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.

APSCA Newsletter – December 2019

31/12/2019 - 1 Comment

​The AGM and Stakeholder Event offered an opportunity to reflect on the year’s achievements. During 2019 a total of 1,848 CSCA examinations were administered including Parts I – III. 1,671 auditors successfully completed Part I,  while 119 completed Part II and 58 Part III.

Following the release of the refined Member Firm application process, eight new Provisional Member Firms joined APSCA in 2019 while three fulfilled requirements to obtain full membership status. Auditor membership increased 30% during the year with total Member Auditors reaching 4,145.

As a means to preserve growing integrity, 2019 saw the introduction of our Disciplinary Board with a mandate to reinforce member accountability. As APSCA grows, the  Board will continue to address allegations of misconduct and impose sanctions where necessary.

Accepting both the opportunities and challenges ahead, APSCA continues to strengthen industry credibility – working today in preparation for tomorrow.

APSCA Annual General Meeting & Stakeholder Event

APSCA’s 2019 Annual General Meeting & Stakeholder Event was held in Shenzhen on 11 December with over 130 in attendance.  The event reflected on achievements across the three (3) pillars of Validation, Governance and Processes and Systems.

The highlight of the day was the recognition of 41 Member Auditors who form the first group to achieve Certified Social Compliance Auditor (CSCA) status. While all 41 CSCAs could not be present, we were pleased to congratulate fourteen (14) in person at the AGM & Stakeholder Event

Above: First CSCAs announced at the 2019 Stakeholder Event (CSCAs in Attendance).

In addition, APSCA announced Full Member Firms including Accordia, SGS and ARCHE Advisors.

Above Left to Right: Rona Starr (APSCA), Richard Ingrao (Accordia), Effie Marinos (SGS), and Greg Gardner (ARCHE Advisors), Avedis Seferian (Executive Board Chair).

Above Left: Panel Discussion – APSCA’s Impact: Benefits, Challenges and Future Opportunities. Above Right: Scarlet Wang (CSCA Auditor) participated in the panel, remarking with respect to the CSCA Examinations “Don’t be scared of the exam but take it seriously. Read the Auditor Handbook carefully”.

Above: Stakeholder Event attendees.

For more photographs and highlights, visit our AGM and Stakeholder Event Page
Press Release available here


The 2019 Annual Report can be downloaded here

Announcing Pathway 3 – Competency Framework Update 

APSCA’s latest version of the Competency Framework (available here) 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 and Standards of Professional Conduct and Competency Framework.  Learn more here.

Website Accessibility

​We have become aware the APSCA website is no longer accessible in China. While we continue to work on a solution, please contact us director@theapsca.org if you require any information or access to forms and documents.  An update will be provided in January 2020.


CSCA Exam Part I 
A total of 1,671 CSCA Part I exams have been completed to date with the pass rate remaining at 81%. Since examinations commenced, approximately 13% of scheduled exams have not been completed. Of these uncompleted exams, some 56% were due to participant forfeiture (failure to present for exam) and 39% due to IT issues.

CSCA Exam Part II
A total of 119 CSCA Part II exams have been completed with a pass rate of 66%. 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 III
We are pleased to announce completion of the initial round of the CSCA Part III examinations delivered our first Certified Social Compliance Auditors (CSCA) during November. This significant achievement was celebrated at the recent AGM & Stakeholder Event.

​For all CSCA Exams (Part I – III) auditors are encouraged to consult with their Member Firm to confirm eligibility to sit for each exam. Please ensure you follow the guidance in the Auditor Handbook to notify APSCA prior to enrolling for the exam. 

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


APSCA Auditor Enrollments
During December, the total number of enrolled auditors reaching 4,145 reflecting 30% year on year growth.  

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

Reminder:  ALL members who joined APSCA between 2015 – 2018 MUST reapply before June 2020.


Happy Holidays!
On behalf of everyone at APSCA, we extend our very best wishes for a Happy Holiday Season and hope 2020 will be a fabulous year for all!

