APSCA Newsletter October 2020

30/10/2020 - No Comments

During October examination rates sustained momentum with total exams now exceeding 5,600 at an overall pass rate of 75%. As Member Auditors advance through the examination program, the number of CSCA’s continues to grow; now representing some 2% of enrolled auditors. 

Targeting continued expansion of the program and improved language accessibility, activities during October have also included translation of APSCA’s key resources into an additional six languages; versions currently available include English, Italian, Spanish and Chinese (Simplified and Traditional). 

Further updates regarding the release of other new language translations will be provided in the coming months.

In this this issue:

  • Member Firm Announcements
  • Disciplinary Board Results
  • APSCA’s AGM and Stakeholder Online Event Registration
  • CSCA Examination Progress
  • Member Auditors – 2020 Membership Fees
  • Auditor Enrollments
  • Reminder: Revised Due Dates for CSCA Exams
  • Resource Library
  • FAQs
  • APSCA Out and About
 

Member Firm Announcements

We are pleased to congratulate full APSCA Member Firm, ALGI, along with our newest provisional Member Firm Sustainable Assurance Solutions (SAS) on their commitment to the realization of APSCA’s mission “To enhance the Professionalism and Credibility of individuals and organizations performing independent social compliance audits”.

Full Members: 

Provisional Members: 

For information on Firm Membership definitions and how your Firm can commence the application process, please visit our website

Disciplinary Board Results – Allegations and Sanctions

APSCA Member Auditors
APSCA’s Disciplinary Board for Member Auditors (DBMA) met in October to review four cases representing three different Code violations including: False Audit Reporting, Bribery, and Conflict of Interest.

The Disciplinary Board substantiated the allegations in two cases, and the resulting sanctions included a Written Warning for the False Audit Reporting allegation and a Revocation of APSCA Membership for the Bribery allegation.  The other two cases required additional information, and have been held over to the next DBMA meeting in November.  

For the first time, the DBMA meeting included auditors subject to allegations, who exercised their right to appear before the Disciplinary Board.  Each auditor presented a brief overview of their case, and then responded to Board Member questions

Facing the future – Together

APSCA’s Annual General Meeting and Stakeholder Online Event
Register and Join Us!
This year APSCA will be hosting its Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Stakeholder Event online in early December. To accommodate our global membership, these separate events will be repeated at different times as detailed on our website.

AGM Registration
Please note the repeated sessions for the AGM will present the same content and registration for one session only is recommended.

Stakeholder Event Registration
Please note the repeated sessions for the Stakeholder Event will present the same content and registration for one session only is recommended.

We hope you can join us!

Additional event details and information to follow in the weeks leading up to the AGM and Stakeholder Events. Any questions, please contact: director@theapsca.org

CSCA Exam Webinars

During October, examination rates remained strong with the total number of completed exams now exceeding 5,600 with an overall pass rate of 75%. A summary of cumulative exam results can be downloaded below.

For all CSCA Exams (Parts I – III) Auditors must consult with their Member Firm to confirm eligibility to sit each exam. Please ensure you follow the guidance in the Auditor Handbook and notify APSCA prior to enrolling for any exam; failure to follow the guidance, may see the exam disallowed and being unable to sit for a period up to 12 months. 

CSCA Exams Part I and II are available in four Languages  (English, Spanish, Simplified & Traditional Chinese). 

CSCA Exam Part III interviews commenced in August. The Part III Exam is available in English, Spanish, Mandarin and Cantonese.  The scheduling process has been finalized and we are contacting Firms / Auditors directly.  The Part III enrolment process is very different; each eligible Auditor MUST follow the process or risk having their exam cancelled and being disallowed from scheduling for up to 12 months.

Please see our website, Resource Library for more information

Auditor Enrollments

As at 29 October 2020, total enrolled Auditors exceeded 4,200 with a summary by Auditor level provided below:

Reminder: Revised Due Dates for CSCA Exams

Due to COVID-19 and the enduring challenges faced by our auditing community, APSCA has reviewed and revised exam due dates for auditors sitting Part II and III exams. 

The dates (below) are applicable to any Auditor who successfully passed Part I 90+ days prior to the Part II deadline or successfully completed Part II 90+ days prior to the Part III deadline.

If an Auditor is unsure whether this applies to them please contact APSCA via director@theapsca.org.

2020 – 2021
Part II

  • 30 September 2020
    • Chinese (Traditional/ Simplified)
  • 30 March 2021
    • English / Spanish (amended from September 2020)

Part III

  • 30 June 2021
    • Chinese (Mandarin, Cantonese amended from December 2020)
  • 30 October 2021
    • English / Spanish (amended from June 2021)

REMINDER: For Auditors who have recently obtained RA level status, you have 6 months from the date you obtained your RA status to sit Part I exam if you are advanced in a language the exam is offered. 

Upon passing Part I, Auditors have 3 months from the date notified of passing Part I to sit Part II, IF advanced in English, Spanish, and Chinese.

See also our Resource Library under “Key Dates” for other due dates.

Member Auditors –  2020 Membership Fees Due by December   

Due to COVID, APSCA provided an option to delay payment of Member Auditor fees for 2020 to support our Members during this difficult time.  Many Members have been able to pay this throughout the year and we thank you.  For those that have not yet paid these fees, a reminder that membership fees for the 2020 calendar year are due and payable no later than the end of December. Members who fail to issue payment will see their account status moved to ‘lapsed’ ahead of 2021 and will remain there until both 2020 and 2021 fees have been paid in full.  During this period, Members are not eligible to to use their APSCA Member Number or claim active membership with APSCA until their account is brought back to good standing. 

If you are unsure about outstanding invoices, please check your APSCA account (see ‘Invoices’ tab) or contact APSCA team at Director@theapsca.org.

In Case You Missed It – APSCA’s 5 Year Anniversary 

September marked five years since APSCA’s inception, we invite you to download a brief review of our achievements to date via the link below.

Resource Library

To better serve our Membership and interested parties, we have established a Resource Library on the APSCA website. The library provides a comprehensive directory of member documents, key dates, exam guides and webinars for ease of access.

Document Translations
Further to our existing member documents, available in English, Spanish, and Chinese (Simplified & Traditional), APSCA is in the process of translating member documents in additional languages to better serve our global membership and community. Additional updates will be provided in due course though we encourage you to regularly review the Resource Page to see the latest documents and translations  as they are released.

Visit our website to access the resources.

FAQs

Check out APSCA’s FAQ page – it has been recently updated.

Don’t see a question / answer you’re looking for? Contact us at director@theapsca.org.

APSCA Out and About

Please note that due to the global impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, APSCA have postponed or cancelled all travel. Updates on any future travel will be provided as soon as practicable. Please visit our Out and About page for updates from some of our Member Firms on what they are doing to support the industry during this time.

In seeking to further support our Members, we also welcome you to tell us how your organization and auditors are navigating today’s dynamic work environment.  It is our intention to share these insights across our media channels to foster industry collaboration and unite our community during this difficult period. Please send responses to director@theapsca.org.

APSCA Newsletter September 2020

30/09/2020 - No Comments

September marks five years since APSCA’s inception, we invite you to download a brief review of our achievements to date via the link below.

Commenting on the milestone, APSCA’s President and CEO Rona Starr remarked “On reflection of APSCA’s development, I extend my immense gratitude to these Member Auditors and Member Firms for their sustained commitment and support. In joining APSCA, we recognise the weight of this commitment and acknowledge adaptations made in respect of our requirements.”

Further highlights from September are provided below.

In this this issue:

  • Member Firm Announcements
  • APSCA’s AGM and Stakeholder Online Event Registration
  • CSCA Exam Webinars
  • CSCA Examination Progress
  • Auditor Enrollments
  • Reminder: Revised Due Dates for CSCA Exams
  • Resource Library
  • FAQs
  • APSCA Out and About
 

Member Firm Announcements

We are pleased to congratulate full APSCA Member Firms, BCI Compliance, TUV SUD and QIMA on their commitment to the realization of APSCA’s mission “To enhance the Professionalism and Credibility of individuals and organizations performing independent social compliance audits”.

Full Members: 

For information on Firm Membership definitions and how your Firm can commence the application process, please visit our website

Registration Now Open – APSCA’s Annual General Meeting and Stakeholder Online Event

This year APSCA will be hosting its Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Stakeholder Event online
early December.

To accommodate our global membership, we are hosting our AGM and Stakeholder Event across a few dates and times outlined below. These will be the same session (AGM/Stakeholder Event) offered at two different dates and times. We hope you can join us!


