APSCA Newsletter March 2021

31/03/2021 - No Comments

APSCA Newsletter March 2021

In February and March, APSCA’s Disciplinary Board for Member Auditors (DBMA) met to review 40 individual cases of exam misconduct by auditors associated with three Member Firms. The DBMA reviewed the evidence provided by a rigorous independent investigation of exam misconduct, and the methodology used by APSCA to analyze over 1,000 APSCA Part I exams in late 2019 and 2020. Exams were analyzed resulting in sanctions issued by the DBMA. More on this latest ethics and integrity investigation below. 

During March, we continued to receive auditor enrollments, further increasing our Auditor Membership.   APSCA welcomed two new Provisional Firm Members and one firm attaining Full Membership status.  Also as previously communicated, we are pleased to launch in mid-April the Part I CSCA Exam in three additional languages:  Turkish, Italian and Portuguese.  These additional languages will continue to support APSCA’s CSCA Examination program.

More on the latest announcements provided below.

 

In this this issue:

  • Ethics and Integrity
  • April Launch – Part I Turkish, Italian, and Portuguese
  • CSCA Examination Progress 
  • Member Firm Announcements
  • Executive Board Appointments
  • Auditor Exams – Updates & Reminders
  • Member Auditors – Lapsed? 
  • CSCA Examination Progress
  • Meet the Team
  • Auditor Enrollments
  • Resource Library
  • FAQs

      Ethics and Integrity

 On February 25th and March 5th the Disciplinary Board for Member Auditors (DBMA) met to review 40 individual cases of exam misconduct by auditors associated with three Member Firms. Based on an independent investigation, it was found that unauthorized practice/mock exams were created from actual APSCA test material, and the resulting allegations reviewed by the DBMA included:

  • Realizing an unfair advantage by studying the APSCA Part I Mock Exams
  • Sharing Mock Exams with auditors associated with multiple Member Firms
  • Not reporting the knowledge and distribution of the Mock Exams

The DBMA reviewed the evidence provided by a rigorous independent investigation of exam misconduct, and the methodology used by APSCA to analyze over 1,000 APSCA Part I exams in late 2019 and 2020.  The methodology incorporated accepted methods used within the testing industry to identify exam indicators of test-takers who realized a competitive advantage by gaining familiarity with test material prior to taking an actual exam.  APSCA used the same criteria and interpretation of results for all exams analyzed.

The DBMA substantiated all allegations, and the resulting sanctions included:

  • Suspension of APSCA Membership, and Required to Re-sit the APSCA Part I Exam: 6 auditors.  The suspension time ranged from 1 month to 1 year.
  • Warning Letter and Required to Re-sit the APSCA Part I Exam: 29 auditors
  • Warning Letter: 5 auditors

90 additional cases are currently being reviewed based on allegations of realizing an unfair advantage while taking the APSCA Part I Exam, and not reporting knowledge of the Mock Exams. 

   

April Launch – Part I Exam Available in Turkish, Italian, and Portuguese!                

        

APSCA is excited to launch Part I Exam in Turkish, Italian, and Portuguese, with more languages to come soon!

Eligible auditors can now book their Part I Exam in Turkish, Italian, and PortuguesePlease work with your firm to ensure you are following the process.

Reminder: For all CSCA Exams (Parts I – III) Auditors must consult with their Member Firm to confirm eligibility to sit each exam.

Please ensure you follow the guidance in the Auditor Handbook and notify APSCA prior to enrolling for any exam.

CSCA Examination Progress

APSCA continues to make progress towards the roll-out of exams in our 6 new languages.  We recently uploaded Turkish, Italian, and Portuguese to the existing Chinese and Spanish list of translated resources found in the Resource Library, which supports the launch of these languages.

Turkish, Italian and Portuguese Part I have launched with the questions being added to the exam site and are going through a verification process. Part II in these 3 language will be available soon.  We will keep you informed once the additional languages are ready to be launched.

 

Member Firm Announcements
We are pleased to congratulate our newest provisional APSCA Member Firms URS Verification PVT. LTD. and GCL International Ltd.  and full Member Firm Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency (HKQAA) on their commitment to the realization of APSCA’s mission “To enhance the Professionalism and Credibility of individuals and organizations performing independent social compliance audits”.

