APSCA Newsletter January 2024

25/01/2024 - No Comments

APSCA Newsletter January 2024

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To enhance the professionalism and credibility of the individuals and organizations performing independent social compliance audits
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APSCA Newsletter

Welcome to the first edition of the APSCA Newsletter for 2024!

Last year was a year of immense growth for APSCA, and 2024 is shaping up to be another hugely important, busy, and successful year both for us and the Social Compliance profession.

We'd like to kick start Q1 2024 with a few new & exciting announcements in this short edition of the Newsletter, and in keeping with our growth momentum, we are firstly thrilled to officially announce several new additions to our Stakeholder Advisory Board (SAB). 




APSCA Stakeholder Advisory Board - January 2024

Brands / Retailers 



Collaborative Programs



Independent Members

If you would like to read more about our new SAB Members, you can view their biographies and background information on the APSCA website
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After consultation with Members in 2023, the Executive Board made the decision to transition from an Executive Board (responsible for decision-making and operational management) to a Board of Directors (BOD) focused on governance (responsible for setting organizational strategy, providing oversight, and ensuring compliance with legal and ethical obligations). 

Along with this shift to a governance body, the decision has been made to reallocate the seats that make up the new BOD, thereby strengthening the organization’s governance structure and promoting long-term sustainability. As such, a new nomination and election process will commence in late Q1 and be completed in Q2 2024. The new Board of Directors will better represent a balanced perspective of Members and stakeholders, with 4 seats coming from Member Firm representation and 4 seats coming from the Stakeholder Advisory Board (SAB). 

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In partnership with the International Organisation of Employers (IOE)
, we are conducting a joint study on the theme of “Human Rights Due Diligence (HRDD) in Supply Chains: Findings on practical trends and developments on labor rights in supply chains.”

To make this study meaningful, we are seeking the support of all Members (Auditors and Audit Firms) as well as our supporters (brands/retailers, Collaborative Programs) to contribute information for the publication from all of your experiences and perspectives by completing a short survey of 17 questions. 

Thank you in advance for your participation. If possible, we ask for responses to be submitted by 1 March 2024.

To participate in this survey, please click here or scan the QR code below. 

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Join host Bosco Anthony for a dynamic conversation with APSCA’s new President & CEO, Colleen Vien. In this episode, they discuss Colleen’s vision for APSCA and how this is informed by her experience within the industry, challenges faced by Social Compliance as a profession, and APSCA’s strategy in carving pathways for collaboration and progress.

Listen now on the APSCA website

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If you have suggestions for us or would like to see certain topics in future issues, please email us at director@theapsca.org


Thanks for reading the latest APSCA Newsletter!
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Looking for Auditors? APSCA is here to help!

Let APSCA apply the benefits of our global network to your search for new Auditors.
Just tag us (#APSCA) on your LinkedIn job postings for Social Compliance Auditors or send job postings directly to us and we can share them on social media.

We are here to help, supporting APSCA Member Firms, Supporter Brands & Retailers, and Collaborative Programs that we work with, in their ongoing efforts to attract and retain Social Compliance Auditor talent.
 
We would welcome your feedback – please forward your suggestions to:  director@theapsca.org
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Copyright © 2022 Association of Professional Social Compliance Auditors, All rights reserved.
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Association of Professional Social Compliance Auditors
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Washington DC 20006 USA

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APSCA End-Of-Year Newsletter December 2023

18/12/2023 - No Comments

APSCA End-Of-Year Newsletter 2023

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To enhance the professionalism and credibility of the individuals and organizations performing independent social compliance audits
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APSCA End-of-Year Newsletter

Welcome to the final edition of the APSCA newsletter for 2023! 




As we reflect on the remarkable strides made in 2023, it's impossible not to attribute much of our unprecedented growth to the outstanding leadership of our departing President & CEO, Rona Starr. For over seven years, Rona has steered APSCA with unwavering dedication and commitment. As we embark on the final edition of the APSCA Newsletter, we extend our heartfelt farewell to Rona.
 
During her tenure, Rona has been the driving force behind APSCA's remarkable global growth and strategic expansion. Her visionary leadership has laid a strong foundation, transforming APSCA into an independent and professional standards body for social compliance auditors.
 
Under Rona's guidance, APSCA has enjoyed significant achievements and successes, setting the stage for the next chapter of growth. 
 
These achievements have included:
  • Increasing the enrolment of social compliance auditors to nearly 5,000 in 104 countries, speaking 95 different languages
  • Certifying more than 2,500 Auditors, residing in 78 countries
  • Launching APSCA’s 2030 Strategy to future-proof the profession, including developing a pathway to attract new social compliance auditors, enhance Member engagement and expand APSCA’s global reach and influence on important issues that affect all Members.
These successes were achieved with limited resources, operating with an extremely lean team that has grown APSCA from its founding in 2015 to its current position of strength. 

Avedis Seferian, our Executive Board Chair, expressed our collective gratitude to Rona, stating: "We have been fortunate to have Rona as our leader during APSCA’s critical formative stages and have benefitted greatly from her tireless energy and deep commitment to the organization’s mission. The significant growth and successes APSCA have already achieved would simply not have been possible without her."
 
As we bid farewell to Rona Starr, let us express our deepest appreciation for her unwavering commitment, vision, and the indelible mark she has left on APSCA. We look forward to the continuation of our journey with the same spirit of dedication and enthusiasm that Rona has instilled within us. 
 
Thank you, Rona, from the APSCA team and the industry at large – we wish you all the best in your future endeavors. 

 
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The year’s end is fast approaching and with that, we have embraced the oncoming season of change as we excitedly welcome our new President & CEO, Colleen Vien, who officially assumed her role on Day 2 of the AMM. 
 
With an illustrious background in supply chain due diligence, human rights auditing, and extensive experience in multi-stakeholder associations, Colleen is poised to lead APSCA into a new era of growth and influence. 
 
A globally recognized CSR and sustainability executive, Colleen brings over two decades of experience leading impactful global programs and initiatives. Her career, marked by an unwavering commitment to upholding human rights in complex supply chains, includes a pivotal role at Timberland, where she oversaw human rights and environmental standards globally. 
 
An internationally ranked CSR influence leader, Ms. Vien's expertise in managing social and environmental risks, stakeholder engagement, and cross-industry collaboration is unparalleled. 
 
Avedis Seferian, Chair of APSCA's Executive Board, expressed delight in welcoming Colleen, highlighting her transformative change management skills and cross-industry collaboration, crucial for APSCA's 2030 Strategy. 
 
Ms. Vien expressed excitement about solidifying APSCA's global leadership in social compliance auditing, extending her gratitude to outgoing CEO Rona Starr and committing to enhancing APSCA's legacy for a brighter future.
 
Welcome, Colleen, we are thrilled to have you!
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We want to extend our sincere gratitude to everyone who made our recent Annual Meeting of Members & Stakeholders (AMM) such a big success. 
 
With a total of 1,944 virtual and in-person registrants at the November 15-17 event in The Coca-Cola Company's headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, this was the biggest AMM to date, highlighting the growth of APSCA’s global membership. 
 
A big thanks to The Coca-Cola Company for hosting us at such a fantastic venue and contributing to a standout event. We hope to be back soon!




The event started on November 15 with an Auditor training day on Responsible Recruitment, delivered by Impactt and Sponsored by Walmart. The session provided invaluable information and we were thrilled to see excellent engagement from Auditors. 
 
Following this, we had two days of panel discussions with our industry experts on all things social compliance – from current industry trends to future directions and movements for the profession. 
 
APSCA sent out a post-event survey to gain feedback as we look towards future events. The results of this survey were overwhelmingly positive. Thank you to all who responded! 




The APSCA team thanks everyone who contributed to making the 2023 AMM one of our proudest events to date. To see more highlights from the event, including videos of keynote speeches and a photography gallery, click here.
 