AGM (#1)
Who can attend? Current APSCA Members (Auditors/Firms) ONLY
When: Dec. 7, 2020
Time: 17:00 PST-USA (Asia + US Time Zone)
Duration: 75 – 90 Min. 
Where: Online – GoToMeeting
To Register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/121791747395

AGM (#2)
Who can attend? Current APSCA Members (Auditors/Firms) ONLY
When: Dec. 8, 2020
Time: 11:00 PST-USA (Europe + US Time Zone)
Duration: 75 – 90 Min. 
Where: Online – GoToMeeting
To Register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/121809005013

Stakeholder (#1)
Who can attend? APSCA Members and all interested/other parties 
When: Dec. 14, 2020
Time: 11:00 PST-USA (Europe + US Time Zone)
Duration: 75 – 90 Min. 
Where: Online – GoToMeeting
To Register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/121803185607

Stakeholder (#2)
Who can attend? APSCA Members and all interested/other parties
When: Dec. 15, 2020
Time: 17:00 PST-USA (Asia + US Time Zone)
Duration: 75 – 90 Min. 
Where: Online – GoToMeeting
To Register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/121809358069

Additional event details and information to follow in the weeks leading up to the AGM and Stakeholder Events. 

Any questions, please contact: director@theapsc.org

CSCA Exam Webinars

Part II  – English / Spanish/ Mandarin 
Between June and September, APSCA held several webinars to assist Member Auditors prepare for Part II and Part III of the CSCA examination program.  Sharing insights into the exam format, the webinars outlined key differences between the Part I and Part II / III exams, and further common errors to avoid.

Recordings of these webinars in English, Spanish, and Mandarin are available via our website now posted to our new Resource Library.   PDFs of the presentations and speaker notes are available in English, Spanish, Simplified and Traditional Chinese.

These webinars were developed specifically to optimize exam preparation and provide the greatest opportunity for success during the exam process. Exam candidates are encouraged to consult relevant resources prior to each exam.

CSCA Examination Progress

During August examination rates remained strong with the total number of completed exams now exceeding 5,400 with an overall pass rate of 75%. A summary of cumulative exam results can be downloaded below.

For all CSCA Exams (Parts I – III) Auditors must consult with their Member Firm to confirm eligibility to sit each exam. Please ensure you follow the guidance in the Auditor Handbook and notify APSCA prior to enrolling for any exam; failure to follow the guidance, may see the exam disallowed and being unable to sit for a period up to 12 months. 

CSCA Exams Part I and II are available in four Languages  (English, Spanish, Simplified & Traditional Chinese). 

CSCA Exam Part III interviews commenced in August.  Exams will be available in English, Spanish, Mandarin and Cantonese.  The scheduling process has been finalized and we have started the process of contacting Firms / Auditors directly.  The Part III enrolment process is very different; each eligible Auditor MUST follow the process or risk having their exam cancelled and being disallowed from scheduling for up to 12 months.

Auditor Enrollments

As at 29 September 2020, total enrolled Auditors exceeded 4,150 with a summary by Auditor level provided below.

Reminder: Revised Due Dates for CSCA Exams

Due to COVID-19 and the enduring challenges faced by our auditing community, APSCA has reviewed and revised exam due dates for auditors sitting Part II and III exams. 

The dates (below) are applicable to any Auditor who successfully passed Part I 90+ days prior to the Part II deadline or successfully completed Part II 90+ days prior to the Part III deadline.

If an Auditor is unsure whether this applies to them please contact APSCA via director@theapsca.org.

2020 – 2021
Part II

  • 30 September 2020
    • Chinese (Traditional/ Simplified)
  • 30 March 2021
    • English / Spanish (amended from September 2020)

Part III

  • 30 June 2021
    • Chinese (Mandarin, Cantonese amended from December 2020)
  • 30 October 2021
    • English / Spanish (amended from June 2021)

REMINDER: For Auditors who have recently obtained RA level status, you have 6 months from the date you obtained your RA status to sit Part I exam if you are advanced in a language the exam is offered. 

Upon passing Part I, Auditors have 3 months from the date notified of passing Part I to sit Part II, IF advanced in English, Spanish, and Chinese.

See also our Resource Library under “Key Dates” for other due dates. 

Resource Library

To better serve our Membership and interested parties, we have established a Resource Library on the APSCA website. The library provides a comprehensive directory of member documents, key dates, exam guides and webinars for ease of access.

Visit our website to access the resources.

FAQs

Check out APSCA’s FAQ page – it has been recently updated.

Don’t see a question / answer you’re looking for? Contact us at director@theapsca.org.

APSCA Out and About

Please note that due to the global impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, APSCA have postponed or cancelled all travel. Updates on any future travel will be provided as soon as practicable. Please visit our Out and About page for updates from some of our Member Firms on what they are doing to support the industry during this time.

In seeking to further support our Members, we also welcome you to tell us how your organization and auditors are navigating today’s dynamic work environment.  It is our intention to share these insights across our media channels to foster industry collaboration and unite our community during this difficult period. Please send responses to director@theapsca.org.

APSCA Newsletter August 2020

31/08/2020 - No Comments

During August four Member Firms completed the revised membership application process to formally achieve full Membership status while another two Firms attained provisional status.

Following the announcement of 31 new CSCA’s in July, examination rates remain strong and results continue to reflect the positive progression of Member Auditors toward certification.

As September marks five years since APSCA’s inception we look forward to reflecting on the Association’s evolution and further celebrating the dedication and commitment of our growing membership.  

Further highlights are provided below. 

In this this issue:

  • Disciplinary Board – Allegations and Sanctions
  • Resource Library
  • Member Firm Announcements
  • Become a Member Firm – Update
  • Reminder – Remote / Virtual Assessments
  • APSCA Members in 2020 Top 100 CSR List
  • Competency Framework Update  
  • CSCA Exam Webinars
  • CSCA Examination Progress
  • Auditor Enrollments
  • Reminder: Revised Due Dates for CSCA Exams
  • Save The Date – APSCA’s AGM and Stakeholder Online Event
  • APSCA Out and About

Disciplinary Board – Allegations and Sanctions

To date, APSCA’s Ethics and Integrity team have addressed almost 130 allegations against Member Auditors across a number of violation classifications. Of these allegations against Member Auditors there have been almost fifty (50) cases resulting in the enforcement of sanctions. 

A summary of all allegations and sanctions can be downloaded here.

Resource Library

To better serve our Membership and interested parties, we have established a Resource Library on the APSCA website. The library provides a comprehensive directory of member documents, key dates, exam guides and webinars for ease of access.

Visit our website to access the resources.

Member Firm Announcements

We are pleased to congratulate full APSCA Member Firms, ELEVATE, Omega Compliance Limited, Eurofins and TUV NORD along with our newest provisional Member Firms Ethical Trade Services Africa Limited and V-Trust on their commitment to the realization of APSCA’s mission “To enhance the Professionalism and Credibility of individuals and organisations performing independent social compliance audits”.

Full Members: 

Provisional Members: 

For a complete list of APSCA Member Firms, please visit our website

Become a Member Firm – Update

APSCA’s Become a Member document was recently updated with additional information to assist Firms in navigating the application process and to further clarify:

  • the various stages of review and
  • requirements / expectations of the applicant from commencement of the application process to final determination

Please download the latest version via our Become a Member Firm page for a detailed overview of the application process. 

Reminder - Remote/ Virtual Assessments

Please be advised that APSCA does not consider virtual / remote assessments / audits a Social Compliance Audit. As such, an auditor cannot put their APSCA number on any virtual / remote assessment as these are not considered a Social Compliance Audit as defined in our Glossary of Terms and FAQ page. Should you have any question regarding this matter please contact APSCA via director@theapsca.org

APSCA Members in 2020 Top 100 CSR List

APSCA is excited to celebrate the inclusion of numerous past and present Executive Board Members on Assent’s 2020 Top 100 List of Corporate Social Responsibility Influencers. Congratulations to those dedicated individuals and further all those in CSR that continue to drive positive change worldwide.

Read more here.

Announcing Pathway 4 – Competency Framework Update

APSCA has recently updated the Competency Framework to include a fourth pathway which enables Member Auditors to commence the examination process earlier. The latest version is available here.

We have also translated the Competency Framework into our current language offerings and will continue to update our Resource Library as more translations are finalized.

CSCA Exam Webinars

Part II  – English / Spanish/ Mandarin 
Throughout June and July, APSCA held several webinars to assist Member Auditors prepare for Part II of the CSCA examination program.  Sharing insights into the exam format, the webinars outlined key differences between the Part I and Part II exams, and further common errors to avoid.