-The APSCA Team 

Reminder
As we enter the holiday season 23 December through to 5 January, our APSCA Team will be running with limited staff, so responses to messages may be delayed. We appreciate your understanding. 

Our monthly newsletter now reaches over 2,300 subscribers each month!
We encourage our Member Firms to have their auditors subscribe to APSCA’s newsletter to stay up to date 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.

APSCA Newsletter November 2019

30/11/2019 - No Comments

During November, CSCA examinations culminated in the delivery of our first Certified Social Compliance Auditors (CSCA); a significant milestone in APSCA’s development and that of the CSCA program which commenced through a staged release from November 2017.

In further reinforcing our commitment to the integrity of our Membership initiatives, the Disciplinary and Appeals Boards met to address various allegations of misconduct with a range of sanctions imposed for substantiated cases.

In approaching the close of 2019, we look forward to our Annual General Meeting and Stakeholder Event in December; an opportunity to celebrate the year’s achievements and share our vision for 2020 and beyond.


Register Now – APSCA Annual General Meeting & Stakeholder Event
Please join us in celebrating APSCA’s 2019 achievements and strengthen your connection with industry peers. We look forward to announcing and congratulating our first round of Certified Social Compliance Auditors (CSCAs) at our Stakeholder Event. 

Location: Shenzhen, China  
December 11, 2019 Meeting and Event Schedule 

  • 10:00am – 12pm   Annual General Meeting (APSCA Members Only)
  • 1:30pm – 5pm       Stakeholder Event (Open to All Interested Parties) 

Both events will be held on December 11, 2019 in Shenzhen, China. 

Travel and transport tips are available on the Annual General Meeting Registration web page


Announcing Pathway 3 – Competency Framework Update 
APSCA’s latest version of the Competency Framework (available here) 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. 


Disciplinary & Appeals Board Updates 
Following the initial meeting of the Disciplinary Board in August, further cases were subject to review during November. In addition, one case was referred to the Appeals Board. A summary of determinations is provided below:


APSCA is Hiring!
Are you interested in a challenge?  Keen to be part of a dynamic yet small team? We’re hiring and would like to hear from you. 

Click below to learn more about current openings and opportunities at APSCA. 

Current Openings 
Certification Coordinator 
Location: Remote

Code & Compliance Manager 
Location: Remote 


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 and Standards of Professional Conduct and Competency Framework.

​Learn more here.


CSCA Exam Part I 
A total of 1,641 CSCA Part I exams have been completed to date with the pass rate remaining at 81%. Since examinations commenced, approximately 13% of scheduled exams have not been completed. Of these uncompleted exams, some 57% were due to participant forfeiture (failure to present for exam) and 39% due to IT issues.

The rate of examination completion for 2019 has been particularly encouraging and will provide a strong foundation for further certification in 2020. A further update on the CSCA examination program will be provided at our upcoming Annual General Meeting.

CSCA Exam Part II
A total of 114 CSCA Part II exams have been completed with a pass rate of 66%. 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.

​The CSCA Exam Part II (English) launched 21 September 2019. Auditors are encouraged to consult with their Member Firm to confirm eligibility to sit for the [Part II (English)] exam. Please ensure you follow the guidance in the Auditor Handbook to notify APSCA and register for the exam. 

You can start booking your Part II (Simplified Chinese and Spanish) exam to be set 1 January 2020 on.

CSCA Exam Part III
We are pleased to announce completion of the initial round of the CSCA Part III examinations has delivered our first Certified Social Compliance Auditors (CSCA) during November. Now representing approximately 1% of our Auditor Membership, we look forward to formally presenting the new CSCAs at our Stakeholder Event in December. 

Results of the Part III examinations are provided below:


APSCA Auditor Enrollments
During October, the total number of enrolled auditors exceeded 4,100 with 67% Registered Level Auditors (RA)32% Associate Social Compliance Auditors (ASCA) and now including 1% Certified Social Compliance Auditors (CSCA). 

A snapshot of APSCA’s Membership will be provided at our Annual General Meeting in December.