Provisional Members: 

  

Full Members:

 

Executive Board Appointments
During February and March we have farewelled two long term members of our Executive Board:

  • Effie Marinos (SGS) has retired. We thank her for her ongoing support the last few years and look forward to Effie’s continued support while she enjoys her retirement. Thank you, Effie!
  • Brendan Morrissey (Walmart) has had a change of role within Walmart. We have appreciated his time and contributions to APSCA efforts. Thank you, Brendan!

Both leave an indelible mark on APSCA and our progress was enhanced because of their support.

April sees us welcome Ollivier Bellet as our newest Executive Board member. Ollivier is the Global Responsible Business Services (RBS) Manager at SGS, responsible for the management and execution of second party assessments across the globe.
 
Read more about Ollivier Bellet

MEMBER AUDITORS – Has your account status been moved to “lapsed”?
Member Auditors with a member status of ‘Lapsed’ may be due to one or all of the following reasons:

  • 2021 Membership Fees have not been issued and/or paid and/or
  • 2020 Membership Fees were not paid and/or
  • 2021 Consent (via online profile) has not been provided.

Check your APSCA profile to see if this relates to you and if you have any questions? Email: data.administrator@theapsca.org

Reminder: Auditors who have an APSCA Membership Status of “Lapsed” cannot conduct social compliance audits/ consultancy services for an APSCA Member Firm.

Definition of a ‘Lapsed’: 

An APSCA Member who has NOT maintained one or more of the requirements to be considered ‘In Good Standing’ cannot:

  • use their APSCA Member Number on a Social Compliance Audit
  • actively participate in any capacity within a Social Compliance Audit.
  • present themselves as an APSCA Member at any time.

Note:  Upon a Member Auditors status lapsing, the Auditor, regardless of their previous status, will be moved to the level of ASCA and noted as “Lapsed” for Membership Status.

Ensure you are aware of definition and impact of your status.

CSCA Examination Progress

March saw an increase of 83% in the sitting of Part II examinations as Auditors advanced in either English or Spanish took the exam to meet the 31 March 2021 deadline.  We still are seeing a decline in the overall pass rate, largely attributable to Part II examination results.  APSCA now have approx. 300 Auditors achieve Certified Social Compliance Auditor (CSCA) status as more Auditors continue to progress through our examination certification process.
 
APSCA’s President and CEO Rona Starr commented ” Fluctuation in results are to be expected and as examinations assess the unique competencies of social compliance auditors, the exams reveal opportunities for improvement as a means to cultivate industry credibility and position our Members and Certified Social Compliance Auditors (CSCA) as the trusted professionals of Social Compliance Auditing. With this in mind, it is important we equate successful exam results with the recognition of an Auditors’ requisite skills, knowledge and competencies

 

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

CSCA Exam Part I is available in seven languages (English, Spanish, Simplified & Traditional Chinese, Turkish, Portuguese, and Italian), Part II in four languages  (English, Spanish, Simplified & Traditional Chinese), and Part III is available in English, Spanish, Mandarin and Cantonese.   

Please see our website, Resource Library for more information

Meet The Team – *New*

Visit the Our Team page on APSCA’s website to see the team behind the organization! 

 

Auditor Enrollments

As at 24 March 2021, total enrolled Auditors exceeded 4,100 with a summary by Auditor level provided below.

                  

                              

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

To further enhance this page, we have added:

‘Announcements’
Key messages will be posted to the new ‘announcements’ section for both general and exam related topics. Announcements will be updated on an ongoing basis. 

Policies (Latest) 
APSCA’s latest policies are available for viewing. The videos provide an overview of policies presented at APSCA’s 2020 AGM & Stakeholder Event, including: Auditor Status, Subcontractors, and Continuous Professional Development (CPD).

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

Visit our website to access the resources.


FAQs
Check out APSCA’s FAQ page – it has been recently updated.
Don’t see a question / answer you’re looking for? Contact us at director@theapsca.org.

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Disciplinary Action (Member Firm) – March 2021

01/03/2021 - No Comments

APSCA ANNOUNCES DISCIPLINARY ACTION
AGAINST A MEMBER FIRM

The Association of Professional Social Compliance Auditors (APSCA) announced today that it has revoked the membership of Leverage Limited.