A recording of the webinar in English, Spanish, and Mandarin can be accessed via our new Resource Library.  A PDF of the presentation and speaker notes are also available in English, Spanish, Simplified and Traditional Chinese.

Part III – English
In August, APSCA also hosted webinars to aide Member Auditors in their preparation for Part III of the CSCA examination program; the final exam in an auditor’s journey to attain certification. A recording of this webinar can be accessed via our Resource Library. Additional languages will be made available soon (including Spanish and Mandarin), as will the presentation and speaker notes in English, Spanish, Simplified and Traditional Chinese.

These webinars were developed specifically to optimize exam preparation and provide the greatest opportunity for success during the exam process. Exam candidates are encouraged to consult relevant resources prior to each exam.

Part III – Chinese (Mandarin) 
APSCA will hold a further webinar in Mandarin on 4 September (China Time) and we encourage those auditors who are eligible to sit Part III or would like to learn more about the exam to join us. The webinar has been developed specifically for Chinese participants to optimize exam preparation and provide the greatest opportunity for success.

While ‘seats’ are limited, a recording of the webinar will be provided along with our Part III Exam –  Guide to Success handout (currently available via our Resource Library).

For those interested in attending, registration is essential. Details of the live webinars in September are provided below:

  • When? September 4  (9:30am China)
  • Where? Online via GoToMeeting – You must register to join.

Dial-in details to be shared with registered attendees approximately 24-hours prior to webinar time. Registration via the link below.

CSCA Examination Progress

During August examination rates remained strong with the total number of completed exams now exceeding 5,100 with an overall pass rate of 76%. A summary of cumulative exam results can be downloaded below.

CSCA Exams Part I and II are available in four Languages  (English, Spanish, Simplified & Traditional Chinese). 

CSCA Exam Part III interviews commenced in August.  Exams will be available in English, Spanish, Mandarin and Cantonese.  The scheduling process has been finalized and we have started the process of contacting Firms / Auditors directly.  Part III enrolment process is very different, each eligible Auditor MUST follow the process or risk having their exam cancelled and being disallowed from scheduling for up to 12 months.

Auditor Enrollments

As at 31 August 2020, total enrolled Auditors exceeded 4,100 with a summary by Auditor level provided below.

Reminder: Revised Due Dates for CSCA Exams

Due to COVID-19 and the enduring challenges faced by our auditing community, APSCA has reviewed and revised exam due dates for auditors sitting Part II and III exams. 

The dates (below) are applicable to any Auditor who successfully passed Part I 90+ days prior to the Part II deadline or successfully completed Part II 90+ days prior to the Part III deadline.

If an Auditor is unsure whether this applies to them please contact APSCA via director@theapsca.org.

2020 – 2021
Part II

  • 30 September 2020
    • Chinese (Traditional/ Simplified)
  • 30 March 2021
    • English / Spanish (amended from September 2020)

Part III

  • 30 June 2021
    • Chinese (Mandarin, Cantonese amended from December 2020)
  • 30 October 2021
    • English / Spanish (amended from June 2021)

REMINDER: For Auditors just obtaining their RA level status, you have 6 months from the date that you obtained RA to sit Part I exam if you are advanced in a language the exam is offered. APSCA is in the process of sending reminders, however if an Auditor does not sit within the prescribed time, they will be moved to ASCA.  It is the Auditor / Firm’s responsibility to manage this.

FAQs

Check out APSCA’s FAQ page – it has been recently updated.

Don’t see a question / answer you’re looking for? Contact us at director@theapsca.org.

Save The Date – APSCA’s Annual General Meeting and Stakeholder Online Event

This year APSCA will be hosting it’s Annual General Meeting and Stakeholder Event online. The event is currently scheduled for early December 2020 with further details to be provided in September.

APSCA Out and About

Please note that due to the global impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, APSCA have postponed or cancelled all travel. Updates on any future travel will be provided as soon as practicable. Please visit our Out and About page for updates from some of our Member Firms on what they are doing to support the industry during this time.

In seeking to further support our Members, we also welcome you to tell us how your organization and auditors are navigating today’s dynamic work environment.  It is our intention to share these insights across our media channels to foster industry collaboration and unite our community during this difficult period. Please send responses to director@theapsca.org.

APSCA Newsletter July 2020

30/07/2020 - No Comments

At the close of July, 2020 we are pleased to announce 31 new Auditors have successfully completed the CSCA examination program to attain Certified Social Compliance Auditor status in accordance with APSCA’s Competency Framework. This exciting development coincides with a new initiative targeting the expansion of the program to include six new language offerings.

Auditor enrollments increased during July to partially offset the 15% decrease observed during June and applications for continued membership were received from 97% of Member Firms that joined APSCA prior to January 2018.

Further highlights are provided below. 

In this this issue:

  • Certified Social Compliance Auditors
  • 2021 Exam Languages
  • Member Firm Applications
  • CSCA Exam Part II Webinars
  • CSCA Exam Part III Webinars
  • CSCA Examination Progress
  • Auditor Enrollments
  • Revised Due Dates for CSCA Exams
  • FAQS
  • APSCA Out and About

Certified Social Compliance Auditors

Insights derived from the completion of a Part III CSCA exam pilot in October / November 2019 were used to further optimize the Part III exam format as the final component of the CSCA program. This supported the scheduling of (Part III) exams in May / June 2020, with 31 new Auditors successfully completing the program to obtain CSCA status. 

Reflecting on the achievements of our new CSCA’s, APSCA’s President and CEO, Rona Starr commented “The introduction of our newest Certified Social Compliance Auditors reflects a 76% increase in total CSCA’s. In consideration of the rigors of the program this is a significant milestone and a wonderful achievement by these dedicated Auditors”.

2021 Exam Languages

As at July 2020, APSCA have over 4,000 enrolled Auditors with advanced competencies across 90 different languages. Accordingly, we are pleased to announce the expansion of the CSCA examination program throughout 2021 to include an additional six (6) language offerings.

At the launch of the program, initial language offerings were prioritized by review of Auditor profiles; indicating English, Chinese (Simplified or Traditional) and Spanish represented 80% of Member Auditors.

As exam participation across these four initial languages reaches steady state, Vietnamese, Thai, Portuguese, Italian, Turkish and Bengali will be added to the exam suite to enhance accessibility for some 1,000 eligible Auditors. After these six (6) languages we have over 40 additional languages to close the gap for the final 10% of our Member Auditors.

Translation of the documentation required to launch the exams has commenced and we will keep you posted with regards to 2021 launch dates as they become known.

Member Firm Applications

With the revision of APSCA’s Code and Standards of Professional Conduct and release of the enhanced membership application process, Member Firms that joined APSCA prior to January 2018 were required to reapply for continued membership by June 30, 2020.

On conclusion of the application period, we are pleased to report 34 Member Firms lodged applications with just one Firm relinquishing membership.

As at July 30, APSCA Firm Membership comprised 44 Provisional Members (of which 10 have completed the enhanced application process) and six (6) Full Members.

We look forward to sharing the ongoing progress of membership applications and welcoming further Full Member Firms in due course. Please visit our website for an updated list of Full and Provisional Member Firms.

CSCA Exam Part II Webinar

June Webinar Image

Throughout June and July, APSCA have held a number of webinars on Part II of the CSCA examination program. The informational sessions were attended by approximately 630 potential exam candidates. A recording of the webinar in both English and Spanish is available here. A number of additional resources, including an Exam Guide are also available via APSCA’s website.

APSCA will hold a further webinar in Mandarin on 31 July (China Time)  and encourage those auditors who are eligible to sit Part II or would like to learn more about the exam to join us.

The webinar has been developed specifically for Chinese participants to optimize exam preparation and provide the greatest opportunity for success.

The webinar shares insights into the exam format, key differences between Part I and Part II and common errors. While ‘seats’ are limited a recording of the webinar will be provided along with an Exam Part II Guide to Success handout from the Newsletter page of APSCA’s Website early August.

For those interested in attending, registration is essential. Details of the live webinars in July are provided below:

  • When? July 31 ( 9:30am China)
  • Where? Online via GoToMeeting – You must register to join.

Dial-in details to be shared with registered attendees approximately 24-hours prior to webinar time.

Registration via the link below.

CSCA Exam Part III Webinars

Join APSCA as we provide an overview of the various elements of the CSCA Exam Part III. Developed for exam participants, the webinar will share insights into the exam format and assist participants with preparations to provide the best opportunity for success.

While numbers are limited we are pleased to advise a recording of the webinar will be provided for access via APSCA’s website.

For those interested in attending, registration is essential. 