Until next year!

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Join us for this inaugural event, in which our APSCA team will delve into the most frequently asked questions regarding Exams, CPD, and Ethics, as submitted by you, our Members. The Annual Updates will run across two sessions to cater to different time zones.
 


Monday 18 December 2023, 3.30 PM-5 PM EST (designed for those joining from North, Central & South America)
 

Tuesday 19 December 2023, 7.30 AM-9 AM GMT (designed for those joining from the UK, Europe, & Australasia)
 
For more information about the event, and to register for one of the two sessions, please use the below links.
Session 1 registration
Session 2 registration
  
We look forward to presenting our updates from what has been a significant year with you all!

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Our panel sessions from the 2023 AMM are now available for viewing on YouTube and recognized trainings from the panels are also available on CPD On-Demand. There are four CPD sessions available from Day 1 & 2 of the 2023 AMM, and four additional videos of fantastic panel discussion from our industry’s experts. We hope you will gain just as much insight and inspiration from these sessions as we did!
 
The course codes for our CPD-recognized sessions are as follows, please use these codes when submitting your CPD:
  • APSCA-006 APSCA 2023 Annual Meeting - Responsible Recruitment Training 
  • APSCA-007 APSCA 2023 Annual Meeting - The Audit Journey 
  • APSCA-008 APSCA 2023 Annual Meeting - Keynote: Converging Forces 
  • APSCA-009 APSCA 2023 Annual Meeting - Emerging Legislation Unveiled 
  • APSCA-010 APSCA 2023 Annual Meeting - Dynamic Transformations
Not registered for CPD On-Demand? Register here, watch the sessions in full and upload your CPD to your APSCA Online Account (My Account). For more detailed instructions on how to upload CPD, click here

We also have additional videos available for CPD On-Demand, so be sure to register and earn your 2023 CPD today! 
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The APSCA Ethics Team is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms. Effie Marinos as Senior Ethics Advisor. With over 30 years of experience in the field of social accountability and sustainability, Effie is a powerhouse with much to offer in social compliance auditing.  

An Independent Member of the Board, Effie has a remarkable background deeply rooted in social compliance that brings a focused perspective to support APSCA’s membership.

Her extensive involvement with founding SEDEX Stakeholder Forum, SMETA, and the Gangmaster Licensing Authority in Britain brings invaluable knowledge and dedication to our Ethics Team. 

Effie's appointment is a significant asset as we advance our Ethics Program to the next level. APSCA focuses on scalability, streamlined case timelines, and enhancing outreach and education. 

Effie’s prior role as Global Technical Governance Manager for Responsible Business Services in the SGS Group underscores her commitment to process improvement, sustainability, and ethical training. 

Please join us in extending a very warm welcome to Effie as she assumes the pivotal role of Ethics Advisor.  

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If you have suggestions for us or would like to see certain topics in future issues, please email us at director@theapsca.org


Thanks for reading the latest APSCA Newsletter!
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Looking for Auditors? APSCA is here to help!

Let APSCA apply the benefits of our global network to your search for new Auditors.
Just tag us (#APSCA) on your LinkedIn job postings for Social Compliance Auditors or send job postings directly to us and we can share them on social media.

We are here to help, supporting APSCA Member Firms, Supporter Brands & Retailers, and Collaborative Programs that we work with, in their ongoing efforts to attract and retain Social Compliance Auditor talent.
 
We would welcome your feedback – please forward your suggestions to:  director@theapsca.org
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Copyright © 2022 Association of Professional Social Compliance Auditors, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this Newsletter as you subscribed via our website.

Our mailing address is:
Association of Professional Social Compliance Auditors
1747 Pennsylvania Avenue, Suite 1000,
Washington DC 20006 USA

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APSCA Newsletter September 2023

30/09/2023 - No Comments
To enhance the professionalism and credibility of the individuals and organizations performing independent social compliance audits
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APSCA Newsletter – September 2023

Welcome to the latest edition of the APSCA newsletter! We’re kicking off this edition with our Strategy Spotlight, where you will find important new links for November’s Annual Meeting of Members & Stakeholders (AMM) as well as information on the next phase of the ASPCA Audit Fee (AAF).
 
We also have myriad updates from our Exam and Ethics teams, CPD highlights, podcasts and more!
 
As always, please contact us if you have comments or queries by emailing director@theapsca.org

 

APSCA’s Ethics & Management Team would like to thank Tim Lindon, who has played a leading role in developing and implementing our ethics and integrity program over the past five years.  
 
Our beloved Senior Ethics Advisor, and Chair of both APSCA’s Disciplinary Board for Member Auditors and APSCA’s Disciplinary Board for Member Firms, Tim has decided to step away from these positions to pursue new interests.

Tim’s dedication and work in benchmarking efforts to help establish APSCA’s ethics procedures and disciplinary framework are unmatched. He provided advice and wisdom to both managers and directors in the Ethics Team by acting as a sounding board for new ideas, shaping advice for difficult cases, and playing a large role in continued program development.
We will be forever grateful for Tim’s many contributions.

As we move into a new era of disciplinary board structure and processes to best serve APSCA Members, we are able to build on the strong foundations in place that Tim helped establish over the past years. In the coming year, APSCA’s Ethics Team will be working to roll out updated processes, policies, tools and a refreshed Code and Standards of Professional Conduct that will be updated to address ethical issues and situations that our Member Auditors and Member Firms face in the everyday practice of the social compliance auditing profession.

We are extremely appreciative of the many efforts that Tim has made to promote APSCA’s Ethics program over the years and we wish him the very best in his onward journey!

Also in this this issue:
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The countdown is on to this year’s Annual Meeting of Members & Stakeholders! We look forward to seeing you at the November 16-17 event, whether in-person at the Coca-Cola offices in Atlanta, Georgia, USA or online.
 
The Agenda and registration  for our 2023 AMM are now available on the APSCA website. REMEMBER – When registering, please be sure to choose the correct registration type, as this year our event is both virtual and in-person. Unlike previous years, your registration type will affect the communications you receive for the event.
If you require a letter of invitation from APSCA to apply for a travel visa, submit your information through this form.
 
We look forward to seeing you in November!



The AAF is an important tool in APSCA’s journey to implement our 2030 Strategy, which focuses on the three strategic pillars of professionalism, future proofing and identity as we advance the social compliance auditing profession globally. We will keep you informed as to our strategy implementation progress via the newsletter and our website.
 
Phase two of the AAF will run from October 1, 2023, through January 1, 2025. During this time, the AAF of USD15 will be applied to all audits that meet the definition of a Social Compliance Audit, as outlined in our Glossary of Terms. 

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APSCA’s communications team has been working hard to get more information out to Members and Auditor Firms via the user-friendly format of podcasts.
Check out our latest podcasts via the links:
Episode 11 – In Conversation with Be Slavery Free
Episode 10 – In Conversation with Stephanie Ragan 
Episode 9 – APSCA Overview from the Chair
Episode 8 – APSCA Future Direction with Rona Starr 

SUPPLY CHAIN:  A Four-Part Article Series by Craig Moss & David Kurz
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A friendly reminder that after September 30, 2023, RA will no longer be an available level for APSCA Member Auditors.

On October 3, 2023, all RAs who have not sat and passed their Part III Exam will be moved to ASCA level until such time as they have successfully completed the exam with a score of 75% or higher. This includes auditors who have an exam booked.

 


 
Coming soon!
We are excited to share that Auditors sitting their Part I & II exams will soon have the opportunity to complete the exam at an in-house testing facility. With over 1,400 centers available across 110 countries, this is a wonderful development that will allow more seamless exam execution for our Auditors.
 
More information about the testing facilities, including locations, is available here.
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New Administrative Suspensions – Improvements for Ethics Case

The APSCA Ethics Team has implemented an enhancement to APSCA’s investigation and disciplinary processes. Recently, administrative suspensions have been put in place to support efficiencies during case reviews.    