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

Reminder:  ALL members who joined APSCA between 2015 – 2018 MUST reapply before June 2020.


FAQs – Helpful Resources on the Website  
Be sure to check out APSCA’s newly 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 
 3 December – Sedex ACC Workshop (London, UK) 
10 December – APSCA Stakeholder and Executive Board Meeting (Shenzhen, China)
11 December – APSCA’s Annual General Meeting & Stakeholder Event (Shenzhen, China) 
12 December – APSCA Executive Board Meeting (Shenzhen, China) 
12 December – Sedex ACC Workshop (Shenzhen, China) 


Our monthly newsletter now reaches over 2,300 subscribers each month! We encourage our Member Firms to have their auditors subscribe to APSCA’s newsletter to stay up to date 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.

Share with my colleagues!

APSCA Newsletter October 2019

31/10/2019 - No Comments

​In anticipation of the upcoming Annual General Meeting & Stakeholder Event, October offered yet another milestone with commencement of the CSCA Part III Examination Pilot. APSCA Member Services Manager, Kelly-Jo Potts commented “The CSCA Part III Examination Pilot reflects a significant step in APSCA’s development; it [the examination] is set to deliver our first ever Certified Social Compliance Auditors in December while Part I and Part II completion rates offer a strong foundation for continuing momentum”.

Auditor enrollments increased to over 4,060 during the month and we were pleased to welcome a new provisional Member Firm, EUROFINS | AQM.

Further highlights below.


Register Now – APSCA Annual General Meeting & Stakeholder Event
Please join us in celebrating APSCA’s 2019 achievements and strengthen your connection with industry peers. 

Location: Shenzhen, China  
December 11, 2019 Meeting and Event Schedule 

  • 10:00am – 12pm   Annual General Meeting (APSCA Members Only)
  • 1:30pm – 5pm       Stakeholder Event (Open to All Interested Parties) 

Both events will be held on December 11, 2019 in Shenzhen, China. 

More details are available here


Now on the Website – Use of APSCA Number (Member Auditor Guide)
To help inform and support our Member Auditors with the proper use of their APSCA Number, this brief guide addresses key uses of an Auditor’s membership number as noted under APSCA’s Code and Standards of Professional Conduct and Competency Framework.

To learn more, click here.


Provisional Member Announcement
We are pleased to welcome one new provisional Member Firm: EUROFINS | AQM.

Congratulations our newest APSCA Member Firm 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 November. Details can be found on our website.  All applications should be sent to applications@theapsca.org.

Reminder:  ALL members who joined APSCA between 2015 – 2018 MUST reapply before June 2020.


CSCA Exam Part III Pilot & Soft Launch 
As APSCA continues to advance towards having certified social compliance auditors (CSCA) we are excited to announce that we are currently piloting the third and final portion of the CSCA exam with approximately 50 auditors representing 24 firms. This pilot started 15 October and will conclude 13 November. 

During mid-October, the team were in Alabama conducting the initial round of auditor interviews participating in the Part III exam pilot. APSCA will continue conducting a soft launch of Part III over the course of the coming weeks with an additional 5 interviewers, located in 5 different countries to cater for our diverse auditor community.  Results will be shared at the Stakeholder Event in December. 

Above Left: APSCA Team at ProctorU mid-October, onsite (Left to Right); Kelly – Jo Potts (APSCA Member Services Manager), Kara Chan (Exam Development & Implementation Team Member), Tara Holeman (Exam Development & Implementation Team Member) and Rona Starr (APSCA President & CEO). Above Right: CSCA exam remote testing session

Above: The ProctorU Testing Room where the proctors monitor and manage APSCA exams

Above: While in Alabama, the APSCA Team celebrated Tara’s birthday with a surprise early morning breakfast at the Waffle House. A fun start to our day of piloting! (Left to Right; clockwise) – Kelly – Jo Potts (APSCA Member Services Manager), Tara Holeman (Exam Development & Implementation Team Member), Rona Starr (APSCA President & CEO) and Kara Chan (Exam Development & Implementation Team Member).