We are offering three (3) webinars during the week of August 24 to accommodate various time zones. We hope you can join us! 

Dial-in details to be shared with registered attendees closer to webinar date. Registration and webinar info via the links below.

Note: A recording / translation of this webinar will also be made available in Spanish and Mandarin to be posted to the website, once available. 

CSCA Examination Progress

During July examination rates remained strong with an additional 400 exams taking the total number of exams administered to date to over 4,800. A summary of cumulative exam results can be downloaded below.

For all CSCA Exams (Part I-III) auditors must consult with their Member Firm to confirm eligibility to sit each exam. Please ensure you follow the guidance in the Auditor Handbook and notify APSCA prior to enrolling to sit an exam. Failure to follow the guidance, may see the exam disallowed and being excluded from exam eligibility for a period of up to 12 months. 

CSCA Exams Part I and II are available in four Languages  (English, Spanish, Simplified & Traditional Chinese). 

CSCA Exam Part III interviews will commence in August.  Exams will be available in English, Spanish, Mandarin and Cantonese.  The scheduling process has been finalized and we have started the process of contacting Firms / Auditors directly.  The Part III enrollment process is very different and each eligible Auditor MUST follow the process or risk having their exam cancelled and being disallowed from scheduling for up to 12 months.

Auditor Enrollments

A 7% increase in the total number of enrolled Auditors during July partially offset the decrease observed in June where a significant number of Auditors  were relegated to inactive status due to:

  • a failure to provide APSCA with consent to maintain their data; and or
  • a failure to request their 2020 Membership fee invoice

As at 31 July 2020, total enrolled Auditors exceeded 4,050 with a summary by Auditor level provided below.

Reminder of Upcoming Deadlines: As part of APSCA’s ongoing commitment to achieving our Mission of enhancing the professionalism and credibility of the industry, we have established deadlines to ensure that our Members operate in a level playing field, and have clear deadlines in which to sit exams to maintain their RA status.

Part I: Auditors who became RA Level 1st of November 2019 onward and are advanced in one of the 4 languages that the Part I exam is offered in, have 6 months to sit Part I from the date they became RA. Failing to meet this expectation will see their level moved to ASCA. 

Part II: Auditors who are advanced in Chinese (Simplified or Traditional) and have completed Part I June 30 or prior, must complete Part II by the end of September 2020.  If Part I was completed after this date, the Auditor has 3 months from the date notified of the pass to complete Part II.  

For other languages see “Reminder Exam Due Dates” below.

The above is based on Auditors being advanced in one of the written languages which we offer the exam.

Reminder: Revised Due Dates for CSCA Exams

Due to COVID-19 and the enduring challenges faced by our auditing community, APSCA has reviewed and revised exam due dates for auditors sitting Part II and III exams. 

The dates (below) are applicable to any Auditor who successfully passed Part I 90+ days prior to the Part II deadline or successfully completed Part II 90+ days prior to the Part III deadline.

If an Auditor is unsure whether this applies to them please contact APSCA via director@theapsca.org.

2020 – 2021
Part II

  • 30 September 2020
    • Chinese (Traditional/ Simplified)
  • 30 March 2021
    • English / Spanish (amended from September 2020)

Part III

  • 30 June 2021
    • Chinese (Mandarin, Cantonese amended from December 2020)
  • 30 October 2021
    • English / Spanish (amended from June 2021)

REMINDER: For Auditors just obtaining their RA level status, you have 6 months from the date that you obtained RA to sit Part I exam if you are advanced in a language the exam is offered. 

 

FAQs

Check out APSCA’s FAQ page – it has been recently updated.

Don’t see a question / answer you’re looking for? Contact us at director@theapsca.org.

APSCA Out and About

Please note that due to the global impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, APSCA have postponed or cancelled all travel. Updates on any future travel will be provided as soon as practicable. Please visit our Out and About page for updates from some of our Member Firms on what they are doing to support the industry during this time.

In seeking to further support our Members, we also welcome you to tell us how your organization and auditors are navigating today’s dynamic work environment.  It is our intention to share these insights across our media channels to foster industry collaboration and unite our community during this difficult period. Please send responses to director@theapsca.org .

APSCA Newsletter June 2020

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During June, we were pleased to welcome another full APSCA Member Firm, TUV Rheinland along with our newest provisional Member Firm EURCERT S A. 

CSCA examination rates remained strong throughout the month and the team were excited to launch a series of informational webinars on Part II of the program. To date over 4,450 exams have been adminstered across Parts I – III. 

In review of the year to date, APSCA’s President and CEO Rona Starr commented “In consideration of the unprecedented circumstances we find ourselves in, I am buoyed by the sustained growth of our membership base. The commitment to the CSCA examination program has been unrelenting and it is evident our Auditors, where possible, are utilizing this time to advance their APSCA certification; this is to be commended. 

As uncertainty continues to grip our industry, I wish to reiterate our support and encourage you to reach out to us should you require any assistance”


Further highlights are provided below. 

In this this issue:

  • ASCA Exams – Revised Due Dates
  • CSCA Exam Part II Webinar – June & July
  • CSCA Examination Progress
  • Auditor Enrollments
  • Member Firm Announcements
  • APSCA Team Updates
  • FAQS
  • APSCA Out and About

CSCA Exams - Revised Due Dates

Due to COVID-19 and the enduring challenges faced by our auditing community, APSCA has reviewed and revised exam due dates for auditors sitting Part II and III exams. 

The dates (below) are applicable to any auditor who successfully passed Part I 90+ days prior to the Part II deadline or successfully completed Part II 90+ days prior to the Part III deadline.

If an auditor is unsure whether this applies to them please contact APSCA via director@theapsca.org 

2020 – 2021
Part II

  • 30 September 2020
    • Chinese (Traditional/ Simplified)
  • 30 March 2021
    • English/ Spanish (amended from September 2020)

Part III

  • 30 June 2021
    • Chinese (Mandarin, Cantonese amended from December 2020)
  • 30 October 2021
    • English/ Spanish (amended from June 2021)

REMINDER: For Auditors just obtaining their RA level status, you have 6 months from the date that you obtained RA to sit Part I exam if you are advanced in a language the exam is offered.  

CSCA Exam Part II Webinar

June Webinar Image

On June 24, APSCA held a webinar on the Part II CSCA exam with the recording available via our website. Due to the high demand, we are pleased to offer this webinar again during July and encourage those auditors who are ready to sit Part II or would like to learn more about the exam to join us. The webinar has been developed specifically for exam participants to optimize exam preparation and provide the greatest opportunity for success.

The webinar shares insights into the exam format, key differences between Part I and Part II and common errors to avoid. While ‘seats’ are limited a recording of the webinar has been provided along with an Exam Part II Guide to Success handout (see above for the link).

For those interested in attending, registration is essential. Details of the live webinars in July are provided below:

  • When? July 15 and 22, 2020
  • Where? Online via GoToMeeting – You must register to join.

Dial-in details to be shared with registered attendees approximately two (2) days prior to webinar date.

Registration via the links below (please select your preferred date).

CSCA Examination Progress

During June, examination rates remained strong. The number of Auditors becoming eligible for Part III surged with a 21% increase in Auditors having successfully completed Part II.

To date over 4,450 exams have been adminstered across Parts I – III. A summary of cumulative exam results can be downloaded below.

Auditor Enrollments

During June, the total number of enrolled Auditors decreased by 15% with a significant number relegated to inactive status due to:

  • a failure to provide APSCA with consent to maintain their data; and or
  • a failure to request their 2020 Membership fee invoice

Importantly in recognition of the challenges faced by many in our industry, APSCA are not requesting immediate payment. However, a request for the invoice must be made by an Auditor to maintain active membership. Those Auditors whom have not lodged a request for their membership invoice have been moved to inactive status.

Inactive Auditors are unable to use their APSCA Member Number on an audit report and cannot present themselves as an APSCA Member until these activities are cleared. If you are unsure if this affects you, you can check out our website: https://www.theapsca.org/apsca-member-auditors/
Put your number/ name into the boxes and information regarding your status will indicate.  You can also log into your APSCA account, speak with your Member Firm or email APSCA at director@theapsca.org.

Reminder of Upcoming Deadlines: As part of APSCA’s ongoing commitment to achieving our Mission of enhancing the professionalism and credibility of the industry, we have established deadlines to ensure that our Members operate in a level playing field, and have clear deadlines in which to sit exams to maintain their RA status.

Part I: Auditors who become RA Level from 1 November 2019 onward have 6 months to sit Part I from the date they became RA. Failing to meet this expectation will see levels moved to ASCA. 