 Administrative Suspensions are only utilized should a Member fail to meet the expected deadlines put forth in communications from the Ethics Team as part of the investigation efforts or when the Disciplinary Board deems that alleged unethical behaviour is highly egregious and presents a possible danger to APSCA or the Social Compliance Auditing Profession at large. 

 When a Member Auditor faces an Administrative Suspension, their ability to conduct social compliance audits using their APSCA Member number for APSCA Member Firms will be immediately halted until the suspension is lifted. Suspensions will be communicated to all associated Member Firms when assigned.  Whenever possible, Administrative Suspensions for Member Firms will be applied regionally, with aim to address specific location or personnel engaged in unethical behaviour.

Collaborative Program Working Group – Inaugural Meetings 

APSCA’s Ethics Team have implemented a Working Group with Collaborative Programs. This moment marks a significant step forward in fostering a culture of ethical excellence within the social compliance auditing profession to standardize, professionalize and provide enhanced support to our Members. 

The primary purpose of our Working Group is to establish a platform where like-minded organizations can come together to share ideas, knowledge, and best practices. By doing so, we aim to identify gaps in our respective compliance programs and, most importantly, forge strong collaborations to address systemic ethical and integrity challenges within the industry. 

The first meeting focused on introductions determining mutual compliance program alignment and variations. Each participating organization generously shared insights into its existing processes, enabling us to create a solid foundation of collective knowledge.  Our second meeting led to the conceptual development of additional tools for data sharing and strategies to improve Ethics investigations across the board.   

The APSCA Ethics Team is confident regarding the possibilities of what lies ahead for this group. We believe that by collaborating effectively, we can significantly influence and shape the future of compliance programs in the social compliance profession. 

We also aim to improve processes and provide increasingly valuable support for APSCA Member Auditors and Member Firms. Together, we have the potential to raise the bar of ethical standards and drive positive change, ensuring a fair, safe, and sustainable environment for workers across the globe.  

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If you have suggestions for us or would like to see certain topics in future issues, please email us at director@theapsca.org


Thanks for reading the latest APSCA Newsletter!
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Looking for Auditors? APSCA is here to help!

Let APSCA apply the benefits of our global network to your search for new Auditors.
Just tag us (#APSCA) on your LinkedIn job postings for Social Compliance Auditors or send job postings directly to us and we can share them on social media.

We are here to help, supporting APSCA Member Firms, Supporter Brands & Retailers, and Collaborative Programs that we work with, in their ongoing efforts to attract and retain Social Compliance Auditor talent.
 
We would welcome your feedback – please forward your suggestions to:  director@theapsca.org
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Copyright © 2022 Association of Professional Social Compliance Auditors, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this Newsletter as you subscribed via our website.

Our mailing address is:
Association of Professional Social Compliance Auditors
1747 Pennsylvania Avenue, Suite 1000,
Washington DC 20006 USA

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APSCA Newsletter June 2023

05/07/2023 - No Comments

To enhance the professionalism and credibility of the individuals and organizations performing independent social compliance audits
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APSCA Newsletter – June 2023

Welcome to the APSCA June 2023 Newsletter! The past couple of months has seen the Team working to implement the Funding model, which supports APSCA’s 2030 strategy, and additional new launches within Continuous Professional Development (CPD). We have exciting events scheduled for the remainder of 2023 which are highlighted in this issue, and a few updates from our exam and ethics teams.

 

 

 

It is with great sadness that we announce our Business Manager, Julie Shaw, will be retiring at the end of July 2023. Julie has been an absolutely vital part of the APSCA team since its inception in 2016. Over the past 7 years, Julie has had a significant role in the successful operation of APSCA across multiple domains, having a hand in policy and procedure development, data system processes and enhancement, and exam functions, just to name a few. She has provided crucial support to all members of the team, always finding time to offer her guidance, encouragement and expertise, gained over her illustrious career. 

We are thrilled for Julie, as she enters this new and exciting chapter of life that comes with retirement. With this feeling of excitement also comes feelings of sadness, as we bid farewell to someone who has, without a doubt, been a crucial part of the APSCA foundation.

Thank you, Julie, for your dedication to APSCA over these past 7 years. The APSCA team and the entire community surrounding this organisation, are incredibly lucky to have worked alongside you. On behalf of APSCA, thank you, good luck & all the best for a wonderful and fantastic retirement!

 

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Please join us in welcoming three new members to the APSCA Team,
Stephanie Ragan, Silas Gilders and Meg Crawford!

 

Stephanie Ragan – Director of Code & Compliance

With a wealth of experience in compliance and ethics management, Stephanie brings valuable expertise to our organization. Prior to joining us, Stephanie excelled in offshore petroleum EPCI, overseeing compliance and ethics, and provided consulting services in trade compliance and corporate ethics program development. She also possesses extensive knowledge in logistics management, project cargo, and freight forwarding. Stephanie’s approach to compliance management emphasizes fostering a speak-up culture, thorough due diligence, and meticulous investigations to maintain industry-wide integrity. Holding certifications in export compliance, ethics, and FCPA expertise, Stephanie is a member of esteemed professional associations. Her previous international roles have given her a deep understanding of the challenges faced by global organizations. Beyond her professional accomplishments, Stephanie actively volunteers for B.I.G. Love Cancer Care Services and serves as a dedicated committee person with the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. We are thrilled to have Stephanie on board and look forward to her valuable contributions.

Stephanie can be reached at Stephanie.ragan@theapsca.org
 



Silas Gilders (they/them) – Data Administrator  

We are pleased to welcome Silas Gilders to the APSCA team as our new Data Administrator. Silas joined APSCA in May 2023, replacing our Data Administrator, Josh Morris. Silas is handling auditor enrolments, associations, dissociations, responding to general email enquiries, Member Auditor profile updates and supporting CPD. They will be working closely with our Business Management team.

Silas can be reached at dataadministrator@theapsca.org

 


 

Meg Crawford – Business Manager

We are happy to announce that Meg will be taking on the role of Business Manager, replacing Julie Shaw. Meg will be commencing with APSCA on July 10, training closely with Julie until her retirement late July. Meg brings extensive experience in different fields, having previously worked within travel, mining, and the Government space. Her main passions involve clean data and change management. In addition to taking over areas previously held by Julie, Meg will be assisting with CPD, and quarterly and monthly reporting. Welcome aboard Meg, we are very excited to have you!
 
Meg will be reachable at meg.crawford@theapsca.org from July 10.


 



  Farewell to two APSCA team members, Josh Morris and Emily Chen.  


Josh Morris, Data Administrator

Josh joined APSCA in 2021 as Data Administrator and immediately proved a valuable asset to the team. As he leaves APSCA in pursuit of new career opportunities, we would like to take the time to thank him for his tireless efforts in maintaining our data system, having spearheaded various new functionalities in order to streamline working systems and maximize efficiency.
We wish Josh all the best in his career progression and are certain he will thrive in his future endeavours and form an integral part of any team, just as he has among the APSCA team.

Thank you for all your hard work and commitment to APSCA, Josh!

 



Emily Chen, former Compliance Analyst

Emily provided valuable support to the Ethics Team since starting at APSCA in October, 2022. Emily played an important role as Compliance Analyst in assisting with ethics investigations and data triangulation.

We would like to wish Emily all the best with her professional endeavours and give a big thank you for her work during her time on the APSCA team!

 

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 UPDATE 

As announced in May 2023, starting July 1, 2023, the APSCA Social Compliance Audit Fee/ APSCA Audit Fee (AAF) (US$15) will be applied to Social Compliance Audits for the following four programs:

  • amfori (BSCI)
  • Sedex (SMETA)
  • Social Accountability International/SAI (SA8000)
  • Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP)

The AAF will deliver genuine benefits to the global social compliance audit profession, enabling the delivery of our 2030 Strategy. The Strategy is separated into three pillars identifying strategic objectives and supporting goals for each.