APSCA determined that Leverage’s conduct related to the improper copying and distribution of APSCA’s certification exam questions violated Sections 1.1. (Accountability) and 2.3 (Integrity Management) of APSCA’s Code and Standards of Professional Conduct (Code). After a thorough investigation by an outside firm, the decision to revoke Leverage’s membership was made by the APSCA Disciplinary Board for Member Firms, made up of experienced professionals who are independent of any APSCA Member Firm. Upon appeal, the decision was affirmed by APSCA’s Executive Board on February 17, 2021.  All proceedings were conducted in accordance with APSCA’s Disciplinary Framework and Procedures, which are publicly available at https://www.theapsca.org/ethics-integrity.

Although APSCA has, on several occasions in the past, revoked the membership of individual member auditors, this is the first time APSCA has revoked the membership of a member firm following disciplinary proceedings. 

APSCA’s President and CEO, Rona Starr stated that “APSCA exists to enhance the professionalism, consistency and credibility of the individuals and organizations performing independent social compliance audits.  The imposition of disciplinary sanctions on individual auditors and members firms who violate our professional standards is not taken lightly and is an important component of our efforts to achieve these goals for the social compliance industry.”

For further information, please refer to the APSCA website at www.theapsca.org or contact Rona Starr at rona.starr@theapsca.org.

APSCA Newsletter February 2021

28/02/2021 - No Comments

During February, our Membership continued to strengthen with Auditor enrolments exceeding 4,300 and an additional six firms attaining full membership status. As participation in the CSCA examination program remains high, we were also pleased to realize 34% growth in our CSCA cohort during the month.

March has commenced with the announcement of significant disciplinary action against a Member Firm, determined to have violated APSCA’s Code and Standards of Professional Conduct while an update of Firm applications is also provided below. 

 

In this issue: 

  • APSCA Announces Disciplinary Action Against a Member Firm
  • Member Firm Announcements
  • Upcoming Deadlines & Reminders
  • Member Auditors – 2021 Membership Fees Due
  • CSCA Examination Progress
  • Auditor Enrollments
  • In Case You Missed It – 2020 APSCA’s Annual General Meeting & Stakeholder Online Event
  • FAQs
 

APSCA Announces Disciplinary Action Against a Member Firm

APSCA announced that it has revoked the membership of Leverage Limited on 1 March 2021. APSCA determined that Leverage’s conduct related to the improper copying and distribution of APSCA’s certification exam questions violated APSCA’s Code and Standards of Professional Conduct (view full media release here).

APSCA’s President & CEO Rona Starr stated “APSCA exists to enhance the professionalism, consistency and credibility of the individuals and organizations performing independent social compliance audits. The imposition of disciplinary sanctions on individual auditors and members firms who violate our professional standards is not taken lightly and is an important component of our efforts to achieve these goals for the social compliance industry.”

Member Firm Announcements

We are pleased to congratulate full APSCA Member Firms RINA Services S.p.A., Excel Sustainability Management & Technology Co., Limited (SMT), Primus Auditing Operations, Control Union Certifications BV, Ethical Trade Services Africa Limited and Centre Testing International Group Co., Ltd (CTI) on their commitment to the realization of APSCA’s mission “To enhance the Professionalism and Credibility of individuals and organizations performing independent social compliance audits”.

Full Members: 

An update on new Member Firm applications is provided below including the number of Firms not accepted for membership and those who were unable to meet membership requirements, voluntarily withdrawing or were suspended.

Definition / reference of the terms noted above are available on our APSCA Member Auditors page

IMPORTANT - Member Auditors – 2021 Membership Fees Due

During January, Member Firms were asked to raise 2021 Membership Fees for their auditors. Auditor identified by their Firm as being responsible for their own Membership Fees were required to request an invoice from APSCA.

Any auditor not completing this request will have their Membership moved to “lapsed” on 8 March. A ‘Lapsed’ auditor means the auditor is not an ‘In Good Standing’ Member Auditor and cannot use their APSCA Member Number on a Social Compliance Audit or call themselves an APSCA Member Auditor.  

For more information on status categories/definitions, visit our APSCA Member Auditors page of our website.