Part II: Those Auditors who are advanced in Chinese and completed Part I on or before 30 June 2020, must complete Part II by 30 September 2020 (or 3 months after completing Part I whichever is the latest).  If advanced in English or Spanish and have completed Part I on or before 31 December 2020, must complete Part II by 30 March 2021 (or 3 months after completing Part I whichever is the latest)

The above is based on Auditors being advanced in one of the written languages which we offer the exam.

Member Firm Announcements

We are pleased to welcome another full APSCA Member Firm, TUV Rheinland along with our newest provisional Member Firm EURCERT S A. Congratulations to our APSCA Member Firms on your commitment to the realization of APSCA’s mission “To enhance the Professionalism and Credibility of individuals and organisations performing independent social compliance audits”.

FULL MEMBER FIRMS

PROVISIONAL MEMBER FIRMS

For information on Firm Membership definitions and how your Firm can commence the application process, please visit our website.   

 

APSCA Team Updates

APSCA would like to farewell and wish all the best to Kerrie Baylis who has been our Data Administrator since 2017.  Over this time, Kerrie has tirelessly onboarded more than 4,000 Auditors, checked information provided, reviewed photos, issued numbers and more.   She has chosen this time to join her husband and enjoy retirement.  We thank her for her time with APSCA and wish her all the best as she enters this next exciting phase of her life! 

Stepping in to continue with Data Admin management will be Emma and Nicholas. We are grateful to have the extra help!

Should you have any APSCA account related questions, please continue to contact our Data Administrators at Data.Administrator@theapsca.org

FAQs

Check out APSCA’s FAQ page – it has been recently updated.

Don’t see a question / answer you’re looking for? Contact us at director@theapsca.org.

APSCA Out and About

Please note that due to the global impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, APSCA have postponed or cancelled all travel. Updates on any future travel will be provided as soon as practicable. Please visit our Out and About page for updates from some of our Member Firms on what they are doing to support the industry during this time.

In seeking to further support our Members, we also welcome you to tell us how your organization and auditors are navigating today’s dynamic work environment.  It is our intention to share these insights across our media channels to foster industry collaboration and unite our community during this difficult period. Please send responses to director@theapsca.org .

APSCA Newsletter May 2020

31/05/2020 - No Comments

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have an unprecedented impact on our industry. During this challenging time, we wish to reiterate our hopes for your continued health and safety. Should you require any assistance, we encourage you to reach out via email or connect with us via the links below.

Under the circumstances, we are pleased to report the sustained investment into Auditor certification has continued through strong participation rates in the CSCA examination program. Since commencement in 2018, over 4,000 exams have been administered and during May we reflect on the significant progress made to date. 

In correlation with continued growth in Auditor enrolments, we welcomed a new Audit Firm to the association this month, while two existing Member Firms achieved full membership status.

Further highlights are provided below. 

In this this issue:

  • APSCA’s Code & Compliance Manager Changes
  • CSCA Exam Part II Webinar
  • CSCA Examination Progress
  • Auditor Enrollment Summary
  • Member Firm Announcements
  • Disciplinary Board Results
  • Information and Support for Member Auditors
  • FAQs 
  • APSCA Out and About
  • Cancelled – Stakeholder Events for 2020

APSCA’s Code & Compliance Manager Changes

APSCA would like to announce that Bob Ansell is stepping down as our Code & Compliance Manager after dedicating almost two years to the development of APSCA’s Ethics & Integrity program.

Bob has played a pivotal role in the establishment and function of our Disciplinary Boards (Firm and Auditor) and on his departure we extend our gratitude for his work toward the realization of our shared mission.

As Bob steps down, APSCA are pleased to announce that Carol Rice has joined the team as our full-time Code & Compliance Manager.  Carol was most recently the Director of Global Compliance for Sears Holdings where she managed an international team of auditors and support staff across five countries.  She was responsible for enhancing and managing effective social and ethical compliance programs for the Sears, Kmart, and Lands’ End supply chains, including the investigation of integrity violations. 

Carol Rice Pic

Carol also created compliance and ethics training which was presented in annual workshops to associates, vendors, and factories in multiple countries.  

In addition to her years of working in social compliance, she also brings experience in factory and operational management, strategic and business planning, financial management, and communications.  Her education includes an MBA in finance and labor relations from Virginia Commonwealth University.  

We are excited to have Carol onboard. Carol is based in the US and can be reached via email at Carol.Rice@theapsca.org

CSCA Exam Part II Webinar

June Webinar Image

Join APSCA as we provide an overview of the various elements of the CSCA Exam Part II. Developed for exam participants, the webinar will share insights into the exam format and assist participants with preparations to provide the best opportunity for success.

While numbers are limited we are pleased to advise a recording of the webinar will be provided for access via APSCA’s website.

For those interested in attending, registration is essential. Details of the live webinar are provided below:

  • When? June 24, 2020
  • Time? 2:00pm – 3:00pm (USA – Pacific Time)
  • Where? Online via GoToMeeting – You must register to join.

Dial-in details to be shared with registered attendees closer to webinar date.
Registration via the link below.

More webinars to come in July, so please stay tuned!

CSCA Examination Progress

Since commencement of the CSCA Examination program in 2018, over 4,000 exams have been administered across Parts I – III with an overall pass rate of 78%. A summary of program participation and results to date can be downloaded via the link below.

For all CSCA Exams (Part I – III) auditors MUST confirm their eligibility BEFORE they schedule each exam. Please work with your Member Firm and follow the guidance in the Auditor Handbook to notify APSCA prior to enrolling to sit the exam. If you have attempted an exam and experienced IT issues, you need to inform APSCA that you are rescheduling your exam to have a new invoice raised.

CSCA Exams Part I and II available in four Languages  (English, Spanish, Simplified & Traditional Chinese).

CSCA Exam Part III interviews will commence scheduling shortly. Exams will be available in English, Spanish, Mandarin and Cantonese. 

Please note, in the event an Auditor does not achieve a pass mark for either Part I, II or III CSCA exam, the Auditor will be assigned to the Associate Social Compliance Auditor (ASCA) level. Upon  successful completion of the exam the Auditor will be re-assigned to the Registered Auditor (RA) level.

Auditors and Member Firms are encouraged to work collaboratively in preparation for each exam prior to the commencing the enrollment process. It is recommended, Auditors consult available materials to assist in their preparation, including the Auditor Handbook, Glossary of Terms and webinar recordings (available here).

Auditor Enrollments

During May, the total number of enrolled auditors increased to 4,471 (as of 27 May 2020). The enrolled Auditors comprise approximately 60% Registered Auditors, 39% Associate Social Compliance Auditors and 1% Certified Social Compliance Auditors.

Reminder of Upcoming Deadlines: As part of APSCA’s ongoing commitment to achieving our Mission of enhancing the professionalism and credibility of the industry, we have established deadlines to ensure that our Members operate in a level playing field, and have clear deadlines in which to sat exams to maintain their RA status.

Part I: Following our recent deadline of all Auditors who obtained RA Level Status prior to 1 November 2019, had a deadline to sit Part 1 by 31 March 2020, any RA level auditor who was advanced in one of the 4 languages that we offered the exam did not successfully complete the exam by 30 April 2020 was moved to ASCA level and will remain there until they sit and pass Part I.   Auditors who became a RA Level Auditor from 1 November 2019 onwards have 6 months to sit Part I from the date they became an RA, otherwise they will be moved to ASCA.  During 2021 we will launch additional languages.

Part II: Due to COVID-19 there is a change to the due date for Part II exam. Those Auditors who are advanced Chinese (Simplified or Traditional) and have successfully completed Part I must complete Part II by the end of September 2020 (or 3 months after completing Part I whichever is the latest).  If an Auditor is advanced in Spanish or English, they have until March 2021 to complete Part II or 3 months after completing Part I whichever is the latest.

Member Firm Announcements

We are pleased to welcome two full Member Firms, ABS Quality Evaluations Inc and APCER, along with our newest provisional Member Firm SCS Global Services. Congratulations to our newest APSCA Member Firms on your commitment to the realization of APSCA’s mission “To enhance the Professionalism and Credibility of individuals and organisations performing independent social compliance audits”.

FULL MEMBER FIRMS

PROVISIONAL MEMBER FIRMS

For information on Firm Membership definitions and how your Firm can commence the application process, please visit our website.   

 

As a reminder: ALL Member Firms who were accepted as an APSCA Provisional Member Firm prior to 2019, MUST reapply BEFORE June 2020.