At APSCA, work has already begun toward these objectives and goals, laying the groundwork, detailed planning and early-stage deliverables as timelines and resource requirements are mapped out for the second half of 2023 and beyond.



Enhance the Professionalism and credibility of APSCA Member Firms and Auditors.

  • Strengthen the firm application and ongoing Member Firm oversight processes to validate information and ensure compliance to the APSCA code before and after Membership received.
  • Increase efficiencies within the member auditor and member firms’ disciplinary process while ensuring credibility and integrity of the disciplinary process is upheld.

Become an association of and for Social Compliance Auditors.

  • Finalize the process for Internal auditor / organizations to join APSCA.
  • Establish a CSCA Council, which leads to representation on the SAB and/or Executive Board

 




APSCA to increase market adoption and capacity levels amongst stakeholders through communication and marketing strategies that articulates social auditing as a required and valued profession.

  • Implement a process to bring auditors into the profession.
  • Working with Members to develop an academy which would focus on supporting training for new auditors.




 




Build awareness across the profession, industry, and society.

  • Provide Members and Partners with the opportunity to influence and develop the work within APSCA.

We continue to focus upon the priorities of:

  • Developing a pathway to attract new social compliance auditors into the profession.
  • Enhanced user experience through improved practices, including the exam and training process, and facilitating greater Member engagement.
  • Expanded global reach and influence for the social compliance profession, to enable input into key and emerging issues for government and civil society.

 
These extra benefits require a step change for our organization.

New funding is critical to allow us to build the organization our profession needs and deserves, and to get on the front foot with all stakeholders, so we can face tomorrow’s challenges with confidence.
AAF implementation has been discussed extensively with stakeholders, APSCA Members and staff, and will follow a phased-in implementation process:

  • Phase 1 July 1, 2023, AAF will apply to audits conducted during this period for supporting programs, (BSCI, SMETA, WRAP, SA8000).
  • Phase 2 October 1, 2023, the AAF will be expanded to include all programs.
  • Phase 3 January 1, 2024, APSCA will introduce tiered membership fees for APSCA Member Firms.

 
To learn more about APSCA’s 2030 Strategy please listen to Episode 8 of The APSCA Podcast as APSCA President &CEO Rona Starr takes us through the vision for APSCA moving forward  
For additional reflections upon APSCA’s history, organizational structure, vision and mission and future direction in line with the 2030 Strategy,  watch the new “About Us” Video

To read more about the AAF click here.

 

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 May 2023 live Q&A – recap 

At the end of May, we held our second live Q&A event virtually across 2 sessions. In these sessions, we discussed the new 2030 strategy and funding model, as well as topics related to Governance, Membership, CPD, and Exams. We would like to thank everyone who registered for and attended the events. Across the two sessions, we saw roughly a 50% engagement rate with available polls and questions submitted via the Slido platform. Auditor as well as Firm participation is what drives these sessions and we were pleased to see so many engaging and sending us their questions.

 We have finalised two FAQ documents for this Q&A event, which are available here.


 June B&C Member Calls – recap 

On June 20 and 21 2023, APSCA staff and Executive Board Representatives hosted two Member Firm calls for APSCA B and C Category Member Firms to support various time zones. The calls provided Member Firms with an opportunity to receive updates from APSCA over various topics such as Strategy/Funding, Part III Alt Language deadline, phasing out of APSCA RA Level, planned Data System enhancements and the Annual Meeting of Member and Stakeholders 2023.
The calls were well attended and mark the 3rd APSCA Member Call / meetings held during 2023.
Recordings of the meetings have been circulated to attendees as well as follow up documents summarizing questions raised during and following the meeting which were relevant to Member Firms.

We look forward to connecting with the Member Firms once again in Q3.



 Welcome New Members 

APSCA is pleased to welcome our new APSCA Provisional Member Firms:
 
ASPIRATA Auditing Testing and Certification PTY LTD
Helmsman Quality & Technology Services Co., Ltd
IDFL Laboratory and Institute Inc.
SAC GmbH
Stantec Environmental Engineering (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.
VJN Global Solutions

 
Please welcome them to APSCA!
 

 

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Planning to attend the 2023 AMM in Atlanta Georgia, USA. Please take this short survey and let us know if you plan to attend in person or virtually!
 
Once again, thank you to all who participated in our May Q&A sessions and our B & C Member calls. Member input is always valued and assist us as we endeavour to provide support to Auditors and Firms.

 

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We have made some minor changes to section 9.1 of the APSCA Competency Framework. These changes are reflected in questions within the APSCA Exam Process.

We also launched our Part I & II Exam Syllabus which aims to provide greater clarity for Member Auditors and Member Firms about the content of the APSCA Part I & II exams.
We welcome feedback on this document. If you wish to provide any feedback, please email director@theapsca.org  

 

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The exam team has a message from Calendly regarding Google’s new anti-spam policies, which may impact how your Calendly meeting will show up on your calendar.

Google Calendar will now only add meetings to an invitee’s calendar automatically if the sender has previously interacted with the invitee in Gmail. If you use Google Calendar and you have never interacted with Calendly by email, you must click ‘I know the sender’ and ‘yes’ to the invite for the meeting to be added to your calendar. That is all that is required!
An example of this is displayed in the below image. As you can see, a notice will appear alerting you that this meeting invite has been sent from someone you have never interacted with.
Simple click ‘I know the sender’ and accept the invite.




Some additional reminders from the exam team:

  • As at October 1, RA will no longer be an available Auditor level, in line with the RA phase-out.
  • If you are trying to re-sit a Part III exam, please schedule for the first available date, and continue to check Calendly regularly in case an earlier date becomes available. If you do find an earlier date, please use the reschedule/cancellation link on your original Calendly confirmation email. Incorrect rescheduling places you at risk of losing all exam dates previously booked.
  • DO NOT reschedule your exam directly with ProctorU as this does not alert the interviewer of the change, meaning when you arrive at the exam your interviewer and translator (if being used) will not be there. The exam will then be cancelled, and you will be charged. 
  • When booking in Calendly, please use the same email as that listed on your ProctorU account.

 
Finally, in your exam preparation, make sure you read the How to Book document before arriving at the exam and click through all of the links contained in this document. Additionally, you should have read through the Part III Exam Guide to have an understanding of how scoring works and what the interviewers are looking for to award points. Other essential preparatory materials include the What to Expect video and episode 7 of the APSCA podcast, all of which can be found in the Resource Library.

 

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Hello from the Ethics Team!

We’d like to take a moment to introduce our team and remind everyone what the Ethics Team does to support Member Firms and Member Auditors to help achieve APSCA’s mission to professionalize social compliance auditing. 

Our Compliance Manager, Emma Youngman, has been associated with APSCA for several years. In her current role, Emma is the front line for reported ethical concerns and liaises with collaborative parties and Member Firms for investigations and best practices. Additionally, she supports Member inquiries and outreach to aid with any ethical concerns. Stephanie, who was introduced at the beginning of this issue of the newsletter, has joined the APSCA ethics team as the Director of Code and Compliance. Stephanie will lead the team in ensuring that our Code and Standards of Professional Conduct, policies, and procedures meet the needs of APSCA Members and support all ethical investigations, as well as leading Member Firm investigations, and focusing on measuring program effectiveness.

In 2023, the Ethics team is dedicated to bringing more transparency to our Members. We have confidence that through a better understanding of our investigation process and with additional transparency around the functions of the ethics team, Members will feel more comfortable when reporting issues. The cornerstone of best ethical practices is accountability. The APSCA Ethics Team relies on whistleblowers and reporters to advise when there are potential problems and ethical violations occurring in the workplace. Reporting concerns is every Member’s responsibility. Please reach out to your APSCA Ethics Team with questions, if ever in doubt.  We hope to see enhanced engagement with our surveys and increased communication outreach throughout the remainder of 2023 so that we can better serve all APSCA Members.  
 