Auditors or Firms with questions regarding 2021 membership invoices can contact APSCA at Accounts@theapsca.org.  

CSCA Examination Progress

APSCA continues to make progress towards the roll-out of exams in our 6 new languages.  We have recently uploaded Turkish, Italian, and Portuguese to the existing Chinese and Spanish list of translated resources found in the Resource Library, which supports the upcoming launch.  Both Turkish and Italian Part I questions have been added to the exam site and are going through a verification process. We will keep you informed once the additional languages are ready to be launched.

During February, examination rates remained strong as the total number of completed exams now exceed 6,400 with an overall pass rate of 71% reflecting a 3% decline from January 2021. The decline in pass rates was largely attributable to Part II and Part III examination results which recorded reductions of 5% and 14% respectively. 

APSCA’s President and CEO Rona Starr commented “Overall we are pleased with the continued advancement of our Auditor cohort through the CSCA examination program; particularly as we exceeded 200 Certified Social Compliance Auditors this month. Fluctuation in results are to be expected and as examinations assess the unique competencies of social compliance auditors, the exams reveal opportunities for improvement as a means to cultivate industry credibility and position our Members and Certified Social Compliance Auditors (CSCA) as the trusted professionals of Social Compliance Auditing. With this in mind, it is important we equate successful exam results with the recognition of an Auditors’ requisite skills, knowledge and competencies”

A summary of cumulative exam results can be downloaded below.

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

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

Please see our website, Resource Library for more information

Auditor Enrollments

As at 25 February 2021, total enrolled Auditors exceeded 4,300 with a summary by Auditor level provided below.

In Case You Missed It – APSCA'S 2020 AGM & Online Stakeholder Event

Facing the Future, Together

APSCA’s 2020 Annual General Meeting & Stakeholder Events were held online during December 7-8 and 14-15 with over 268 registered.  The online event reflected on achievements across APSCA’s five (5) pillars of Validation, Governance, Ethics & Integrity, Communications and Processes and Systems. 

Highlights included recognition of a total of 139 Certified Social Compliance Auditors (CSCAs) along with a year in review of achievements (membership and exams), ethics and integrity, and APSCA progress despite the global challenges and impacts of COVID to our members, community, and industry. 

For more on topics covered, visit our Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Stakeholder Event page for pre-watch videos, our Annual Report, and other materials shared with attendees for a year in review of APSCA’s progress and continued commitment to strengthening industry credibility – and Facing the Future, Together

Any questions, please contact director@theapsca.org.

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

To further enhance this page, we have added:

‘Announcements’
Key messages will be posted to the new ‘announcements’ section for both general and exam related topics. Announcements will be updated on an ongoing basis. 

Policies (Latest) 
APSCA’s latest policies are available for viewing. The videos provide an overview of policies presented at APSCA’s 2020 AGM & Stakeholder Event, including: Auditor Status, Subcontractors, and Continuous Professional Development (CPD)

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

Visit our website to access the resources.

FAQs

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

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

FOllow US

APSCA Newsletter January 2021

28/01/2021 - No Comments

January 2021 continued with sustained momentum in Membership growth; three Member Firms achieved Full Membership status during the month following the six Firms announced in December 2020. While our membership strengthens, we continue to pursue opportunities to enhance membership experience; recently including the release of our new website – New Year, New Look, Same Mission! 

In this this issue:

  • New Year, New Website!
  • Member Firm Announcements
  • Membership Fees
  • CSCA Examination Progress
  • Auditor Enrollments
  • Exam Reminders
  • APSCA’S 2020 AGM & Online Stakeholder Event
  • Resource Library
  • FAQs
 

New Year, New Website!

Member Firm Announcements

We are pleased to congratulate full APSCA Member Firms UL LLC, Lloyd’s Register and Insite Compliance LLC along with our newest provisional Member Firm Key Traceability Ltd on their commitment to the realization of APSCA’s mission “To enhance the Professionalism and Credibility of individuals and organizations performing independent social compliance audits”.

Full Members: 

Provisional Members: 

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

IMPORTANT - Member Auditors – 2021 Membership Fees Due

During January, Member Firms were asked to raise 2021 Membership Fees for applicable auditors. However, an Auditor who has been identified by their Firm as being responsible for their own Membership Fees will be required to request an invoice or accept one if issued directly to the Auditor by a Firm. 

