About APSCA

APSCA is the industry association created to support individuals and organizations by promoting the use of independent social compliance audits as a tool to advance workplace conditions globally.

Our mission is to enhance the professionalism, consistency and credibility of individual auditors and organizations performing independent social compliance audits.

As a practitioner-led initiative, APSCA was founded by leading social compliance audit firms including Arche Advisors, Bureau Veritas, ELEVATE, Intertek, SGS, RINA, TUV Rheinland, TUV SUD and UL.

APSCA is governed by an Executive Board administered by an independent Chair. Additional to the Executive Board, APSCA is serviced by a dedicated, multi-stakeholder Board with independent, brand, retail, initiative and independent representation. The Stakeholder Board has three representatives whom are also members of the Executive Board.

APSCA currently offers two types of membership for audit firms and individual auditors; respectively, Firm Membership and Auditor Membership.

To view the latest APSCA documents and frequently asked questions, we encourage you to visit our website’s quick links below.

What is a Social Compliance Audit?

A social compliance audit requires consideration of each of the sections in the APSCA Competency Framework with the capture and evaluation of sufficient evidential matter to assess performance relative to each section by an APSCA Certified Social Compliance Auditor (CSCA). Competent capture of sufficient evidential matter includes at a minimum:

  • Observations of conditions in the facility*, which include the work area and any other relevant areas;
  • Review of records and policies related to Code sections;
  • Management interviews;
  • Worker interviews (Workers include direct employees, contractors, temporary workers and all other persons on site); and
  • Triangulation of all information.


CSCA and Member Firms have the responsibility to ensure that appropriate time is spent on site to competently achieve these tasks.  Appropriate time is a function of many factors, including but not limited to the number of workers and physical size of the facility.  Industry standard practice indicates that effective consideration would generally require a minimum of one auditor day on site for small facilities (e.g. less than 100 workers), whereas for larger facilities with more workers, two or more auditor days will be required on an incremental basis based on the number of workers and the physical size of the facility.

A social compliance audit scope includes:

  • worker interviews
  • facility* tour
  • document review including payroll, policies
  • Building / dormitories located at same or different locations

*Note:  The term facility is a generic term and relates to a place where product is made, grown, distributed, sold etc.

APSCA’s Competency Framework includes the following topics:

  • Strategic and Systems Thinking
  • Professional and Ethical Behavior
  • Observation and Investigation
  • Data Collection and Analysis
  • Problem Solving and Analytical Decision Making
  • Management Systems
  • Documentation Review
  • Interview Skills
  • Communication, Relationship Management and Conflict Resolution
  • Self-Management
  • Standards, Laws and Regulations
  • Business Legitimacy and Integrity of Records
  • Underage Labour
  • Discrimination and Disciplinary Practices
  • Forced Labour
  • Working Hours and Overtime
  • Freedom of Association and Effective Recognition of the Right to Collective Bargaining
  • Harassment and Abuse Practices
  • Wages, Benefits and Terms of Employment
  • Subcontracting
  • Occupational Health and Safety

Social Compliance Auditing as a Profession

Through our Certified Social Compliance Auditor (CSCA) program, APSCA aims to elevate the role of the social compliance auditor and develop a workforce of committed, competent, experienced and ethical professionals.

​A social compliance auditor, can help drive positive change in the lives of workers by identifying and understanding key labor rights issues.
To help auditors succeed, audit firms should provide working conditions, support and development needed to maintain high quality standards. APSCA believes Member Auditors deserve to be treated with respect reflective of the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights. APSCA expects Member Firms to respect the human rights of its Member Auditors and avoid causing or contributing any adverse human rights impacts.

APSCA supports audit programs, initiatives, brands and retailers who utilize the skills of social compliance auditors for them to have the necessary confidence in the level of auditor competency.