APSCA Webinars 
APSCA hosted three informational webinars on September 4/5 to inform and answer questions from our Member and stakeholders regarding the CSCA exams and APSCA’s Code and Standards of Professional Conduct. 

To view a copy of the webinar presentation with speaker notes, Q&A summary, and recording of the presentation, please visit our website – APSCA’s newsletter updates here


CSCA Exam Part I 
A total of 1,575 CSCA Part I exams have been completed to date with the pass rate holding at 81%. Since examinations commenced, approximately 12% of scheduled exams have not been completed. Of these uncompleted exams, some 57% were due to participant forfeiture (failure to present for exam) and 38% due to IT issues.

CSCA Exam Part II
A total of 106 CSCA Part II exams have been completed, with a pass rate of 67%. Since examinations commenced, approximately 6% of scheduled exams have not been completed with the majority due to participant forfeiture (failure to present for exam).

The CSCA Exam Part II (English) launched 21 September 2019. Auditors are encouraged to consult with their Member Firm to confirm eligibility to sit for the [Part II (English)] exam. Please ensure you follow the guidance in the Auditor Handbook to notify APSCA and register for the exam. 

We will announce when Part II (Simplified Chinese and Spanish) are ready for booking.


APSCA Auditor Enrollments
During October, the total number of enrolled auditors reached over 4,060 with 67% Registered Level Auditors (RA) and 33% Associate Social Compliance Auditors (ASCA).

We are also pleased to report the enrolled Auditor cohort comprises 42% female, 58% male and 0.07% other (Note values may not add up due to rounding).


FAQs – Helpful Resources on the Website  
Be sure to check out APSCA’s newly 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 
November 12 – APSCA speaking at Intertek: Action Against Modern Slavery (Ethical Sourcing Forum) –  Sydney, AU

Tickets are available here.


Our monthly newsletter now reaches over 2,300 subscribers each month! We encourage our Member Firms to have their auditors subscribe to APSCA’s newsletter to stay up to date 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.

APSCA Webinars – September 2019

04/09/2019 - No Comments

APSCA Webinars – September 4 & 5, 2019 
To help keep you informed on the latest updates regarding exams and APSCA’s Code & Standards, APSCA hosted informational webinars September 4/5. 

The webinar presentation is provided below for your reference as well as the following:

apsca_-_september_2019_webinar_w_speaker_notes.pdf
File Size: 1186 kb
File Type: pdf

Download File


q_a_summary_apsca_sept._webinars_2019_v9sept2019_fnl.pdf
File Size: 146 kb
File Type: pdf

Download File


APSCA Newsletter August 2019

30/08/2019 - No Comments

During August, APSCA continued to focus on the development of the final phase of the CSCA Examination process pending the Part III Pilot scheduled for October. The advancement of this process is expected to deliver the first Certified Social Compliance Auditors (CSCA) by year end. 

APSCA also welcomed two new provisional Member Firms during the month while Auditor enrollments posted a 40% year on year growth.

The Disciplinary Board held its first meeting for the revision of five cases comprising allegations of improper use of an APSCA number, improper payment and the falsification of audit reports. The outcomes of the meeting, including approved sanctions are provided below. 


Provisional Member Announcement
We are pleased to welcome two new provisional Member Firms; TUV NORD Certification and Omega Compliance Limited. Congratulations 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.

Disciplinary Board – First Meeting Results
APSCA’s Disciplinary Board held its inaugural meeting on August 19.  The five-person Board includes representatives from the Executive and Stakeholder Boards, plus our Senior Advisor Ethics & Integrity who acts as the Chair, and an Independent Member.  The Board’s role is to adjudicate cases where an individual member of APSCA is alleged to have violated APSCA’s Code & Standards of Professional Conduct.  If it finds a violation, the Board may impose sanctions ranging from a written warning to suspension or revocation of APSCA membership.
 