Auditors or Firms with questions regarding 2021 membership invoices can contact APSCA at
Accounts@theapsca.org.  

Invoices Raised by Jan. 31 
As is APSCA’s usual practice, invoices are not be automatically raised.  This must be actioned by either the Firm or Auditor, and any auditor not requesting an invoice by January 31, will be moved to “lapsed” until they request their Membership invoice. Please ensure you are taking action to raise invoices, as needed, January 31 is just around the corner. 

Invoices Paid by Feb. 28 
Auditors with unpaid Membership fees as at 1 March will be moved to the category of “lapsed”.    ‘Lapsed’ auditor means the auditor is not an ‘In Good Standing’ Member Auditor and cannot use their Member Number on a Social Compliance Audit or call themselves an APSCA Member Auditor.  For more information on status categories/definitions, visit our APSCA Member Auditors page of our website.

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

 Any questions, please contact: director@theapsca.org

CSCA Examination Progress

APSCA continues to make progress towards the roll-out of exams in our 6 new languages.  We have recently uploaded Turkish, Italian, and Portuguese to the existing Chinese and Spanish list of translated resources found in the Resource Library, which supports the upcoming launch.  Both Turkish and Italian Part I questions have been added to the exam site and are going through a verification process. We will keep you informed once the additional languages are ready to be launched.

During January, examination rates remained strong with the total number of completed exams now exceeding 6,000 with an overall pass rate of 74%. A summary of cumulative exam results can be downloaded below.

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

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

CSCA Exam Part III interviews commenced in August. The Part III Exam is available in English, Spanish, Mandarin and Cantonese.  The scheduling process has been finalized and we are contacting Firms / Auditors directly.  We recognize that the Part III launch has been a bit slower than we all hoped, mainly due to COVID, however the pace has stepped up with over 300 auditors being invited to schedule in the last few weeks.

Please see our website, Resource Library for more information

Auditor Enrollments

As at 25 January 2021, total enrolled Auditors exceeded 4,250 with a summary by Auditor level provided below.

  • APSCA recently enhanced the look and feel of the exam reports that are issued to auditors as part of continuous improvement.  This went live early January.
  • APSCA recently launched a range of new Part I exam questions in the existing 4 languages and have launched a new Part II Case Study in English.  Additional languages to follow shortly.
  • Exam due dates for auditors sitting Part II and III exams for 2021 are noted on APSCA’s website. If an Auditor is unsure whether this applies to them please contact APSCA via director@theapsca.org.

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

Upon passing Part I, Auditors have 3 months from the date notified of passing Part I to sit Part II, IF advanced in a language the exam is offered.

We remind our Members to consult the Resource Library to access the latest membership documents, exam dates, webinars, and more. 

In Case You Missed It – APSCA'S 2020 AGM & Online Stakeholder Event

Facing the Future, Together

APSCA’s 2020 Annual General Meeting & Stakeholder Events were held online during December 7-8 and 14-15 with over 268 registered.  The online event reflected on achievements across APSCA’s five (5) pillars of Validation, Governance, Ethics & Integrity, Communications and Processes and Systems. 

Highlights included recognition of a total of 139 Certified Social Compliance Auditors (CSCAs) along with a year in review of achievements (membership and exams), ethics and integrity, and APSCA progress despite the global challenges and impacts of COVID to our members, community, and industry. 

For more on topics covered, visit our Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Stakeholder Event page for pre-watch videos, our Annual Report, and other materials shared with attendees for a year in review of APSCA’s progress and continued commitment to strengthening industry credibility – and Facing the Future, Together

Any questions, please contact director@theapsca.org.

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

To further enhance this page, we have added:

‘Announcements’
Key messages will be posted to the new ‘announcements’ section for both general and exam related topics. Announcements will be updated on an ongoing basis. 

Policies (Latest) 
APSCA’s latest policies are available for viewing. The videos provide an overview of policies presented at APSCA’s 2020 AGM & Stakeholder Event, including: Auditor Status, Subcontractors, and Continuous Professional Development (CPD)

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

Visit our website to access the resources.