If you are unsure if your firm needs to re-apply, please email director@theapsca.org

 

Disciplinary Board Results – Allegations and Sanctions

APSCA Member Auditors
APSCA’s Disciplinary Board met again early May to review three cases. To date, APSCA’s Ethics and Integrity team have addressed over 120 allegations against Member Auditors across several different Code violation classifications. A summary of allegations reflecting violations of APSCA’s Code and Standards of Professional Conduct can be downloaded via the link below.

Information and Support for Member Auditors

APSCA supports Member Auditors and future Members by providing important information on the APSCA website regarding membership, expectations, processes, and most importantly, how to comply with the APSCA Code and Standards of Professional Conduct.  Here is a reminder on where to find information on some common questions.   

What are the benefits of being an APSCA member, and what is the cost?
Refer to Membership Information.

What knowledge is required to become a Certified Social Compliance Auditor (CSCA)? 
Take a look at the Competency Framework.

What are the differences between the two levels of APSCA Auditor Membership?
This too is found in the Competency Framework.

What constitutes unethical practices? 
Refer to the APSCA Code and Standards of Professional Conduct.

How does APSCA respond to reported allegations of unethical behavior?
Refer to FAQS under “Ethics”.

If you are unable to find answers to any of your questions on our website, please email director@theapsca.org.

FAQs

Check out APSCA’s FAQ page – it has been recently updated.

Don’t see a question / answer you’re looking for? Contact us at director@theapsca.org.

APSCA Out and About

Please note that due to the global impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, APSCA have postponed or cancelled all travel. Updates on any future travel will be provided as soon as practicable. Please visit our Out and About page for updates from some of our Member Firms on what they are doing to support the industry during this time.

In seeking to further support our Members, we also welcome you to tell us how your organization and auditors are navigating today’s dynamic work environment.  It is our intention to share these insights across our media channels to foster industry collaboration and unite our community during this difficult period. Please send responses to director@theapsca.org .

Cancelled - APSCA Stakeholder Event for 2020 (Germany and Thailand)

Unfortunately due to the global impacts of COVID-19, APSCA have resolved to cancel the Stakeholder Events which were due to be held in Germany (June) and Thailand (August).

Further announcements on additional Stakeholder Events planned for 2020 will be made in due course.

APSCA Newsletter April 2020

30/04/2020 - No Comments

As the COVID-19 pandemic persists, we echo our hopes for your continued health and safety. 

The situation is subject to ongoing monitoring by our team and apart from Stakeholder Events, we are pleased to report APSCA remains fully operational. Should you require any assistance, we encourage you to reach out via email or connect with us via the links below.

During April the CSCA program formed a core focus with yet another record month of exam scheduling.  Further updates are provided below

In this this issue:

  • Disciplinary Board Update
  • Provisional Member Announcement
  • APSCA’s New Certification Coordinator
  • Cancelled – APSCA Stakeholder Events
  • Membership Application Process
  • Coming Soon – Resources Library on APSCA Website
  • CSCA Examination Update
  • Auditor Enrollment Summary
  • FAQs
  • APSCA Out and About 

Disciplinary Board – Allegations and Sanctions

APSCA Member Auditors
During April, allegations received for 2020 increased by 15% with new reports of bribery, corruption and misuse of the APSCA Member numbers. To date, APSCA’s Ethics and Integrity team have addressed over 120 allegations across eleven (11) violation classifications. Of these allegations there have been thirty (30) cases resulting in the enforcement of sanctions.

A full summary of allegations and substantiated cases related to Member Auditors can be downloaded via the link below.

Provisional Member Announcement

Congratulations to our newest APSCA Member Firm, Primus Auditing Operations on your commitment to the realization of APSCA’s mission “To enhance the Professionalism and Credibility of individuals and organisations performing independent social compliance audits”.

For information on Firm Membership definitions and how your Firm can commence the application process, please visit our website.   

Applicants

As APSCA continues to receive applications from interested organizations looking to gain membership, we want to share the number of new and re-applications under review/processing at this time. 

Note, the duration of an applicant’s review period can be delayed for one reason or another (often for reasons not in APSCA’s control), but on average we find applications take anywhere from 3 – 6+ months to process prior to being put forward to the Executive Board. 

An overview of the current number of applicants and the processing time of these applications is provided below.

APSCA’s New Certification Coordinator

APSCA are pleased to announce the appointment of our new Certification Coordinator, Shannon McNulty.  Shannon joins APSCA with experience as an auditor in the social compliance auditing space and enjoys spending time with her family and horses. Shannon is based East Coast USA and can be reached via email at shannon.mcnulty@theapsca.org.

Cancelled - APSCA Stakeholder Event for 2020 (Germany and Thailand)

Unfortunately due to the global impacts of COVID-19, APSCA have resolved to cancel the Stakeholder Events which were due to be held in Germany (June) and Thailand (August).

Further announcements on additional Stakeholder Events planned for 2020 will be made in due course.

Membership Application Process

APSCA’s Audit Firm Membership Application process was formally released in November 2018. Details can be found on our website.  All applications should be sent to applications@theapsca.org.

Important Reminder - Member Firm Deadline June 2020

ALL Member Firms who were accepted as an APSCA Provisional Member Firm prior to 2019, MUST reapply BEFORE June 2020.

If you are unsure if your firm needs to re-apply, please email director@theapsca.org

Coming Soon – Resources Library on APSCA Website

APSCA is developing a Resources Library on the website to improve accessibility to reference documents (including available translations) for our Members and Stakeholders. These will include the likes of the Competency Framework, our Code & Standards of Professional Conduct, Glossary of Terms and Use of APSCA Number (Member Auditor Guide) and a Member’s Disciplinary Guide.

These documents are being translated into Spanish, and Chinese (Simplified / Traditional) and will be posted as they are finalized. We encourage you to stay tuned for news on when this page has been published via the newsletter. In the meantime, available documents are posted on the website and are publicly accessible via theapsca.com/about-us.

If there are additional resources you would like APSCA to consider for future inclusion in the library, please express your interest to director@theapsca.org  – we welcome your input! 

CSCA Examination Update

During April, examination rates continued with sustained momentum from March as the total number of Auditors having passed Part I reached 2,247, 618 Part II and 41 Part III. 

Across Part I and II, some 14% of exams scheduled for 2020 (to date) were not completed due to participant forfeiture (failure to present for exam) and or IT issues. Results of completed exams are summarized below.

CSCA - Part I Exam Results

A total of 946 CSCA Part I exams have been completed during 2020 with a pass rate of 84%
Results of completed exams are provided below.

CSCA - Part II Exam Results

A total of 699 CSCA Part II exams have been completed during 2020 with a pass rate of 75%.
Results of completed exams are provided below.

For all CSCA Exams (Part I – III) auditors MUST confirm their eligibility BEFORE they schedule each exam. Please ensure you follow the guidance in the Auditor Handbook to notify APSCA prior to enrolling to sit the exam. If you have attempted an exam and experienced IT issues, you need to inform APSCA that you are rescheduling your exam to have a new invoice raised.

CSCA Exams Part I and II are available in four languages (English, Spanish, Simplified & Traditional Chinese).

CSCA Exam Part III interviews anticipated to commence scheduling during May. Exams will be available in English, Spanish, Mandarin and Cantonese.  We are finalising the scheduling process which has proven to be more complicated than Part I and II.

Auditor Enrollments

During April, the total number of enrolled auditors increased to 4,437 (as of 30 April 2020). The enrolled Auditors comprise approximately 59% Registered Auditors, 40% Associate Social Compliance Auditors and 1% Certified Social Compliance Auditors

Changes to Auditor Status – April  

Leading up to March 2019 APSCA communicated to all auditors and audit firms, a 31 March 2020 deadline which required all Registered Auditor (RA) level auditors who identified as advanced in at least one of four languages (English, Traditional, Simplified Chinese, Spanish) of which the Part I exam is available in, must have successfully completed the exam in order to maintain their RA level. Due to COVID-19, APSCA extended this deadline to 30 April. Any auditors who met this criteria and did not have an exam scheduled during April were moved from RA to ASCA, and will remain there until such time until they successfully complete Part I, at which time they will be moved back to RA.  This update impacted approx. 314 auditors.  

Reminder of Upcoming Deadlines

Part I: Those Auditors who have become RA Level 1 from November, 2019 onward have 6 months to sit Part I, otherwise they will be moved to ASCA.

Part II: Those Auditors who are advanced in one of the 4 languages and have completed Part I, have to complete Part II by the end of September 2020 (or 3 months after completing Part I whichever is the latest).

FAQs – Helpful Resources on the Website

Be sure to check out APSCA’s updated FAQ page. Have a question We’ve got answers here.  

