providers
and for their ongoing evaluation of the quality, safety, security and environmental performance of
their existing partner companies, and for their dialogue with these companies, leading to continuous
The Service Groups
In order to ensure an ongoing sustainable operation of SQAS, Cefic has created the SQAS
Service Group (for logistics) and the ESAD Service Group (for Chemical Distribution) for those
chemical companies that actively support and use the SQAS Systems. These member companies provide
both the financial resources and the management structure to operate the systems successfully.
Chemical companies that are member of these Service Groups obtain the following services:
- Access to the online database containing all the assessment reports allowing a quick analysis of
the assessment results by using queries and templates;
- Training in the adequate use of the SQAS system;
- Access to the European network of accredited SQAS assessors.
The membership fee is dependent on the size of the company. For further information on these Service
Groups, please contact Victor Trapani, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone +32 2 676 73 85.
Getting started to do an SQAS Assessment
Any logistics or distributor company who considers to undertake an assessment is advised to
familiarize themselves with the applicable questionnaire and the associated guidelines, and to
choose an assessor from the list of Accredited Assessors, in order to plan and prepare the
assignment and fulfill the required administration. The assessment process is explained in further
detail (in various languages) in the guidelines of each module, and can be downloaded under the link
"questionnaires" of the chosen module.
Use of the SQAS system by Logistics Service Providers and Chemical Distributors
The User Group "Logistics & Distributors" has been created accommodating all users who
need access to other SQAS reports of interest, allowing them to evaluate their respective business
partners, like transport companies, packaged warehouses and cleaning stations.
Any logistics company or chemical distributor, who have performed an assessment at their own
facilities, may register as a member of this User Group. The registration form is posted under
"other documents". Only one corporate registration is required for a multi-site or global
company, with one central contact person, who can appoint multiple users within the
At current, these users have access to all SQAS Cleaning reports and to SQAS Transport Service
reports when the partner transport companies have authorized them through a function in their
assessment "Manage User Access to the Report". To allow a good functioning and transparency of
the system, it is recommended that assessed companies authorize access to their business partners
who may have an interest in their report.