At its first meeting, the Board reviewed five cases.  The allegations ranged from improper use of an APSCA number, to improper payments, to falsification of audit reports.  The Board substantiated the allegations in four of the five cases, revoking the auditor’s APSCA membership in two cases, and approving a written warning in the other two.  The member auditors subject to these sanctions have been notified of the Board’s actions and will have the opportunity to seek review before APSCA’s Appeals Board.

​​The Disciplinary Board generally relies on investigations conducted by Member Firms, though APSCA has the authority to conduct an independent investigation when necessary.  Auditors subject to allegations are notified and given 30 days to respond or submit evidence.  The Disciplinary Board is an important part of APSCA’s Ethics & Integrity Program.  Its effective functioning brings greater credibility to APSCA and its certification program.


Updated – Code & Standards of Professional Conduct
APSCA’s Code & Standards of Professional Conduct (English) were updated during August with the new version available on our website – click here to view.  The amendments succeed a series of updates executed during July to ensure consistency and integration with our broader policy framework.

Translated versions in Spanish, Simplified and Traditional Chinese are expected to be released during September. 

In response to the updates, we have received several queries with common questions now addressed on the FAQ page of our website and summarized below:

  • The Code is applicable to ALL APSCA Member Firms and Member Auditors. The additional Standards are considered to apply to all Members whom executed the Code of Professional Conduct on joining APSCA. 
  • The Code articulates the expectations of our Members and client requirements cannot lower these expectations.  As an APSCA Member you are held accountable to the Code.
  • Registered Level Auditors (RA) have the rights, responsibilities and obligations of a CSCAs. This means that wherever you see CSCA written throughout the Code a RA can fulfil this role during the roll-out period.
  • An ASCA auditor conducting an audit on their own without the support of a RA/ CSCA will face disciplinary action as this is a violation of the Code and Standards.
  • “Signing off” on an audit report means the APSCA Member Auditor puts their APSCA Member Number on the audit report with their applicable “pre-fix” RA, CSCA – the review process and other steps are to be followed.

Still have questions? See our website for more FAQs or contact us at director@theapsca.org


Join Us! APSCA Webinars – September 4 & 5, 2019 
To help keep you informed on the latest updates regarding exams and APSCA’s Code & Standards, APSCA is hosting  informational webinars September 4/5. Topic and times below. For those interested in attending, please register using the link provided. We hope you can join us – all are welcome! 

Note: Topic covered is the same for each webinar, but offered across various time zones. 

  • Topic: APSCA CSCA Exams Part I-III and Code & Standards Updates 
  • When? September 4 / 5 across various time-zones (see below for specific details)
  • Where? Online webinar via JoinMe – Dial-in details will be shared with enrolled attendees. 
  • Cost? Free online webinar 
  • Duration: 90 min. 

Available Times: 

  • 13:00-14:30 (Pacific Time; Sept. 4) / 6:00-7:30 (Aussie Time; Sept. 5) – Country Region Covered USA/UK
  • 20:00-21:30 (Pacific Time; Sept. 4) / 13:00-14:30 (Aussie Time; Sept. 5) – Country Region Covered Australia/NZ/Asia/India
  • 1:00-2:30 (Pacific Time; Sept. 5) / 18:00-19:30 (Aussie Time; Sept. 5) – Country Region Covered UK/Europe/India/Asia

Click Here to Register


CSCA Exam Part I
A total of 1,253 CSCA Part I exams have been completed to date with a pass rate of 80%. Of the four language offerings, English and Chinese (simplified) comprise the majority of completed exams.

Since examinations commenced, approximately 200 scheduled exams have not been completed. Of these 200 incomplete exams, some 31% were due to participant forfeiture (failure to present for exam) and 48% due to IT issues.

CSCA Exam Part II
As APSCA continues to advance the auditor certification program the focus shifted toward the soft launch of Part II CSCA exam in Spanish and Simplified Chinese in August.  A total of 98 CSCA Part II exams have been completed, with a pass rate of 67%. Since examinations commenced, 9 scheduled exams have not been completed with half being due to participant forfeiture (failure to present for exam).
  