 Update on the APSCA Disciplinary Board Activity – June 2023 

The disciplinary board heard 4 cases.   

  1. False Auditing and Recordkeeping – 2-Month Suspension 
  2. Recordkeeping & Transparency with APSCA – 2-Month Suspension 
  3. Harassment – Revocation 
  4. Bribery & Corruption – Revocation 

**To report any concerns or potential ethics violations, reach out to ethics@theapsca.org** 
 

Speak Up – Why it’s important to report issues when they arise:

  • It’s part of your commitment to APSCA. The Code and Standards of Professional Conduct, signed at the time of joining APSCA, outlines that every Member is responsible for reporting unethical behavior. 
  • Speaking up empowers you to tell your truth and benefits the profession by preventing continuing issues from spreading, which affects our ability to do our job with integrity and pride. 
  • Demonstrating your commitment to best practices in social compliance auditing, and your support for APSCA may even inspire quiet colleagues to speak up in the face of corruption, too. 

 

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CPD On-Demand 2023 has been launched.




UPCOMING TRAININGS

The following trainings are available in the months of July & August.

  • July 6th-7th SAS – An LQRA Company – CSR Auditor Training (annual) in person, 20% discount being offered for APSCA Auditors, register here, APSCA Course Code SAS-001 (CPD 8h)
  • July 10th WIRE – Conducting Worker Interviews, online, more information here, APSCA Course Code WI-001 (CPD 8h)
  • July 11th WIRE – Grievance Mechanisms & Social Dialogue online, more information here, APSCA Course Code WI-003 (CPD 8h)
  • July 17th _ 21st Social Accountability International SA8000 Introduction & Basic Auditor Training (HCMC, Vietnam), for more information click here, APSCA Course Code SAI-001 (CPD 36h)
  • August 4th CASPIUM – US Department of Labor Regulations (English) hybrid, more information here, APSCA Course Code CAS-001 (CPD 8h),
  • August 7th WIRE – Conducting Worker Interviews online, more information here, APSCA Course Code WI-001 (CPD 8h),
  • August 8th WIRE – Gender Sensitive Auditing – an introduction online, more information here, APSCA Course Code WI-002 (CPD 8h),
  • August 11th CASPIUM – US Environmental, Health & Safety Laws hybrid, more information here, APSCA Course Code CAS-001 (CPD 8h),
  • August 16th-18th Social Accountability International – SA8000 Advanced Lead Auditor Training (Mexico City), in person, more information here, APSCA Course Code SAI-002 (CPD 24h)
  • August 21st Social Accountability International – SA8000 Introduction & Basic Auditor Training (Mexico), in person, more information here, APSCA Course Code SAI-001 (CPD 36h)
  • August 28th Social Accountability International – SA8000 Introduction & Basic Auditor Training (New York City, USA), in person, more information here, APSCA Course Code SAI-001 (CPD 36h)

 



World Day Against Child Labor

June 12th was the World Day Against Child Labor. As we reflect upon this issue and the various forms in which it still exists in the world, we encourage our Members to engage with available resources which explore child labor in a modern context. One great resource, in particular, comes from episode 1 of Rachelle Jackson’s podcast, which is available to listen to here.

We are proud of the work being done by APSCA Members to combat child labor globally, in line with section 9.2 of the Competency Framework. There may be a ways to go before child labor can be considered eradicated, though by spreading awareness of this issue we are able to make steps towards this goal.

For more information and resources regarding child labor from the International Labor Organization (ILO), click here


 




  REPORTING AN INTEGRITY ISSUE  
 

If you wish to report an action by one of our Members (Firms or Auditors) which may be considered a violation of APSCA’s Code and Standards of Professional Conduct, email our Ethics Manager at ethics@theapsca.org 

 

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Looking for Auditors? APSCA is here to help!

Let APSCA apply the benefits of our global network to your search for new Auditors.
Just tag us (#APSCA) on your LinkedIn job postings for Social Compliance Auditors or send job postings directly to us and we can share them on social media.

We are here to help, supporting APSCA Member Firms, Supporter Brands & Retailers, and Collaborative Programs that we work with, in their ongoing efforts to attract and retain Social Compliance Auditor talent.
 
We would welcome your feedback – please forward your suggestions to:  director@theapsca.org

 

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Copyright © 2022 Association of Professional Social Compliance Auditors, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this Newsletter as you subscribed via our website.

Our mailing address is:
Association of Professional Social Compliance Auditors
1747 Pennsylvania Avenue, Suite 1000,
Washington DC 20006 USA


 

APSCA Newsletter April 2023

30/04/2023 - No Comments

To enhance the professionalism and credibility of the individuals and organizations performing independent social compliance audits
View this email in your browser

 

APSCA Newsletter – April 2023

Welcome to our Q2 Newsletter! After a busy start to the year, we have many exciting announcements and successes to report. Some highlights within this issue include a farewell to our Director of Code & Compliance, Alex Nasr, updates to the Executive Board, an outline of key achievements from our 2022 Annual Report, and the launch of our 2030 Strategy!
 

The momentum we have gained throughout Q1 is set to carry on throughout 2023, with various events that are being planned, including live Q&A sessions & annual updates. As always, we encourage and welcome your participation at these events!

 

 

 

On April 14, 2023, we wished Alex Nasr, our Director of Code and Compliance, well as he left APSCA to pursue other opportunities, and we thank him for his efforts to further expand on APSCA’s ethics program and send our best in his future endeavors.

During Alex’s tenure at APSCA, he made significant contributions to our Ethics & Integrity program. He spearheaded initiatives to improve case processing capacity and timelines, increased data and information sharing with collaborative programs, and made numerous policy enhancements. Under Alex’s leadership, the Ethics team issued several guidance documents, including Guidance on Submitting Reports and Evidence to the APSCA Ethics Team  and updated our Disciplinary Framework and Procedures to include temporary suspensions and additional requirements for reinstatement.

We appreciated Alex’s unwavering commitment to driving ethics and integrity efforts within APSCA Membership. His contributions will have a lasting impact on our organization, and we thank him for his dedication and hard work.

Moving forward, Emma Youngman, our Compliance Manager, will manage the department with the support of our Compliance Analyst, Emily Chen, while we look to onboard a new Director of Compliance.

If you have any questions, please contact Emma at ethics@theapsca.org.

 

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We would like to announce a few changes to our Executive Board representatives. Mark Spears and Anastasia Spathi will be stepping down from the Executive Board and are set to be replaced by Craig Moss and Laurent Corbaz. Mark will, however, remain a part of the Stakeholder Advisory Board. We very much look forward to welcoming Craig and Laurent onto the Executive Board where their expertise will be invaluable.


Mark, who previously served the Walt Disney Company for nearly thirty years in several senior business roles, devotes his work to promoting positive environmental and social change. In his time at Disney, Mark served as Disney Consumer Products’ inaugural chief sustainability executive and led Disney’s involvement with The Sustainability Consortium as its first corporate Lead Director. Mark also directed Disney’s International Labor Standards program. Mark’s contribution to and representation of APSCA’s Executive Board has been hugely appreciated and we would like to thank him for all his valued efforts.
 



Replacing Mark will be Craig Moss. Craig is the Executive Vice President-Measurement of Ethisphere and a leading expert on using management systems to improve compliance and risk management performance within companies and across supply chains.

Craig is also the Chair of the Licensing Executives Society committee that developed an ANSI global standard for Intellectual Property Protection in the Supply Chain. He is Director – Content & Certification at the Cyber Readiness Institute, and Director at the Digital Supply Chain Institute.

 




Anastasia Spathi will be stepping down from the Executive Board and we would like to thank Anastasia for her contribution to APSCA over the last 2 years, particularly for her most recent efforts in leading the Exam and Capacity Working Group. We know she will stay connected with us through her ongoing work with SGS.
 