Don’t see a question / answer you’re looking for? Contact us at Director@theapsca.org.

APSCA Out and About

Please note that due to the global impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, APSCA have postponed or cancelled all travel. Updates on any future travel will be provided as soon as practicable. Please visit our Out and About page for updates!

In seeking to further support our Members, we also welcome you to tell us how your organization and auditors are navigating today’s dynamic work environment.  It is our intention to share these insights across our media channels to foster industry collaboration and unite our community during this difficult period. Please send responses to director@theapsca.org.

APSCA Newsletter March 2020

31/03/2020 - No Comments

As the COVID-19 pandemic grips the world, we at APSCA wish to extend our thoughts to you and your families. While this situation presents unprecedented challenges for all, we acknowledge these are particularly difficult for our Members and all those working within the social compliance audit industry.

As a global organisation, APSCA’s remote working arrangements remain unchanged during this time. However, all work-related travel has been suspended until further notice and Stakeholder Events scheduled for 2020 are currently on hold.

It is important to note, with the exception of industry events, APSCA’s primary functions remain fully operational and we are still available to assist you. Please reach out via email or connect with us via the links below.

In seeking to further support our Members, we also welcome you to tell us how your organization and auditors are navigating today’s dynamic work environment.  It is our intention to share these insights across our media channels to foster industry collaboration and unite our community during this difficult period. Please send responses via the link below.

In this this issue:

  • Disciplinary Board Update
  • New APSCA Website Live
  • Stakeholder Board Appointment
  • CSCA Examination Update
  • Auditor Enrollment Summary

Disciplinary Board – Allegations and Sanctions

APSCA Member Firms
The Disciplinary Board for Member Firms met in March to review one case that resulted in the issue of a warning. This is the third warning issued to a Member Firm, with each required to submit a corrective and preventative action plan to APSCA for review and subsequent monitoring by APSCA’s Code & Compliance Manager.

APSCA Member Auditors
Since 2017, APSCA’s Ethics and Integrity team have addressed over 120 allegations. A summary of allegations can be downloaded here

In the News

CEO and President of WRAP and Chair of APSCA’s Executive Board, Avedis Seferian addressed the challenges facing the sourcing industry as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Writing in the Sourcing Journal [24 March 2020], Avedis commented  “With consumer demand for clothing plummeting as a result of directives limiting social movement, we are seeing major brands and retailers cutting back on orders, with reverberations being felt all through the supply chain. And for those buyers who are still able to proceed, the question of how they can inspect their vendor facilities is a pressing one, as those same directives are making it impossible for auditors to visit factories in large swaths of the world”.

Read the full article here.

New APSCA Website Live

In late 2019, APSCA were made aware of website accessibility issues affecting certain countries. Following further investigation, a solution was identified and we are pleased to report our new website is now live.

Please note the website address has not changed. The new website can be viewed at www.theapsca.org.

Stakeholder Board Appointment

During February, we were pleased to welcome Magali Martowicz as a Stakeholder Board member. Magali is Sedex’s Director of Responsible Sourcing. She is passionate about making a genuine difference in the lives of workers and brings 12 years of responsible sourcing experience with her. 

Read more about Magali here.

Cancelled - APSCA Stakeholder Event for 2020 (Germany)

Unfortunately due to the global impacts of COVID-19, APSCA have resolved to cancel the Stakeholder Event which was to be held at Cologne, Germany during June.

Further announcements on additional Stakeholder Events planned for 2020 will be made in due course.

Coming Soon – Resources Library on APSCA Website

APSCA is developing a Resources Library on the website to improve accessibility to reference documents (including available translations) for our Members and Stakeholders. These will include the likes of the Competency Framework, our Code & Standards of Professional Conduct, Glossary of Terms and Use of APSCA Number (Member Auditor Guide) and a Member’s Disciplinary Guide.

These documents are being translated into Spanish, and Chinese (Simplified / Traditional) and will be posted as they are finalized. We encourage you to stay tuned for news on when this page has been published via the newsletter. In the meantime, available documents are posted on the website and are publicly accessible via theapsca.com/about-us.

If there are additional resources you would like APSCA to consider for future inclusion in the library, please express your interest to director@theapsca.org  – we welcome your input! 

Membership Application Process

APSCA’s Audit Firm Membership Application process was formally released in November 2018. Details can be found on our website.  All applications should be sent to applications@theapsca.org.

Important Reminder - Member Firm Deadline June 2020

ALL Member Firms who were accepted as an APSCA Provisional Member Firm prior to 2019, MUST reapply BEFORE June 2020.

If you are unsure if your firm needs to re-apply, please email director@theapsca.org

CSCA Examination Update

Despite sustained impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, rates of examination during March were encouraging. Auditor progression through the CSCA program was bolstered by strong pass rates for the Part II exam – further increasing the cohort of Auditors advancing to the final stage in obtaining their CSCA status.

To date a total of 2,062 Auditors have passed Part I, 483 Part II and 41 Part III. Examination rates during 2020 are forecast to exceed 2019 totals by the end of April; as at the close of Q1 2020, Part I and Part II exam completions reflected 69% of 2019 totals. 

Part I Exam Results

A total of 733 CSCA Part I exams have been completed during 2020 with a pass rate of 84%.  Results of completed exams are provided below.

CSCA Exam Part II

A total of 512 CSCA Part II exams have been completed during 2020 with a pass rate of 75%. Results of completed exams are provided below.

For all CSCA Exams (Part I – III) auditors MUST confirm their eligibility BEFORE they schedule each exam. Please ensure you follow the guidance in the Auditor Handbook to notify APSCA prior to enrolling to sit the exam. If you have attempted an exam and experienced IT issues, you need to inform APSCA that you are rescheduling your exam to have a new invoice raised

CSCA Exams Part I and II are available in four languages (English, Spanish, Simplified & Traditional Chinese).

CSCA Exam Part III interviews anticipated to commence scheduling during May. Exams will be available in English, Spanish, Mandarin and Cantonese.  We are finalising the scheduling process which has proven to be more complicated than Part I and II.

Auditor Enrollments

During February, the total number of enrolled auditors increased by just under 100 to 4,394 (as of 30 March 2020). The enrolled Auditors comprise approximately 66% Registered Auditors, 33% Associate Social Compliance Auditors and 1% Certified Social Compliance Auditors.

FAQs – Helpful Resources on the Website

Be sure to check out APSCA’s updated FAQ page. Have a question We’ve got answers here.  

Don’t see a question / answer you’re looking for? Contact us at Director@theapsca.org.

APSCA Out and About

Please note that due to the global impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, APSCA have postponed or cancelled all travel. Updates  on any future travel will be provided as soon as practicable.

APSCA Newsletter February 2020

28/02/2020 - No Comments

February proved a challenging month for APSCA as participation in the CSCA examination program was hindered by the Coronavirus. Despite this a total of 469 exams have been completed during 2020 with a strong pass rate across both Part I and Part II; 900 exams are scheduled for March.

A new provisional Member Firm (SAI Global) was welcomed during the month while several other applications are currently being processed.

We are also pleased to announce registration for the June 8, Stakeholder Event has now opened. Providing an open and insightful forum for industry collaboration we encourage you to secure your tickets now to avoid missing out.

For more highlights, read below.

Disciplinary Board – Allegations and Sanctions

APSCA’s Disciplinary Board met in February and heard six (6) cases.  The results of these hearings are summarized below:

APSCA are reviewing their processes and protocols to formulate a Disciplinary Handbook and will make this available to Member Firms in the coming weeks. In the meantime, should you have any questions related to disciplinary and appeals processes, please email discplinaryboard@theapsca.org.

Save The Date –
Stakeholder Events for 2020

During 2020, APSCA will hold three Stakeholder Events – further information will be shared shortly. In the meantime please mark these dates in your calendar! The events will provide further opportunity to foster collaboration within our industry and celebrate new Auditor Certifications under APSCA’s CSCA program.

Save The Dates: 
  • Cologne, Germany  – 8 June 2020 
  • Bangkok, Thailand  – 6 August 2020 
  • Washington DC, USA  – 17 November 2020

Coming Soon – Resource Page on APSCA Website

APSCA is working on providing a Resource page on the website to improve accessibility to reference documents (including available translations) for our Members and Stakeholders. These will include the likes of the Competency Framework, our Code & Standards of Professional Conduct, Glossary of Terms and Use of APSCA Number (Member Auditor Guide).

We are currently having these documents translated into Spanish, and Chinese (Simplified/Traditional) and encourage you to stay tuned for news on when this page has been published.

In the meantime, available documents are posted on the website and are publicly accessible.