FAQs

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

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

FOllow US

APSCA Newsletter November-December 2020

21/12/2020 - No Comments

The 2020 online AGM and Stakeholder Events offered an opportunity to reflect on the year’s achievements. Despite immense uncertainty within the industry, we were encouraged by the sustained commitment to the CSCA program with a total of 2,356 Auditors participating in exams (Parts I, II, and III) during 2020. Exam performance remains strong; since the program commenced a total of 4,347 exams have received a passing score, comprising a breakdown of 63% Part I, 34% Part II and 3% Part III.

Significantly, total CSCA Auditors reached 139 during December.

APSCA’s Membership now includes over 4,200 Member Auditors and 53 Member Firms, of which 22 Member Firms successfully completed the process of obtaining ‘full membership’ status in 2020 through APSCA’s enhanced re-application process. We were also pleased to welcome 10 new Member Firms during 2020.
Looking toward the new year, we have outlined a series of initiatives across the five pillars of our strategic plan to continue to drive the momentum of our collective mission – Facing the Future, Together.

In this this issue:

  • Member Firm Announcements
  • Annual General Meeting and Stakeholder Online Event
  • CSCA Examination Progress
  • Auditor Enrollments
  • Reminder: Resource Library
  • Ethics and Integrity – Updates
  • Thank You and Happy Holidays
  • FAQs
 

Member Firm Announcements

We are pleased to congratulate full APSCA Member Firms Bureau Veritas SA, Intertek Group plc, Openview Service Limited, Social Compliance Service Asia Ltd (SCSA), Sustainable Assurance Solutions Pty Ltd (SAS) and Extensive Standard Technical Services Co., Ltd. (ESTS) on their commitment to the realization of APSCA’s mission “To enhance the Professionalism and Credibility of individuals and organizations performing independent social compliance audits”.

Full Members: 

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

APSCA's Annual General Meeting and Stakeholder Online Event

Facing the Future, Together
APSCA’s 2020 Annual General Meeting & Stakeholder Events were held online during December 7-8 and 14-15 with over 268 registered.  The online event reflected on achievements across APSCA’s five (5) pillars of Validation, Governance, Ethics & Integrity, Communications and Processes and Systems

Highlights included recognition of a total of 139 Certified Social Compliance Auditors (CSCAs) along with a year in review of achievements (membership and exams), ethics and integrity, and APSCA progress despite the global challenges and impacts of COVID to our members, community, and industry. 

For more on topics covered, visit our Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Stakeholder Event page for pre-watch videos, our Annual Report, and other materials shared with attendees for a year in review of APSCA’s progress and continued commitment to strengthening industry credibility – and Facing the Future, Together

 Any questions, please contact: director@theapsca.org

CSCA Examination Progress

During November and December, examination rates maintained momentum with the total number of completed exams exceeding 5,900. Exam performance remained strong with improvement in Part III results contributing to an overall pass rate of 71% for the the year and a cumulative average of 74%.

A summary of cumulative exam results can be downloaded below.

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

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

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

Please see our website, Resource Library for more information

Auditor Enrollments

As at 15 December 2020, total enrolled Auditors exceeded 4,300 with a summary by Auditor level provided below.

Reminder – Resource Library

We remind our Members to consult the Resource Library to access the latest membership documents, exam dates, webinars, and more. 

Ethics & Intergrity – Updates

Our goal at APSCA is to continuously improve.  We are pleased to announce our recent improvements to the ethics and integrity program which includes the Disciplinary Framework, Procedures and Ethics and Integrity Guidance for Member Firms.  These documents are available on the Ethics and Integrity page of the APSCA website for easy reference and to provide more clarity and transparency about the rules and requirements of APCSA’s Disciplinary Process.

To learn more, please watch our video on the latest updates on ethics and integrity from our Code and Compliance Manager provided as part of our AGM and Stakeholder event pre-watch materials.

Additional videos from our AGM and Stakeholder Events held online in December include updates on APSCA exams, membership achievements, strategy, and more. To view all videos, visit the event page HERE

Member Auditors – Due December: 2020 Membership Fees

Due to COVID, APSCA provided an option to delay payment of Member Auditor fees for 2020 to support our Members during this difficult time.  Many Members have been able to pay throughout the year and we thank you.  For those that have not yet paid these fees, a reminder that membership fees for the 2020 calendar year are due and payable no later than the end of December.