We take this opportunity to welcome Laurent Corbaz to APSCA’s Executive Board. Laurent is Vice President, Strategic Planning at SGS and has been with the company for over 16 years, in a number of senior management roles in both Switzerland and the United States. Laurent is responsible for the strategic development and planning within the Knowledge Division covering audit, certification, training, CSR, supply chain services, risk management and technical consultancy across multiple industries.  Laurent holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. 

Please join us in thanking Mark and Anastasia for their ongoing support and welcoming Craig and Laurent – we look forward to utilising their expertise as we implement our 2030 Strategy.

 

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 SAVE THESE DATES! 

APSCA Live Q&A 
2023 Annual Updates (online only)
23 – 24 October 2023
 
APSCA 2023 Annual Meeting of Members and Stakeholders (hybrid)
Location (Atlanta, Georgia USA)
Annual Meeting with CSCA moderator

16 & 17 November 2023

Training Event (TBC)
15 November2023

 

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In APSCA’s 2022 Annual Meeting of Members and Stakeholders (AMM), we announced the launch of our 2030 strategy  (for the right-click translatable version, click here). Over the last few months, we had a working group focus on strategy and funding required to implement the agreed strategy. 

Following Member Firm feedback, which has been consolidated and considered, a communication to all Members is being finalised with the Executive Board and will be coming in the following weeks along with an implementation plan.
 
APSCA has launched a Part I and II Exam Syllabus. We welcome your feedback on this document. Over the next few months, you will also see:

  • Draft Agenda for the Annual Meeting of Members and Stakeholders (AMM) which will be moderated by a CSCA 
  • Announcement of improved business practices for Members with the support of our new IT provider to expedite the processing of exams and invoicing
  • Training Partnerships supporting Member Auditors throughout their APSCA journey (exam preparation, Continuous Professional Development (CPD) and emerging topics)
  • Development of a job board to connect new Auditors with Member Firms that are prepared to train them
  • Podcast Series and other communication to be expanded.

To name a few!

 

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Sedex Xplore Sustainability Conference 

APSCA’s Rona Starr participated in a breakout session during day two of the Sedex conference in March 2023, speaking to a standing-room-only crowd alongside Sedex’s Paul Chalmers and moderator Fiorela Topciu, Sedex and APSCA presented about continuous improvements in Social Auditing Quality. Jointly moving the needle for competence and quality including insights were shared on the future of the profession.

 


Pictured (left to right) Fiorela Topciu, Paul Chalmers, and Rona Starr

 

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APSCA continues to focus on connecting Member Auditors with training opportunities that are relevant, meaningful, and accessible, throughout their journey as an APSCA Member Auditor.

APSCA Member Auditors may be starting out in their career in Social Compliance Auditing (building up their audit experience as they prepare to write their exams), expanding their knowledge through the rigour of the exam process (focusing and refocusing their attention to foundational skills and functional knowledge areas) or maturing their understanding and continuously improving after achieving their CSCA level.

The profession needs people at all levels of expertise, experience, and interest to sustainably deliver upon the requirements of industry and civil society who look to Social Compliance Audit as a piece of the puzzle to support the requirements of responsible business.

In 2021 and 2022 APSCA focused on developing training materials for Member Auditors focusing upon preparing for APSCA Exams, and later connecting them with available training opportunities which supported the completion of the first year of mandatory Continuous Professional Development. 2023 and beyond will see APSCA working to serve and support Member Auditors wherever they are in their professional journey to facilitate opportunities for the community to engage in training and learning opportunities.

APSCA is currently working with several different organizations to bring training opportunities to Social Compliance Auditors in 2023.   In this newsletter, we are happy to share three different training options from the ITCILO – International Training Centre of the ILO (International Labour Organization).

The pieces of training below are a mixed offering, the first is free of charge and suitable for anyone, the subsequent two are paid trainings which expand understandings on functional areas. We hope that these are of use to everyone who reads our newsletter and of particular use to Member Auditors.

We welcome your feedback on training opportunities, please contact us at cpd@theapsca.org




TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES
Are you interested in learning more about Fair Recruitment? 
 
Are you aware of ILO GBNFL’s toolkit (self-led training) on fair recruitment?
This was developed together with the ILO training centre and the ILO Global Business Network on Forced Labour with financial support provided by the European Union
 
https://flbusiness.network/toolkit-fair-recruitment/story.html
 
The toolkit offers individuals to explore fair recruitment at their own pace at no cost to expand capacity on this important topic.


ADDITIONAL TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES


FOR MORE INFORMATION CLICK HERE

The course looks into how companies, development finance institutions, state-owned enterprises and procurement agencies, can contribute to the eradication of forced labour in their own operations and business transactions through responsible business conduct and effective human rights due diligence (HRDD).



FOR MORE INFORMATION CLICK HERE

The ILO’s International Labour Standards are a critical component of corporate social responsibility and human rights due diligence (HRDD). This course provides participants with the expertise, tools, and knowledge they need to improve their skills in the field of labour-related human rights and core elements of effective HRDD.

This course is APSCA CPD Recognized – Course ITC-ILO-001 which covers 32 hours of training (the full training requirement for the year).


 

 

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Members Meeting
ASPCA Members Meeting (hybrid) was held at the Sedex Office on Tuesday 21st March 2023. During this meeting, APSCA Executive Board and Stakeholder Advisory Board Members were able to share information about the progress of 3 short-term working groups, which were focused on APSCA Governance, Exams and Capacity as well as Strategy and Funding. The meeting provided Member Firms with an opportunity to provide comments & feedback ahead of the Executive Board meeting held on March 25, 2023.

Member Firm Comment Period – 
Governance, Strategy and Funding Proposals

Following the Executive Board Meeting on 25 March 2023, APSCA launched a 2-week Member Firm Comment Period, allowing Member Firms to provide feedback on draft proposals regarding Governance, Strategy and Funding. The draft proposals were the culmination of work by 2 working groups, established in December 2022. 
 
The primary proposal of the Exam and Capacity working group was not put to Member Firm comment. Instead, this proposal was immediately put into effect by APSCA in an effort to expand auditor capacity (see below for more details).


2022 Annual Report Recap



APSCA’s 2022 Annual Report, titled “Transforming the Future of Social Auditing” was released in mid-April.
The report is available in pdf, or viewable on our website (right-click translatable).
New for 2022 – APSCA’s Annual Report is also available in Accessible Pdf format!
 



APSCA is focused on serving the needs of Member Auditors and Firms
APSCA continues working hard to better serve the needs of our Member Auditors and Firms. In 2022, some of these efforts included:

  • Conducting the first hybrid Annual Meeting of Members and Stakeholders
  • Providing up to 10 CPD hours for Member Auditors
  • External engagement resulting in feedback on pending legislation impacting Social Compliance auditing
  • Streamlined and enhanced exam documentation
  • Development of 2030 Strategy
  • Maintaining Auditor/Member Firm annual fees at the same level since 2018, while delivering more services
  • Connected Members to job opportunities
  • Launching of new communications channels


APSCA accomplishments – a timeline

Since our founding in 2015, APSCA has continued to advance the profession of social compliance Auditors, promoting the use of independent social compliance audits as a tool to advance workplace conditions globally.
 
It’s encouraging to see the growth of our profession!




 

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Unsure about the booking process?
Let’s review!


The Part III Exam deadline is fast approaching – make sure you book your exam accordingly!
The deadline to sit the exam is May 30th, 2023 for all languages except English, Chinese (simplified & traditional), and Spanish, for which the deadline has passed. Don’t wait to book your exam, book as soon as possible! This helps us stay organised and ensures a smooth sitting for our Test Takers.
 