Part II is now eligible for booking in English – Chinese / Spanish to come shortly!  As always, be sure to check with your Member Firm to confirm eligibility and exam payments before scheduling.

The Exam team are in the process of reviewing all questions to improve in preparation of a full launch in the coming months.

CSCA Exam Part III Pilot 
As APSCA continues to advance toward Auditor certification we are excited to announce we will be piloting the third and final portion of the CSCA exam late October.  
Accordingly, our first CSCA’s will be presented at the AGM and Stakeholder Event in December. Member Firms with eligible auditors have been notified about the process.


APSCA Auditor Enrollments
During August, the total number of enrolled auditors reached over 3,827 reflecting 40% year on year growth.


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


FAQs – Helpful Resources on the Website  
Be sure to check out APSCA’s newly 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 


Our monthly newsletter now reaches over 2,300 subscribers each month! We encourage our Member Firms to have their auditors subscribe to APSCA’s newsletter to stay up to date 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.

APSCA Newsletter July 2019

31/07/2019 - No Comments

Key membership metrics continue to strengthen as APSCA welcomed two new provisional Member Firms in July. The Stakeholder Board was reinforced with the addition of a new independent representative while the Disciplinary Board prepare for their first meeting in August.

Stakeholder Board Appointment
During July, we were pleased to welcome Mr Mark Spears as an independent Stakeholder Board member. After nearly thirty years at The Walt Disney Company where Mark served in a number of senior business roles ranging from finance and strategic planning to corporate responsibility and sustainability. He now devotes his efforts to promoting positive environmental and social change. Read more about Mark here.


Provisional Member Announcement
We are pleased to welcome two new provisional Member Firms; NSF International and Global Sustainable Certification Services Ltd. Congratulations 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.


Save the Date – APSCA Annual General Meeting & Stakeholder Event
Experience a day of discussion, discovery, learning and networking with industry peers at APSCA’s Annual General Meeting December 11, 2019 in Shenzhen, China. 

Registration for the event is expected to open in September. Further details to follow in our August newsletter.

Disciplinary Board – First Meeting
APSCA’s Disciplinary Board will meet on the 19th August 2019 with its first review of cases.
Further information will be provided as each case progresses.


Updated – Code & Standards of Professional Conduct
APSCA’s Code & Standards of Professional Conduct (English) were updated during June with the new version available on our website – click here to view. 

Translated versions in Spanish, Simplified and Traditional Chinese to follow. Stay tuned! 

As you can imagine with anything new we have received a number of questions and requests for clarification of updates. These are summarized below and have also been updated on our FAQ page of the website.

  • Yes, the Code is applicable to ALL APSCA Member Firms and Member Auditors. Each member signed at the time of joining.
  • The Code articulates the expectations of our Members and client requirements cannot lower these expectations.  As an APSCA Member you are held accountable to the Code.
  • Registered Level Auditors (RA) have the rights, responsibilities and obligations of a CSCAs. This means that wherever you see CSCA written throughout the Code a RA can fulfil this role during the roll-out period.
  • An ASCA auditor conducting an audit on their own without the support of a RA/CSCA will face disciplinary action as this is a violation of the Code and Standards.
  • “Signing off” on an audit report means the APSCA Member Auditor puts their APSCA Member Number on the audit report with their applicable “pre-fix” RA , CSCA – the review process and other steps are still to be followed.

Still have questions? See our website for more FAQs or contact us at director@theapsca.org.


CSCA Exam Part 1
A total of 1,148 CSCA Part I exams have been completed to date with a pass rate of 79%. Of the four language offerings, English and Chinese (simplified) comprise the majority of completed exams.

Since examinations commenced, approximately 170 scheduled exams have not been completed with some 52% due to participant forfeiture (failure to present for exam) and 34% due to IT issues.

August Soft-Launch Language CSCA Exam Part II (Spanish and Simplified Chinese) 
As APSCA continues to advance the auditor certification program the focus is shifting toward the soft launch of Part II CSCA exam in Spanish and Simplified Chinese in August. Results and details from the language soft launch will be provided our next month’s newsletter.