For more on updates to our membership status criteria and definitions, please see visit our APSCA Member Auditors page
 
If you are unsure about outstanding invoices, please check your APSCA account (see ‘Invoices’ tab) or contact APSCA team at director@theapsca.org

Thank You, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays


On behalf of everyone at APSCA and our Executive Board, we extend our very best wishes for this Holiday Season, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

APSCA Executive Board (Left to right, top to bottom): Rona Starr, Rajan Kamalanathan, Mark Spears, Avedis H Seferian, Justin Bettey, Effie Marinos, Greg Gardner, Randy Rankin, Frank Dorssers, Brendan Morrissey.

FAQs

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

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

APSCA Newsletter October 2020

30/10/2020 - No Comments

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

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

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

In this this issue:

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

Member Firm Announcements

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

Full Members: 

Provisional Members: 

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

Disciplinary Board Results – Allegations and Sanctions

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

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

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

Facing the future – Together

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

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

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

We hope you can join us!

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

CSCA Exam Webinars

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

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

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

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

Please see our website, Resource Library for more information

Auditor Enrollments

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

Reminder: Revised Due Dates for CSCA Exams

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

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

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

2020 – 2021
Part II

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

Part III

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

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

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

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

Member Auditors –  2020 Membership Fees Due by December   

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

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

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

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

Resource Library

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

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

Visit our website to access the resources.

FAQs

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

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

APSCA Out and About

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

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

APSCA Newsletter September 2020

30/09/2020 - No Comments

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

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

Further highlights from September are provided below.

In this this issue:

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

Member Firm Announcements

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

Full Members: 

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Any questions, please contact: director@theapsc.org

CSCA Exam Webinars

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

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

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

CSCA Examination Progress

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

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

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

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

Auditor Enrollments

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

Reminder: Revised Due Dates for CSCA Exams

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

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

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

2020 – 2021
Part II

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

Part III

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

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

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

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

Resource Library

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

Visit our website to access the resources.

FAQs

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

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

APSCA Out and About

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

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

APSCA Newsletter August 2020

31/08/2020 - No Comments

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

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

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

Further highlights are provided below. 

In this this issue:

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

Disciplinary Board – Allegations and Sanctions

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

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

Resource Library

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

Visit our website to access the resources.

Member Firm Announcements

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

Full Members: 

Provisional Members: 

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

Become a Member Firm – Update

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

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

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

Reminder - Remote/ Virtual Assessments

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

APSCA Members in 2020 Top 100 CSR List

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

Read more here.

Announcing Pathway 4 – Competency Framework Update

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

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

CSCA Exam Webinars

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CSCA Examination Progress

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

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

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

Auditor Enrollments

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

Reminder: Revised Due Dates for CSCA Exams

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

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

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

2020 – 2021
Part II

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

Part III

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

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

FAQs

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

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

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

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

APSCA Out and About

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

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

APSCA Newsletter July 2020

30/07/2020 - No Comments

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

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

Further highlights are provided below. 

In this this issue:

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

Certified Social Compliance Auditors

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

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

2021 Exam Languages

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

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

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

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

Member Firm Applications

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

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

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

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

CSCA Exam Part II Webinar

June Webinar Image

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Registration via the link below.

CSCA Exam Part III Webinars

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

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

For those interested in attending, registration is essential. 

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

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

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

CSCA Examination Progress

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

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

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

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

Auditor Enrollments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reminder: Revised Due Dates for CSCA Exams

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

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

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

2020 – 2021
Part II

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

Part III

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

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

 

FAQs

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

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

APSCA Out and About

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

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

APSCA Newsletter June 2020

29/06/2020 - No Comments

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

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

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

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


Further highlights are provided below. 

In this this issue:

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

CSCA Exams - Revised Due Dates

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

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

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

2020 – 2021
Part II

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

Part III

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

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

CSCA Exam Part II Webinar

June Webinar Image

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

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

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

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

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

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

CSCA Examination Progress

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

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

Auditor Enrollments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Member Firm Announcements

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

FULL MEMBER FIRMS

PROVISIONAL MEMBER FIRMS

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

 

APSCA Team Updates

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

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

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

FAQs

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

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

APSCA Out and About

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

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

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