See here: theapsca.com/about-us

Use of APSCA Number (Member Auditor Guide)

To help inform and support our Members with the proper use of Member Auditor’s APSCA Number, this guide addresses key uses of an Auditor’s membership number as noted under APSCA’s Code & Standards of Professional Conduct and Competency Framework.  Learn more here.

Reminder: Pathway 3 – Competency Framework Update

APSCA’s latest version of the Competency Framework now includes a third pathway in which Member Auditors can qualify for Registered Level Auditor (RA) status. 

Please refer to our Competency Framework for a detailed outline of required qualifications to be considered eligible for RA status through Pathway 3. 

Website Accessibility

In late 2019, APSCA were made aware of website accessibility issues affecting certain countries. Following further investigation, a solution was identified and we are pleased to report subsequent upgrades to the website are expected to resolve these issues shortly – we appreciate your patience with this matter.

In the meantime please contact us via email (director@theapsca.org) if you require any information or access to forms and documents. 

Please note the website address will not change.

Provisional Member Announcement

Congratulations to our newest APSCA Member Firm, SAI Global on your commitment to the realization of APSCA’s mission “To enhance the Professionalism and Credibility of individuals and organisations performing independent social compliance audits”.

For information on Firm Membership definitions and how your Firm can commence the application process, please visit our website.   

Membership Application Process

APSCA’s Audit Firm Membership Application process was formally released last released November 2018. Details can be found on our website.  All applications should be sent to applications@theapsca.org..

Important Reminder - Member Firm Deadline June 2020

ALL Member Firms who were accepted as an APSCA Provisional Member Firm prior to 2019, MUST reapply BEFORE June 2020.

If you are unsure if your firm needs to re-apply, please email director@theapsca.org

CSCA Examination Update

During February, rates of examination completion were significantly inhibited by the Coronavirus. Of the 700 exams scheduled for February, some 33% had to be postponed with 900 now scheduled for March

Part I Exam Results

A total of 292 CSCA Part I exams have been completed during 2020 with a pass rate of 83%. Results of completed exams are provided below.

CSCA Exam Part II

A total of 177 CSCA Part II exams have been completed during 2020 with a pass rate of 73%. Results of completed exams are provided below.

For all CSCA Exams (Part I – III) auditors are encouraged to confirm their eligibility BEFORE they schedule each exam. Please ensure you follow the guidance in the Auditor Handbook to notify APSCA prior to enrolling to sit the exam. If you have attempted an exam and experienced IT issues, you need to inform APSCA that you are rescheduling your exam to have a new invoice raised.

CSCA Exams Part I and II are now available in four languages (English, Spanish, Simplified & Traditional Chinese).

CSCA Exam Part III interviews are anticipated to launch in early April 2020 in English, Spanish, Mandarin and Cantonese

Auditor Enrollments

During February, the total number of enrolled auditors increased to 4,300 (as of 28 February 2020).

FAQs – Helpful Resources on the Website

Be sure to check out APSCA’s updated FAQ page. Have a question We’ve got answers here.  

Don’t see a question / answer you’re looking for? Contact us at Director@theapsca.org.

APSCA Out and About

05 March – JTI Advisory Council Meeting (Switzerland)
16 March – Disciplinary & Appeals Boards Working Group 
17 March – APSCA Executive Board Meetings (London, UK) 
18 March – Sedex Europe Conference (London, UK) 

APSCA Newsletter January 2020

30/01/2020 - No Comments

APSCA’s Membership base continued to increase through January with approval of new Provisional Member Firms and further auditor enrollments.

Participation in the CSCA program remains strong as results of Part I and II examinations deliver more candidates for future certification.

For more highlights, read below.

In this this issue:

  • Member Firm Summary
  • Disciplinary Board Update
  • 2020 Stakeholder Events
  • CSCA Examination Update
  • Auditor Enrollment Summary

2019 Member Firm Summary

Processing of applications for Firm Membership continued through January. With recent approvals, total Provisional Member Firms reached 44 in addition to the three Firms which attained Full Membership status in late 2019.

Six applications are currently under review with the total Member Firm base on track to exceed 50 in Q1 2020.

Disciplinary Board Update

In 2019, the Executive Board approved procedures for handling alleged violations of APSCA’s Code & Standards of Professional Conduct by individual Member Auditors and formed a Disciplinary Board and an Appeals Board to consider these allegations. It also approved procedures for the President and CEO to separately handle allegations of integrity violations by an individual in connection with certification exams and misuse of APSCA Member Auditor Number.

Further, the Executive Board approved a Complaint Handling Protocol, specifying minimum requirements for Member Firms to follow when investigating misconduct that could constitute a violation of the APSCA Code & Standards. The Disciplinary Board Auditors held two meetings in 2019. The Board is chaired by the Senior Advisor, Ethics & Integrity. The other members comprise two representatives of Member Firms, one representative from the Stakeholder Board and an independent member with an ethics and labor background. The Disciplinary Board for Auditors will meet again in February.

January 2020 saw the first meeting of the Disciplinary Board for Member Firms. The Board heard 3 cases and those cases are going through the adjudication process. Further information will be provided once this has been completed.

A summary of issues reported, investigation outcomes as well as the actions and sanctions imposed since 2017 is provided below.

2019 AGM/Stakeholder Event Highlights

2019 AGM/Stakeholder Event Highlights
Visit our 2019 AGM and Stakeholder Event Page for video, photos and highlights from December!

Save The Date –
Stakeholder Events for 2020

During 2020, APSCA will hold three Stakeholder Events – further information will be shared shortly. In the meantime please mark these dates in your calendar! The events will provide further opportunity to foster collaboration within our industry and celebrate new Auditor Certifications under APSCA’s CSCA program.

Save The Dates: 
  • Cologne, Germany  – 8 June 2020 
  • Bangkok, Thailand  – 6 August 2020 
  • Washington DC, USA  – 17 November 2020

Coming Soon – Resource Page on APSCA Website

APSCA is working on providing a Resource page on the website to improve accessibility to reference documents (including available translations) for our Members and Stakeholders. These will include the likes of the Competency Framework, our Code & Standards of Professional Conduct, Glossary of Terms and Use of APSCA Number (Member Auditor Guide).

We are currently having these documents translated into Spanish, and Chinese (Simplified/Traditional) and encourage you to stay tuned for news on when this page has been published.

In the meantime, available documents are posted on the website and are publicly accessible.

See here: theapsca.com/about-us

Reminder: Pathway 3 – Competency Framework Update

APSCA’s latest version of the Competency Framework now includes a third pathway in which Member Auditors can qualify for Registered Level Auditor (RA) status.

Please refer to our Competency Framework for a detailed outline of required qualifications to be considered eligible for RA status through Pathway 3.

Reminder: Now on the Website – Use of APSCA Number (Member Auditor Guide)

To help inform and support our Members with the proper use of Member Auditor’s APSCA Number, this guide addresses key uses of an Auditor’s membership number as noted under APSCA’s Code & Standards of Professional Conduct and Competency Framework.  Learn more here.

Website Accessibility

We have identified a solution which is currently under way; we anticipate this taking a few weeks to complete and will keep you posted. In the meantime please contact us via email (director@theapsca.org) if you require any information or access to forms and documents. 

CSCA Exam Part I

A total of 1,890 CSCA Part I exams have been completed to date with the pass rate holding at 80%. Since examinations commenced, approximately 13% of scheduled exams have not been completed. Of these uncompleted exams, some 53% were due to participant forfeiture (failure to present for exam) and 42% due to IT issues.

CSCA Exam Part I

A total of 248 CSCA Part II exams have been completed with the pass rate improving over the month to reach 69%. Since examinations commenced, approximately 7% of scheduled exams have not been completed due to participant forfeiture (failure to present for exam) and or IT issues.

CSCA Exam Part I

APSCA’s first Certified Social Compliance Auditors (CSCA) were announced in November 2018. Further certifications are expected during the year as rates of the Part III exam participation increase.

For all CSCA Exams (Part I – III) auditors are encouraged to confirm their eligibility BEFORE they schedule each exam. Please ensure you follow the guidance in the Auditor Handbook to notify APSCA prior to enrolling to sit the exam. If you have attempted an exam and experienced IT issues, you need to inform APSCA that you are rescheduling your exam to have a new invoice raised.

CSCA Exams Part I and II available in four Languages from 2 January 2020 (English, Spanish, Simplified & Traditional Chinese).

CSCA Exam Part III interviews are anticipated to launch in early April 2020 in English, Spanish, Mandarin and Cantonese.

Auditor Enrollments

During January, the total number of enrolled auditors exceeded 4,200.