APSCA Auditor Enrollments
During July, the total number of enrolled auditors reached over 3,700 with strong growth continuing from Q2 2019.

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

 
FAQs – Helpful Resources on the Website  
Be sure to check out APSCA’s newly 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  
August  8:  AAFA Traceability Seminar – Minneapolis, MN (USA). If you are attending this event, please connect with APSCA’s President & CEO Rona Starr who will be presenting in the morning.


Our monthly newsletter now reaches over 2,200 subscribers each month! We encourage our Member Firms to have their auditors subscribe to APSCA’s newsletter to stay up to date 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.

APSCA Newsletter June 2019

30/06/2019 - No Comments

​During June, CSCA Part I examinations continued with a strengthening pass rate (78%) across the four language offerings. Audit Firm Membership was bolstered by the welcoming of three new provisional Member Firms while auditor enrollments realized a 68% year on year increase.

CSCA Exam Part 1
With a total of 836 exams completed to date, pass rates for Part I of the CSCA examination increased to 78% during June. Performance across the three language offerings remained strong with the  breakdown of successful participants by exam language comprising (approximately):

  • English 52%
  • Chinese (Simplified) 43%
  • Spanish 4%
  • Chinese (Traditional) 1% 

Pilot CSCA Exam Part II (English)
Cumulative pass rates from Part II of the CSCA examination demonstrated a slight decline during June to 66%.

Participants demonstrated strong competency across the following  foundational skills and functional knowledge areas

  • Harassment and Abuse Practices
  • Management Systems
  • Forced Labour
  • Freedom of Association
  • Discrimination and Disciplinary Practices 

Areas for improvement included:

  • Appropriate use of APSCA member number
  • Underage labor
  • Wages, benefits and terms of employment
  • Working Hours and Overtime
  • Problem Solving and Analytical

To enhance exam performance, applicants are strongly encouraged to:

  • review the Auditor Handbook prior to the examination and 
  • carefully follow question instructions

APSCA Auditor Enrollments
During June, the total number of enrolled auditors reached over 3,500 to realize a 68% year on year increase (from June 2018). 

Updated – Code & Standards of Professional Conduct
APSCA’s Code & Standards of Professional Conduct (English) were updated during June with the new version available one our website – click here to view. 

Translated versions in Spanish, Simplified and Traditional Chinese to follow. Stay tuned! 

Provisional Member Announcements
We are pleased to welcome three new provisional Member Firms; ABS Quality Evaluations IncAPCER and QIMA Limited. Congratulations 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 November. Details can be found on our website.  All applications should be sent to applications@theapsca.org.

 
Membership Reminders [Action Required]

Member Firms
All existing members need to reapply by June 30, 2020.
 
Member Auditors
If you are a “Registered Level” auditor and have not submitted your audit log, you must ensure this is completed by no later than July 30, 2019.

Don’t wait until the last minute!  Get in early!  
 
For more information email KellyJo.Potts@theapsca.org

 
FAQs – Now Available 
Be sure to check out APSCA’s newly 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 

 
Events
June proved to be a very busy month for APSCA with representatives attending several events to further promote our global mission.

As a collaboration between audit firms, auditors, stakeholders and audit consumers, these events continue to strengthen our connection to industry and allow APSCA to better service our growing membership.

Be sure to connect via APSCA’s official LinkedIn and Twitter accounts to stay up to date!

Left: As well as providing an insightful snapshot of emerging trends in sustainable trade, the amfori – Trade with Purpose #unleashopportunity conference provided a forum to gather past and present members of our Executive Board. Top Right:  At the Sino-German Sustainability Summit hosted by TUVRheinland. Bottom Right: Stakeholder Board meeting hosted by The Walt Disney Company headquarters (Burbank, California).

 
Member Firm and Auditors – Dates to Remember 
30 July 2019: Audit logs to be provided to APSCA for review to validate and maintain Registered Level Auditor (RA) 

ALL “Registered” (RA) Level auditors already in APSCA’s data system who have not submitted an audit log must provide their signed audit log to validate their APSCA level per the due date above. Should an audit log not be received, the auditor will be re-assigned to the level of ASCA.

As a reminder, ASCA auditors can NOT audit on their own, they must be accompanied by a RA level auditor.  Refer to APSCA Code of Professional Conduct and Competency Framework.  Any questions please contact us at: director@theapsca.org 

 
Questions? Send them here.

 
Our monthly newsletter now reaches over 2,000 subscribers each month! We encourage our Member Firms to have their auditors subscribe to APSCA’s newsletter to stay up to date 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.

Share with my colleagues!

APSCA Newsletter May 2019

31/05/2019 - No Comments

During May, completion of the CSCA Part I Examination increased substantially with results continuing to demonstrate improving pass rates. Outcomes of the Part II Examination pilot were also positively received and key learnings are currently under assessment for pilot scaling.

APSCA’s President & CEO commented “The advancement of APSCA’s Auditor Certification Program reinforces our commitment to the improvement of audit integrity and comprehension.  I envisage certification will form a major consideration for auditor selection where consumers are seeking credibility of audit outcomes”

CSCA Exam Part 1
Participation rates for Part I of the CSCA examination increased significantly during the month. 788 exams have been completed to date with an overall pass rate of 75% reflecting a 3% increase on April.

Picture


APSCA Auditor Enrollments
Enrollment growth continued during May to reach 3,445 Auditors. Approximately 17% have successfully completed Part I of the CSCA Examination where forecasts indicate this will exceed 20% by June end. 

Executive Board Updates
It is with much disappointment we farewell Fred Waelter from our Executive Board. Fred has made an outstanding contribution to the establishment of APSCA’s positive trajectory and we are most grateful for his support.

In fulfillment of the Executive Board opening we are pleased to welcome  Angie Weikel – Global Quality Assurance Manager, Audits & Inspections and Quality Assurance Manager, Responsible Sourcing at UL.

Angie offers a wealth of industry experience and knowledge in delivering responsible sourcing solutions. Her understanding of the challenges presented by dynamic and global supply chains will be fundamental to APSCA’s mission to enhance the professionalism, consistency and credibility of social compliance audits and auditors. 

 
Reminder – New Firm Membership Application Process
APSCA’s Audit Firm Membership Application process has been formally released with details available via the link below. All applications should be sent to applications@theapsca.org.

Reminder: All existing members also need to reapply – get in early! For more information email KellyJo.Potts@theapsca.org.

FAQs – Now Available 
Be sure to check out APSCA’s newly 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 

  
Member Firm and Auditors – Dates to Remember 
30 July 2019: Audit logs to be provided to APSCA for review to validate and maintain Registered Level Auditor (RA) 

ALL “Registered” (RA) Level auditors already in APSCA’s data system who have not submitted an audit log must provide their signed audit log to validate their APSCA level per due date above. Should an audit log not be received, the auditor will be re-assigned to the level of ASCA.

 
Where We’ll Be – APSCA Out and About

  • May 29-30: APSCA Executive Board Mtg. – Northbrook, IL (USA)
  • June 4-5: APSCA Stakeholder Board Mtg.  – Burbank, CA  (USA) 
  • June 17-19:  Amfori Conference – Belgium

Our monthly newsletter now reaches over 1,990 subscribers each month! We encourage our Member Firms to have their auditors subscribe to APSCA’s newsletter to stay up to date 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.

APSCA

Our news and thoughts on the Social Compliance industry

Webinars

APSCA Webinars – September 4 & 5, 2019 
To help keep you informed on the latest updates regarding exams and APSCA’s Code & Standards, APSCA hosted informational webinars September 4/5.

The webinar presentation is provided below for your reference as well as the following:

Press Release

Industry Press Releases

​Verite  in partnership with the /  UN Special Rapporteur on Human Trafficking held a workshop 31 October 2016 in New York, which many of APSCA members attended.  Follow this link to see their press release.  To get involved, contact Philip Hunter from Verite