When booking a Part I, II or III Exam, always consult our ‘How to Book’ documents, located in the Resource Library under the Exam Guide tab. These documents will provide a step-by-step outline of how to book your exams.
 

   Part III Exams- MUST READ BEFORE SCHEDULING  

  • Auditors MUST book via Calendly. DO NOT schedule with ProctorU
  • WHEN SCHEDULING IN CALENDLY – YOU MUST USE THE SAME EMAIL ADDRESS AS YOUR PU PROFILE EMAIL. If you use a different email when scheduling your exam, the exam will not transfer to your ProctorU account, you will not receive an invoice and you risk the exam being cancelled.
  • DO NOT MAKE MULTIPLE BOOKINGS! Another very important point, as a penalty charge of USD250 applies to each additional booking. Interviewers are redistributed to exams internally and scheduling multiple exams in an attempt to find a specific interviewer will not work.
  • FIRMS– please communicate closely with your Auditors about what language they wish to sit their Part III Exam in, and whether they need a translator. Help your Auditors choose so they are aligned with the ERS
  • All rescheduling or cancellations must be done via Calendly, NOT ProctorU. Changes made incorrectly may incur a penalty charge of the original booking fee. The link for cancellations and reschedules can be found in your Calendly exam confirmation email and ensure all rescheduling/cancellations occur greater than 30 days from the original booked exam date to avoid a penalty.

 
 Must Read! 
There are updates to Windows requirements for all exams. ProctorU will no longer be accepting any versions of Windows that are earlier than Windows 10 (2015). If your computer has Windows 8 downloaded on it, you will not be able to sit your exam. So be sure to upgrade as soon as possible!

Preparing for your exams and unsure where to start your study?
We have plenty of excellent resources available for Auditors to ensure they are as ready as possible and encourage all to thoroughly review each available material. The Resource Library is a great place to start, where you will find Policy & Guidance Documents, Practice Exams, Exam Guides, and Webinars.
 
A Practice Scenario is now also available for the Part III Exam! This fantastic resource is found within the Part III Exam guide, under Appendix 1. This document is also available in the Resource Library. We also have a new What to Expect video for the Part III Exam – watch it here.

 

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If you haven’t listened to Episode 7 of the APSCA Podcast, click here. In this episode, APSCA Communications Coordinator, Georgia Sexton, runs through a series of tips and tricks for the Part III Exam, as advised by our exam interviewers.

 

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The Disciplinary Board for Member Auditors (DBMA) met on March 9, 2023, and heard four cases. The Board substantiated all four cases and took strict action in line with the Association’s Code and Standards of Professional Conduct to ensure the integrity of our Social Compliance audits.

Out of the four cases, two cases were related to bribery, and one was related to falsifying an invoice, resulting in Membership revocation. One Member was suspended for one year for failing to disclose a conflict of interest.

It is crucial to maintain objectivity, independence, and integrity in all audits to ensure that they are fair, accurate, and reliable. Auditors play a critical role in protecting the rights of workers, promoting ethical business practices, and ensuring compliance with local and international laws. APSCA takes all allegations of misconduct seriously and will thoroughly investigate any such cases.

It is also important, that anyone that is aware of actions that may violate the Code, report the information immediately to the Member Firm or directly to the APSCA Ethics Team at ethics@theapsca.org.

 

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Memberships Fees Deadlines

Member Auditors paying their own fees were required to raise their invoice no later than February 15th, 2023. Those Auditors who did not raise their invoice before this date had their Membership Status moved to lapsed and their Membership Level moved to ASCA as of Monday, February 20th, 2023.
 
REMINDER FOR THOSE PAYING THEIR OWN 2023 MEMBERSHIP FEES!
Member Auditors paying their Membership Fees must ensure they pay their invoice within the payment terms. Auditors will be moved to the Membership Status of Lapsed and the Membership Level of ASCA if the invoice is not paid.


Job Seekers/Hiring Auditors

Is your Firm hiring Auditors?
APSCA is happy to share job listings on our LinkedIn page to help connect Auditors to hiring Firms across the globe. Whether you are looking to hire and train, or looking for existing Auditors, we are happy to share your job listing. Tag us @Association of Professional Social Compliance Auditors Inc. (APSCA) on LinkedIn, or email us a link to the job listing at director@theapsca.org 

 

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 FAQ UPDATE  
 

FAQs from the 2022 Annual Updates with live Q&A is available on the APSCA website. Be sure to check it out under 2022 Annual Updates in the AGM & Stakeholder Event Archive

Governance/IT and Exam

Continuous Professional Development
 


To better serve our Membership and interested parties, we have a Resource Library on APSCA’s website. The library provides a comprehensive directory of member documents, key dates, exam guides, webinars for exam preparation and more! 


We would welcome your feedback – please forward your suggestions to:  director@theapsca.org

 

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  REPORTING AN INTEGRITY ISSUE  
 

If you wish to report an action by one of our Members (Firms or Auditors) which may be considered a violation of APSCA’s Code and Standards of Professional Conduct, email our Ethics Manager at Ethics@theapsca.org

 

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Our monthly newsletter now reaches over 4,000 subscribers!
We encourage our Member Firms to have their auditors subscribe to APSCA’s newsletter to stay up to date with APSCA Happenings by clicking here. Further, if you have a friend or colleague that may be interested in APSCA, please share this newsletter with them via the link below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

            

 

 

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Copyright © 2022 Association of Professional Social Compliance Auditors, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this Newsletter as you subscribed via our website.

Our mailing address is:
Association of Professional Social Compliance Auditors
1747 Pennsylvania Avenue, Suite 1000,
Washington DC 20006 USA

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APSCA Newsletter December 2022

31/12/2022 - No Comments

To enhance the professionalism and credibility of the individuals and organizations performing independent social compliance audits
View this email in your browser

 

APSCA Newsletter – December 2022

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

We are still buzzing from our 2022 Annual Meeting, held from December 6-9 at TUV Rheinland in Germany. ‘Transforming the future of Social Auditing’ was the meeting’s theme and we have an exciting time ahead as we work for a better future for our profession and advance workplace conditions globally.

We open this issue with a special article from APSCA Chairman of the Executive Board, Avedis Seferian, who reminds us that together, we can transform the future of social auditing.

Please read through his thoughts in ‘A view from the Chair’ (below).

 

 


Dear Reader,
Welcome to this edition of the APSCA newsletter.

Rona and her team have been flat out recently pulling together a range of policies and strategies for the Board to support the growth of the organization and the auditor community. The demand for social audits is growing, and with that growth in demand, is the ask from the clients we serve that those auditors be APSCA certified. This is great news for the social compliance audit profession!

As a Board we were pleased to unanimously support the new APSCA Strategy. We recommend to all of you to familiarize yourself with it. For a copy please contact director@theapsca.org. Its realization is in all our hands!!

Recently I have attended several events in person, a real pleasure after around two years of Covid-19 restrictions This has enabled conversations face to face and such engagements bring a wealth of information from shared experiences.

We are seeing real opportunities and challenges on the horizon for us, both as social audit firms and auditors. Clients are now turning their minds to incorporate our work into the new environmental and human rights due diligence (EHRDD) requirements emerging in countries such as Japan, France, Germany, the Netherlands and within the wider EU with its pending directive. New restrictions on imports of goods made from child or forced labor are growing in not only the US, but also in countries such as Australia.

This regulatory trend will only continue, and we are well placed to assist companies in this emerging space. We will need new skills and innovative solutions to help companies reach the very bottom of their supply chains. That innovation lies within APSCA.

Our new strategy will help us all pivot to these new realities. It is an exciting time for us all, so let’s grab the issues we need to address and continue our quest to be the trusted partner for our clients.

Finally, this will be our last email for the year, so on behalf of myself and the entire Board, I wish you all the best for the festive season and the new year.

 

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AMM and Annual Updates
 

As 2022 drew to a close, APSCA held two distinctly separate year-end events.
 
