December 14th, 2017

December 14, 2017

Annual General Meeting – Germany
APSCA Inc’s Annual General Meeting took place in Cologne, Germany on 4 December 2017.  We had a strong attendance by members followed by an opportunity to meet each other during a casual function. A special thanks to Frank Dorssers, Angela Fernandez and TUV Rheinland for hosting us and to our members who travelled far and wide to take part.

During this meeting, the organization announced it will operate as an independent entity beginning 1 January 2018 after recently incorporating in Washington D.C. USA.   The new Bylaws were presented at the meeting, along with the 2017 Projected Financials and 2018 Draft Budget. In addition, APSCA Inc’s Antitrust Guidelines were shared with members.
The following members were re-elected by their peers to the Executive Board:
·        Frank Dorssers – TUV Rheinland – B Member Representative
·        Greg Gardner – Arche Advisors – C Member Representative
The 2018 APSCA Executive Board consists of:

Stakeholder Board Representatives:
Avedis Seferian – WRAP (Chair)
Wesley Wilson – Wal-Mart (Vice-Chair)
A Member Representatives:

Randy Rankin – Independent
Rajan Kamalanathan – BV
Kevin Franklin – ELEVATE

Christophe Liebon – Intertek (Secretary)
Pierre-Yves Dupont – SGS
Fred Waelter – UL
B Member Representatives:
Antonio Astone – DNV-GL

Frank Dorssers – TUV Rheinland
C Member Representative:

Greg Gardner – Arche Advisors (Treasurer) 
All documents tabled at the Annual General Meeting can be found on the “Members Only” page of the APSCA website –

​Photos of the event can be found on our website on the “Members Only” and “Out & About” pages – all are able to be downloaded.

Auditor Certification Pilot – Turkey
A Summary Report from the recent Auditor Certification Pilot which took place in Turkey in November was shared with Members during the Annual General Meeting. 

The Turkey pilot was considered a success with answers to many questions being obtained throughout the two days.  Participants and examiners were consulted for their feedback, following each examination section, at the end of each day and a follow-up survey at the end of the two days.  Learnings were incorporated where possible for use during the second day and the remainder are being incorporated into the 2nd pilot to be held in China in early March 2018.

Following are some key highlights:

  • 11 APSCA Member Firms Participated
  • 31 Participants
    • 13 Female
    • 18 Male
  • 23 Full-Time 
  • 2 Part-Time
  • 6 SubcontractorFreelance
  • Number of Social Compliance Audit Days Experience:
    • Less than 50 days – 20%
    • 50 – 100 days – 10%
    • 100 – 200 days – 10%
    • Greater than 200 days – 60%

Overall Key Learnings:

  • Timing of each exam 2 hours (instead of 90 minutes)
  • Addition of “attitude” in overall scoring
  • Inclusion of rule if late from break etc.
  • Posting of rules in exam room
  • Higher scores were achieved in Multiple Choice/Short Answers
  • Lack of management systems or triangulation of information

Overall Opportunities:

  • Translation of materials and use of local language interviewers
  • Use one case study – building for each element between the exam and interviews
  • Enhanced communication – APSCA and member firms

Case Study:

  • Areas Correctly Identified 
    • Unauthorised sub-contracting
    • Health & Safety
    • Discrimination
  • Training Opportunities for Participants
    • Management Systems
    • Migrant Labor / recruitment agencies
    • Triangulation – “Big Picture”
    • Grievance Mechanism


  • Positives Comments (from participants)
    • Overall positive thoughts of the process
    • Different interviewers
    • Case studies realistic, extreme but realistic
    • Length of each interview acceptable
  • Opportunities (from participants)
    • Use same case study throughout the day (ie. exam and each interview)
    • Each interview to be held in separate rooms
    • Same interviewer for Opening / Closing Meeting 
    • Timing for Closing Meeting to be extended
    • Transparency in the scoring
    • Bigger breaks between the interviews (due to different scenarios being used)


  • Overall Comments (on participants)
    • Did not react to provocation/argument
    • Asked clarification when they didn’t understand
    • Negative attitude by some
    • Did not share non-corruption policy or communication channel
    • Problem solving ability
  • Training Opportunities (for participants)
    • Listening Skills
    • Distracted by calculations and missed identifying potential issues or hearing information from the interviewer
    • Triangulation skills
    • Re-communication of key documentation / policies

Looking Back on 2017
APSCA has had a busy and successful year focusing on delivering on our mission to increase the value and effectiveness of independent social compliance audits by enhancing the professionalism, consistency and credibility of individuals and organisations performing them.  We would appreciate your joining us to celebrate a few of our successes:
 ·       Delivered the APSCA Code of Professional Conduct (V1 – Principles)
·        Delivered the Competency Framework for Auditors
·        Completion of 1st Pilot for Auditor Certification in Turkey
·        Registered over 2,500 Auditors
·        Membership growth from 17 to 40 Member Firms
·        Incorporated as an independent organization within the USA
·        Developed and approved Bylaws for APSCA Inc.
·        Launched APSCA Support Statement
·        Implemented data system and associated policies
·        Participated in 19 Presentations / Panels / Industry events in 7 countries
·        Conducted over 200 meetings with brand / retailers / audit firms

Looking Forward to 2018
APSCA’s Strategy Plan was presented to the Annual General Meeting.  This strategy consists of 5 key pillars:
·        Validation
·        Governance
·        Compliance
·        Communication
·        Supporting Processes & Systems
All of which leads to developing Trust in the industry which is APSCA’s vision of “Members and Certified Social Compliance Auditors are the trusted professionals of Social Compliance Auditing”.

Implementation plans, to deliver on each pillar, were discussed in detail during the Executive Board Meeting in December. Below is a summary of APSCA’s 2018 focus:
 ·       Auditor Certification Process Pilot – China
·        Auditor Certification Process Implementation 
·        Incident Protocol Implementation 
·        Enhanced Firm Membership Approval Process Implementation 
·        Members to securely access their information in the APSCA database
·        Ability for public to validate member credentials via website

Out & About
Check out our “Out & About” page on our website for photos of the Annual General Meeting plus other great events that our Members have been part of:–about.html


Thank You!
A big thank you to all our members and stakeholders who have contributed to our success, either via your membership, the various working / consultation groups, Support Statement or spreading news of our work. Your continued participation and interest in APSCA is appreciated and we look forward to working with you all in 2018.

Season Greetings from the APSCA Inc. Team!
From left: Kerrie Baylis, Rona Starr & