APSCA Newsletter June 2023

05/07/2023 - No Comments

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

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




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

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

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






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


Stephanie Ragan – Director of Code & Compliance

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

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

Silas Gilders (they/them) – Data Administrator  

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

Silas can be reached at dataadministrator@theapsca.org



Meg Crawford – Business Manager

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


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

Josh Morris, Data Administrator

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

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


Emily Chen, former Compliance Analyst

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

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






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

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

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

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

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

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

Become an association of and for Social Compliance Auditors.

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


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

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


Build awareness across the profession, industry, and society.

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

We continue to focus upon the priorities of:

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

These extra benefits require a step change for our organization.

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

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

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

To read more about the AAF click here.





 May 2023 live Q&A – recap 

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

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

 June B&C Member Calls – recap 

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

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

 Welcome New Members 

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

Please welcome them to APSCA!





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





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

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





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

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

Some additional reminders from the exam team:

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

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





Hello from the Ethics Team!

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

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

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

 Update on the APSCA Disciplinary Board Activity – June 2023 

The disciplinary board heard 4 cases.   

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

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

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

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





CPD On-Demand 2023 has been launched.


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

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


World Day Against Child Labor

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

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

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



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





Looking for Auditors? APSCA is here to help!

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

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
















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Our mailing address is:
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Washington DC 20006 USA


APSCA Newsletter April 2023

30/04/2023 - No Comments

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

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

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




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

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

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

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

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






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

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

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

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


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

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

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






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

16 & 17 November 2023

Training Event (TBC)
15 November2023





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

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

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

To name a few!





Sedex Xplore Sustainability Conference 

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


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





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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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


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

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






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

Member Firm Comment Period – 
Governance, Strategy and Funding Proposals

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

2022 Annual Report Recap

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

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

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

APSCA accomplishments – a timeline

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





Unsure about the booking process?
Let’s review!

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


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

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

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





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





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

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

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

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





Memberships Fees Deadlines

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

Job Seekers/Hiring Auditors

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






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

Governance/IT and Exam

Continuous Professional Development

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

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






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





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













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

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

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You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list


APSCA Newsletter December 2022

31/12/2022 - No Comments

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


APSCA Newsletter – December 2022


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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





AMM and Annual Updates

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

vThe First Eventv 

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


Main topics discussed
during Live Q&A sessions

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

The pre-recorded presentations can be accessed here

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

Which Country are you
joining us from?

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

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

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

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


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






Achievements for 2022:

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

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

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

Together, we can transform the future of social auditing.






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

  • Produced a Part I and Part II practice exam.   
  • What To Expect for Part III exam podcast is also now live.
  • Updated the Auditors Handbook, which is now available in a right-click translate version
  • All links to our documentation available via right-click translate
  • A one page “How to Book” with all the steps to sitting a successful exam, including links needed to prepare
  • Launched the Part III Alternate Language exam with translators and identified another organization to support these efforts
  • Moved the Part III exams to using Teams instead of GoToMeeting
  • Held multiple Calibration workshops for Interviewers so they are aligned in their marking
  • Produced podcasts and updated the webinars
  • Enhanced the Resource library.

As we look toward and plan for 2023 we anticipate another very busy year ahead.
The English, Spanish and Chinese Part III exam deadline has passed and Auditors personal deadlines are 90 days from passing their previous exam. For all others who are eligible to sit the Part III exam, the Deadline is
30 May 2023.
Unlike Part I and II exams, there is limited capacity for the Part III exams with limited Interviewers so please get in early with your bookings. Work with your Member Firm and if not associated with a Member Firm, contact the APSCA Exam team to start the process to schedule your Part III exam.
From June 2023 the RA level status will be phased out. For all Pathway 4 Members, there is no deadline, and you will remain at ASCA until you pass the Part III exam, where you will be accredited as a CSCA.

   Looking to 2023 

2023 will see the addition of in-house testing centres in 115 countries, with over 1,500 testing centres. When scheduling your exam, you will be able to choose to sit the exam online or in a testing centre.
You will be able to use PU’s computers and their internet bandwidth will be sufficient to prevent any connection issues. This will be at a different price point than the online proctored exams. We are in the final stages of discussing this with ProctorU and will share this pricing as soon as possible.

In early 2023, we will release the Part III practice exam and video. The practice exam will have a mock interview which you will be able to practice with colleagues or family members. The practice exam will have suggestions and tips for sitting a successful exam.
 Barbara’s Tips for the Part III exam 

Ensure you book your exam early, since we are working with limited Interviewers that will be working to capacity. We encourage you to not wait until the last minute in case there are any IT issues hindering your ability to sit the exam.
The What To Expect video has a step by step demonstration on what to expect at the time of the exam:

  • Explanation of the exam setting and screen layout.
  • The scenario (background, topics to be covered, laws/relevant information).
  • Notes taking is an important part of the process. It helps to guide the interview flow and further supports the answering of questions at the end of some of the scenarios. Notes can be taken in your preferred language.
  • Use of Timer & recommended time allocation per activity.
  • How to use the Highlighter.

Tips on answering the Part III questions.

  • The three scenarios are independent, with no correlation, and are fictitious.  So, read the background info carefully for each scenario.
  • Take time to write your notes. Feel free to take a pause to finish your notes then come back to the interview.
  • Listen attentively.
  • Don’t assume.
  • Ask for clarification or rephrase to ensure understanding.
  • Do not switch topics before finishing all elements.
  • Investigate thoroughly: answer questions and utilize the interrogative questions (what, why, where, when how).
  • Additional resources are available within the Resource Library on the APSCA website.

Please ensure when scheduling your Part III exam if you need a translator to choose the Alternate Language exam.

Remember, when scheduling your Part III exam in Calendly if you need a translator to choose the Alternate Language exam.
If you choose to sit the English Part III exam when booking in Calendly you WILL NOT be given a translator on the day.

Happy holidays
The Exam team would like to wish you and your families a safe and happy festive season.
Please note there will be no ProctorU exams from December 24 through to January 3, 2023, as the exam team takes a well-earned break.
However, if you have an urgent issue, please email exam@theapsca.org/ cc director@theapsca.org. The team will be checking emails intermittently. 





The Ethics Team has been hard at work, improving our case processing times, enhancing our policies and frameworks, and building new guidance documents to better assist our Members, throughout 2022.

We have also participated in initiatives to improve data information sharing with collaborative programs to allow more visibility within the industry and get us closer to achieving our mission to professionalize the industry.

We have also enhanced our communication output to keep our Members and Stakeholders informed of trends, updates, and outcomes of the disciplinary process.

In 2023, we will continue to improve the Compliance Program, with new updates to the Code and Standards of Professional Conduct, continuous efforts to streamline case processing times, ongoing data and risk triangulation, and initiate a Member Firm Standards and Quality Program.

2022 Disciplinary Board for Member Auditor Statistics




For more information on APSCA’s year in Ethics – please see the 2022 Annual Update recorded presentation on this topic here






As most readers are aware, the APSCA Continuous Professional Development process kicked off in 2021. This introduced Member Auditors to an annual requirement for CSCA and RA level auditors to complete training and on-site audit days to maintain and expand the knowledge base and stay up to date on emerging issues, as well as enhancing basic knowledge and understanding of topics within the Competency Framework and beyond.

APSCA CPD requirements are intended to foster integration of continuous learning and professional development opportunities into the profession of Social Compliance Auditing.

The work of the profession is relatively young when compared to other professions, so APSCA’s CPD work is intended to be helpful, and encourage auditors to stay in step with evolving terms, emerging issues and expanding requirements.

APSCA requires auditors to stay current in their field after they have passed through the exam certification phase.

The purpose of this requirement is to foster a lifelong learning approach to the profession which encourages auditors to continuously improve themselves and seek understanding of new topics. 

CPD is not intended to be punitive or restricting. At APSCA we encourage Auditors to creatively meet these requirements by self-identifying knowledge gaps and skill sets they would like to address in the learning opportunities they select for themselves.

APSCA plays a supporting role for Auditors in CPD by validating and recognizing training opportunities as being relevant to the skills of social compliance auditing. The recognized courses are included in the APSCA data system for easier reporting by Auditors. We also have a public list of training programs offered by designated Training Providers, including provision of a “CPD Badge” for web use and promotional purposes.

This year APSCA has also started facilitating the development and presentation of training opportunities for auditors at low or no cost to auditors.

Auditors’ ongoing commitment to their own professional development, learning and training has been inspiring to watch. Through independent submissions from Auditors, APSCA has learned about training opportunities in dozens of countries and even more languages which are relevant to Social Compliance knowledge areas.
In our first year of Mandatory CPD (2022), as at the end of October, there were more than 13,250 approved Auditor CPD records.
These include:


APSCA Member auditors have risen to the APSCA requirements of reporting their own continuous learning and ongoing professional development.

The approvals in the APSCA data system are updated weekly – please check your profile for current approval status on any CPD that has been submitted.

We will be auditing a percentage of all submissions during 2023 and we may be asking for validation of the courses where certificates have not been uploaded and are applicable.

APSCA continues to review questions from Auditors, trainers, collaborative programs and stakeholders about how to recognize and deliver value through promotion of existing training, enhanced guidance on day-to-day learning opportunities and the facilitation and creation of new training opportunities for Auditors.
For more information on APSCA’s year, please see the
Annual Update






APSCA Member Firm Job Postings

Starting this year, APSCA has been helping APSCA Member Firms by sharing and connecting their job openings to our social media networks. If your organization is hiring and could use a boost to a community member who might be a match, please let us know by tagging us in your Linkedin Post #APSCA and emailing director@theapsca.org
Remember if you post within a group, APSCA may not have access to that group and will not be able to see your post.

We look forward to helping Member Firms get the best talent available!






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





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 exam preparation and more! 

COMING SOON:  Enhancement to The APSCA resource library
Watch this newsletter and our website for more details and changes.

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





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










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

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

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APSCA Newsletter November 2022

24/11/2022 - No Comments

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


APSCA Newsletter – November 2022


Please join us!
We are happy to announce that
the registration for APSCA’s 2022 Annual Meeting of Members and
Stakeholders (AMM)
is now open.

The AMM will be our first hybrid event ever, and our first in
person Annual Meeting since 2019.
This year’s meeting will take place during the week of December 6-9th
at TUV-Rheinland in their offices in Cologne Germany.

for Agenda and Registration details.





Exciting Announcements in this issue! 

was pleased to announce that as of the end of October 2022, there
were more than 1700 Auditors who had completed their 3-part exams
and met their requirements to be a Certified Social Compliance
Auditor (CSCA).
This means that more than 35% of Social Compliance Auditors who
are APSCA Members have reached this important milestone in their
professional development. Congratulations to all our CSCAs for
your hard work and diligence in the APSCA certification process!



this year, APSCA launched Practice Exams for Part I
and Part II to support Auditors as they go through the exam
process. The Practice Exams are online and scored immediately for
all multiple-choice questions and expected answer for the Part II
short answers.  This allows auditors to familiarize
themselves with the question formats. APSCA has identified an
increase of 20% in the exam pass rate for Part I and
Part II since
the introduction of the Practice Exams in Q1 2022.

Try them out today!

the APSCA practice exams 

APSCA is also pleased to announce the APSCA Part
III Exam is now available with live translations in 240 different

information below

The Part III deadline for Registered Level Auditors is May 2023 –
If you are an RA, book your Part III exam soon! Do
not wait until the last minute as, unlike Part I and
seats are limited, and they will fill up quick!





Auditor Bulletin

To ensure information impacting Member Auditors is
reaching them efficiently and effectively, APSCA launched The Auditor Bulletin (AB) earlier
in 2022.  At APSCA we recognize that the world is a
complicated place with ever changing landscapes, the Auditor
Bulletin provides Member Auditors with specific news straight to
their inbox. Topics include exam deadlines, updated information
about exam languages, booking instructions, emerging issues,
events, opportunities to connect with our Podcast and focused
information on Continuous Professional Development (CPD) and more.

The third quarterly issue of the Auditor Bulletin, to be released
in November 2022 will provide Members with year end reminders and
key dates for the first half of 2023.

As part of APSCA’s continuous improvement process, we would love to
hear your feedback on the Auditor Bulletin. If you would like to
see a topic included in an upcoming issue, or if you have questions
about the Auditor Bulletin, please contact us at director@theapsca.org


All APSCA Exams (Parts I, II & III) are
available in more than 100 languages through either technology or
live translations.






Our industry is at a
pivotal point. As we embrace our role as being the Professions
Standards Body for Social Compliance Auditing, we are
experiencing a shift in business and social expectations as to
how workers are being treated within the complexity of
environmental and human rights challenges across operations and
supply chains, a shift that will only continue to accelerate.
This includes addressing the repeated perception that audits are
somehow not fit for purpose, and all that is now needed to
address these complex challenges is simply Human Rights Due
Diligence (HRDD). In truth a social compliance audit is just
that, a check on legal compliance. As such, it is a strong
contributor to any business seeking to do HRDD. No, it is not
HRDD itself, but nor is HRDD complete without it. It is, after
all, the only process yet developed which puts “boots on the
ground” on a cadence that can track compliance progress over
APSCA Members, be they auditors or firms, are well placed to
facilitate the development of “social compliance auditing” into
the broader concept of “social measurement.” By partnering with
clients and others involved in HRDD processes APSCA can help
weave together the different elements such as worker voice and AI
into a consistent HRDD framework tailored to the needs of its
clients, help in their understanding of what findings mean and to
help them in their remediation.


Through the work that APSCA and its Members have
completed over the last 6 years, we are well placed to continue
to augment our examination process to capture these new demands
in the competencies we require of our auditors and use our
representative legitimacy as the Professional Standards Body for
our industry, to positively engage in shaping that future.





For more
information on the Ethics Corner click here



APSCA’s Disciplinary Board
for Member Auditors (DBMA) has met on six occasions since February
2022 and reviewed 22 allegations of misconduct, with another
hearing scheduled in December. By the end of the year, we
expect to have brought to the DBMA twice as many cases in 2022
as were heard in 2021.
Alongside an increase in reports of misconduct to the APSCA
Ethics Team, we are seeing concerted efforts across many firms
to increase the efficacy of their misconduct detection and
reporting systems. We see strong indications that the two are
linked and believe that the increase in reports – and by extension,
APSCA sanctions – represents a positive step forward for the
social compliance profession.
Based on our current data, we believe that the volume of Code
violation reports received by APSCA will continue to rise in
the foreseeable future, but that this increase will be driven
by an improvement in detection mechanisms – not only by Member
Firms, but also collaborative programs, brands and APSCA’s own
efforts to continuously improve our capacity to detect and
address Code violations. Thus, we see a sustained increase in
reports (still representing a very small percentage of overall
audits) as a positive, as long as certain criteria are
fulfilled, including, among other factors, the

  • These
    cases are being reported to APSCA via Member Firms
    (indicating that their detection mechanisms are
    functioning well);
  • These
    cases are being followed up internally by Member Firms
    with appropriate corrective action. For example, whether
    that constitutes additional training for staff; the
    enhancement of a control; the review of a policy; in
    addition to any disciplinary action taken against the
    offending Auditor by the Firm.


New Policies
and Guidance Documents!

1. Evidence Submission Guidance Document – Providing the requirements for Member Firm
submission of reports and supporting evidence to the APSCA
Ethics Team regarding possible misconduct of Member Auditors.

2. Auditor Disciplinary Records Policy – Defining our policy on sharing with Member
Firms information relating to Member Auditors and any
disciplinary actions / allegations which may be known to

Disciplinary Framework and Procedures Update – Updated to better reflect our processes and
changes, since welcoming our Director of Code and Compliance,
Alex Nasr.

4. Podcast – The Ethics Team have released a new podcast,
‘The Substantiation Gap’. This short podcast sit’s down with
Emma Youngman and Alex Nasr, who discuss APSCA’s disciplinary
process, and the degree of substantiating evidence needed for
the Disciplinary Board to suspend or revoke an APSCA






Member Auditors conducted over 160,000 Social Compliance
during 2021 and continue to enjoy the
support of the largest brands and retailers in the world and the
partnership of the social compliance collaborative programs
(schemes) who require professional credential for performance
under their programs.



Members are accountable for meeting the expectations noted within
the Code. This requirement ensures Members can be trusted by
clients and other Partners to adhere to these same high
Between 2020-2021, over 268,000 Social Compliance
Audits were conducted by our Member Firms, of which 97%
(259,960) were aligned with the Code’s requirements.

Whilst the majority of APSCA Member Firms are meeting
expectations, there have been a surprisingly high number of
non-compliant audits taking place in key markets, such as China,
India, Italy, Mexico, and the USA.
The future of the profession is dependent on the execution of
credible and high-quality Social Compliance Audits. As the
Profession’s Standards Body committed to enhancing the
professionalism, consistency and credibility of Auditors and
their associated organizations, it is vital that we increase the
number of audits which meet APSCA’s Code expectations to 100%.

Through a process of analysis and due consideration of various
options, APSCA will address the issues via a phased approach with
APSCA Member firms.

Interested in learning more?
Supporting Processes and Guidance for this article:
APSCA Code and
Standards of Professional Conduct

APSCA Glossary of

Use of APSCA Member
Auditor Number Guide







It’s not too late
to get your status back on track!



Effective 1 July
2022, with enforcement beginning 1 October 2022, APSCA has updated
the Auditor Membership Status Policy to include a new status

has 6 status types of Membership for Member Auditors which are
outlined in the Auditor Membership Status Policy

  • In Good Standing (
  • Lapsed
  • Expired (Effective
    1 October, 2022)
  • Inactive

Sanctioned Levels

  • Suspended
  • Not in Good

An APSCA Member
Auditor whose status has moved to ‘Lapsed’, Expired, ‘Suspended’ or
‘Not in Good Standing’ is unable to: 

  • 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 Auditor at any time.





Are you
interested in booking an APSCA Exam?

Please use our
quick “How to Book” guides to get started today!

How to Book – Part I or Part II
How to Book – Part III

Please check out How to Book – Part III
For more tips and tricks on the APSCA Part III Exam – please listen
to our newest podcast,
the Part III Podcast


Contact: exams@theapsca.org

If you or your team members
are preparing to sit the
Part I or Part II exam and looking for some extra resources, please

take a look at the Practice Exam

EXAM Study Tools

If you or your
team members are preparing to sit the Part I or Part II exam and
looking for some extra resources, please take a look at the Practice Exams.

  • APSCA Part I &
    Exam pass rates have substantially improved
    since the launch of the Practice Exams in early 2022.
  • Practice exams
    allow test takers to familiarize themselves with the format of
    the questions and answers for the first two exams. They also
    enable test takers to practice using right-click translate/
    technology-based translation tools which are supported for
    Part I & Part II exams. Instructions are available here.
  • Review the APSCA
    Exam Guides for the Exam you are taking
  • The practice exams
    are also a great opportunity to plan out note taking for the
    exam, which is particularly important for Part II.
    Being proactive in note taking during the exam will make it
    easier to identify potential questions and investigations to
    raise in relation to each topic outlined in the scenario.
    Practice taking organized, clear, and detailed notes to
    maximize success!
  • Role play practice
    will assist you in feeling more confident during the exam. You
    may have been involved in and/ or experienced role play as a
    part of your initial training to become a social compliance
    auditor – the live online role plays simulate what you may
    have experienced while auditing.


EXAM Languages by
Exam Part

Parts I & II Exams are
available in 10 languages (English, Spanish, Simplified &
Traditional Chinese, Italian, Portuguese, Turkish, Bangla, Thai,
and Vietnamese). APSCA can accommodate exams in languages
supported by right click translate technology
(92 additional
Part III is
available in English, Spanish, Mandarin and Cantonese.

APSCA also offers the part III exam in 240 languages, with the
aid of a live translation partner. For those using this
translation service, we have a few tips to make the experience as
smooth as possible, as advised by our exam interviewers.

short sentences and practice breaking down thoughts into smaller
pieces. Make sure sentences have a clear start and end- avoid run
on sentences! Lastly, try not to use abbreviations which may be
confusing for the translator. If in doubt, try spelling out the
word!  For more information about our translation partner,
please click here.


If you have questions about exams – please contact: exams@theapsca,org







The Governance and IT team have been hard at work
over the last few months, focusing upon updates to APSCA Core
documents. All the updated documents including the updated
Competency Framework are ready to use with right click translate so
users may, via their browser level translation, read the document
in their language of choice.
Please be
aware of these updates AND the removal of translated copies of
earlier versions from our website. All new documents are being
shared in right click translatable formats.

APSCA Auditor
Handbook – v13

APSCA’s Competency
Framework – v7

APSCA Glossary of
Terms – v4






APSCA Attended
Engaging Business Forum

In October, APSCA’s Director of Membership,
, attended the 14th Annual
Engaging Business Forum in Atlanta, GA.
The Event, which focused on the expectations of business in a
changing world of increasing human rights regulations and
geo-political challenges, was a 2 day hybrid event hosted by The
Coca-Cola Compnay, sponsored by the International Organization of
Employers (IOE), United State Council for International Business
(USCIB), and the US Chamber of Commerce. Event attendees were
fortunate to hear and engage with  multiple forward thinking
panels focused on topics such as the next frontier of human rights
due diligence, the role of driving social equity beyond the
workplace and the imperative of considering climate risk through a
human rights lens.
Are you or
your organization planning an event, conference or podcast
regarding Social Audit, Human Rights Due Diligience, ESG, or other
APSCA relevant topic? Would you like to have APSCA participate?
Please get in touch with us at Media@theapsca.org







We are pleased to
congratulate a new full APSCA Member Firm
GlobalSTD on
commitment to the realization of APSCA’s mission 

“To enhance the Professionalism and Credibility of
individuals and

organizations performing
independent social compliance audits”





Earlier this year, APSCA
launched The APSCA Podcast to expand the delivery of updates and
share conversations with APSCA Members and Stakeholders. The
APSCA Podcast is hosted on Podbean.

Please listen to
our Newest Podcast Episode here

The APSCA Podcast is
available on the following podcast distribution apps. 







Is your organization interested in voicing your
support of APSCA?

The Organizations providing
support via the APSCA Support Statement continues to
grow.  These organizations have provided their permission to
use their name / logo which you can view on our website here.

If you would like to offer your support and have your
organization’s name/ logo placed on our website, please let us
know by contacting 







2022 Continuous Professional Development is
mandatory for all RA and CSCA level Auditors per the 
CPD Policy .

If you
are an Auditor, please review the APSCA
CPD policy and ensure your CPD relevant training and onsite
Audit Days meet the requirements.

As you
complete your training, ensure you record it in the APSCA Data
system per the



In July, APSCA provided enhanced guidance to Member
about additional methods to achieve CPD requirements.

Per the CPD policy, Auditors
must complete 32 hours of training (mandatory and elective
topics). We would like to remind you that CPD hours can be earned
when a CSCA develops and delivers training for their peers.
We would like to provide thoughts on alternative ways which you
can obtain CPD hours in addition to training courses.

Hours for training ASCAs at onsite Audits

Auditors may claim 2 hours of CPD per Audit day to a maximum of 8
hours per year for supporting and actively developing an ASCA
Auditor gaining experience during an onsite audit. The APSCA
number of the ASCA and the facility information must be provided
in the submission to validate the audit with the Member Firm.

3:1 Rule for Developing Training Material

APSCA recognizes that preparing training materials takes longer
than it does to “stand and deliver” the training. We
are happy to announce that starting in 2022, APSCA CSCA auditors
who develop training materials which they deliver to other APSCA
Auditors can claim 3 hours of CPD for each hour of training
material they develop to a maximum of 3 hours of training. (Max 9
hours CPD for development, 3 hours for presenting the training
for the 1st time to a total of 12 hours.)


Are You a
Training Provider?

We welcome Member Firms, Collaborative Programs
Training providers, partners, and affiliates to participate in
this initiative by submitting
an expression of

form to have their social compliance auditing-related learning
recognized as part of APSCA’s CPD program.
Recognized courses are assigned a specific quantity of CPD hours
that Member Auditors can note on their APSCA profile as going
towards meeting the annual requirement. Courseware can range from
online training to webinars, conferences, workshops and more. You
can submit your learning materials for consideration by
completing our
expression of interest
This quarter, we will issue further Guidance on CPD to help
Member Auditors and Member Firms meet this requirement effectively
in 2022.

For questions, please contact





APSCA Member Firm
Job Postings

Starting 2022, APSCA has been
helping APSCA Member Firms and Supporter Firms win the war for
talent by sharing and connecting their job openings to our social
media. If your organization is hiring and could use a little bit of
a boost to a community who might be a match, please let us know,
and we may be able to help director@theapsca.org









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






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 exam
preparation and more! 


Enhancement to The APSCA resource library

Watch this
newsletter and our website for more details and changes.

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





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










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2022 Association of Professional Social Compliance Auditors, All
rights reserved.

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