 A Different Approachv
 
Given the global challenges of the last two years, we applied a different approach this year, using new technologies where possible, applied in a thoughtful manner, to try and reach and engage as many people as we could in ways which were helpful to them.
 
Registration and communications for both events were handled through our new event registration portal, Swoogo. Audience interactions such as Questions and Answers and polling were handled through Slido.



vThe First Eventv 


 
The 2022 Annual Updates with Live Q&A were a series of online only, live question and answer sessions held on November 29 and 30, 2022. Registrants were provided in advance with five recorded presentations from APSCA subject matter experts across topics including Exams, Ethics, Membership, Governance & IT, Continuous Professional Development (CPD) & Training.
 
Participants were able to watch the videos in their own time and then join the live Q&A sessions convenient for them, on topics where they had further questions. The Q&A sessions ranged from 30 to 60 minutes and were offered across multiple days to allow our global audience to engage in their own time zone.
 
An impressive total of
489 people registered across six sessions, with over 240 questions submitted during the live sessions. Over 53% of participants watched the pre-recorded sessions in advance of the live sessions.

 



Main topics discussed
during Live Q&A sessions







Participants heard from key members of the APSCA team, including Certification Manager, Barbara Youngman, whose presentation on Exams had the most views (#viralBarbara!), Data Administrator, Josh Morris who presented on Governance and IT improvements, and Alex Nasr, Director of Code and Compliance on the process and activities of our disciplinary boards.
 
APSCA received a lot of positive feedback regarding these sessions.  We are working on an FAQ document for the benefit of members, as well as a follow-up survey for participants.
 
Data & Compliance Coordinator, Emma Youngman, Communications Projects Coordinator Georgia Sexton, Director of Membership, Andrea Gilders and Annette Deal from Ginger Blue Graphics were instrumental in the success and facilitation of this project. Well done ladies!
 

The pre-recorded presentations can be accessed here
 



 Annual Meeting of Members and Stakeholders (AMM)
 
APSCA held our Annual Meeting for Members and Stakeholders, entitled “Transforming the Future of Social Auditing” from December 6-9 in Cologne, Germany,  graciously hosted by TUV Rheinland.

The 2022 AMM was our first hybrid session and the first time we were able to meet in person since 2019. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet and reconnect with in-person attendees.

Importantly, the three-day event offered up to 10 CPD hours for our Member Auditors over four sessions.
On Thursday, December 8 we were welcomed by Frank Dorssers, Senior Vice President, Global Field manager System, Customized Services and APSCA Executive Board Member B Representative, followed by Dr Michael Fubi, Executive Chair of TUV Rheinland who offered inspiring words connecting the APSCA mission to the TUV’s own work in this space.

A special thanks to Martine Croxall, BBC News presenter, for her keynote on public trust and how this impacts on the BBC. Her speech challenged us and our thinking around social auditing.
 
Martine then moderated our first panel of the day on freely chosen employment, which had representatives from our member auditor community comprising Melisa Cerizza, Laura Greene (ILO), Philip Hunter (IOM), Carolyn Kitto (Be Slavery Free) and Mike McDonnell from Intel, who graciously stayed up very late to provide a brand perspective.

APSCA chair Avedis Seferian moderated a panel on pending legislation with panelist Therese Randazzo, who is the director of forced labor with US CBP, together with Reinhard Bier of TUV Rheinland and Luis Rodrigo from IOE. We encourage you to listen to this panel as well as a panel from December 6, also moderated by Avedis Seferian, on the evolving landscape to hear what is in the pipeline and what is about to be implemented regarding legislation.

The December 8 program finished with a panel representing the APSCA Executive Board presenting the ‘2023 and Beyond Strategy’. The new strategy is focussed on three pillars, comprising Professionalism, Future Proofing and Identity, with a number of goals and objectives. We would like to give special thanks to Avedis Seferian, Frank Dorssers and Greg Gardner for supporting this panel.
 

Session within a Session – Auditor Training
 
On the last day of the event, December 9, we were fortunate to facilitate a four-hour session focused upon introducing APSCA auditors to a complimentary area of audit to support the expansion of due diligence in the minerals sector. 

The training session, Auditor Training – OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals, was introduced by Hannah  Koep-Andrieu, Head of Due Diligence, OECD Centre for Responsible Conduct and Nicole Hanson, Responsible Sourcing Manager  at the London Metal Exchange (LME). It was aimed at allowing auditors to learn best practice auditing for standards that incorporate OECD Due Diligence Guidance for the minerals sector. The purpose was to start increasing the quantity and quality of auditors for this sector and learn from industry experts with extensive OECD Guidance auditing experience.

The training, conducted by TDI Sustainability’s Julija Menise (Senior VP) and Jeannette Greven, Sustainability Consultant, was suitable for auditors with little or no minerals experience.
 
Demand for OECD Guidance audits will be high in coming years, especially since 53% of LME listed brands are planning to be audited across different minerals standards. The training was not tailored to one specific standard but aimed to be cross-cutting across multiple standards, with the common thread being the OECD Guidance. 
 
The training, which was an APSCA Continuous Professional Development Recognized Course for 4 Elective Topic CPD hours, was sponsored by the LME. The event was overwhelmingly well received with over 990 registrants.

 

 
 

During the session, participants were encouraged to learn about next steps to become more qualified in this sector, including participation in the 16th OECD Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains (April 2023)                




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APSCA received a tremendous number of questions across all days of the AMM and all panels.  We are working on an FAQ document, as well as a follow-up survey for participants.

A big thanks to the more than 1,400 people who registered to participate across the week (December 6-9)
Recordings for the sessions are available to registered users through Swoogo.  Please follow the Session Links email or log in to view your registration
here
 
For Auditors who did not register or attend but would like to earn CPD, please click 
here to gain access to the recording and have your attendance recorded for CPD purposes.

Thanks to everyone including our panelists for the success of the events, including those who were able to join in person and those who joined remotely, as well as the amazing TUV logistics team that kept everything running smoothly.

Thanks to the APSCA team, which through the guidance of Andrea Gilders with support from Emma Youngman and Georgia Sexton helped ensure a successful event.

 

APSCA looks forward to transforming the future of social auditing with your support and assistance!
#APSCA #strategy #compliance #socialauditors

 

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TOGETHER, WE CAN TRANSFORM THE FUTURE OF SOCIAL AUDITING.

Achievements for 2022:

  • 500+ new Membership Numbers issued to our newly enrolled auditors
  • Introduction of “Expired” status
  • Completed an extensive review of all documentation, focused on streamlining and simplifying information for our Members
  • Introduction of documents with “right click translate” ability, allowing them to be used by readers of all languages
  • Creation of the How to Book a Part I & II Exam and the How to Book a Part III Exam documents
  • Introduction for all exam parts of How to Understand your Results
  • Launched online practice exams for Part I & II

When we talk about governance, we focus on listening to our members, both auditors and firms. We work to continuously improve our systems, processes and documentation, which ultimately benefits our Members and the Social Compliance profession as a whole.
 
On the IT/data system side, we continually work to ensure that our data systems can manage the growth in membership, as well as ensuring that the information remains secure and adheres to privacy requirements.

 
In our recent presentation (View here ) we discussed our extensive review of Member documentation and policies. We value all feedback from our Members and want to encourage everyone to continue sending their feedback moving into 2023.

Together, we can transform the future of social auditing.

 

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NEWS FROM THE EXAM TEAM FOR 2022

We have had such a busy year in 2022, as we now have 1750+ CSCA members across 59 countries!!
4500 + exams were sat and the Part I and Part II exam pass rate was up by 20+%, achieving 65% since this time last year. We made a Part I and a Part II practice exam and moved through two deadlines for Auditors to demonstrate their competence.
 
We have listened to your feedback and produced new documents and enhanced others:

  • Produced a Part I and Part II practice exam.   
  • What To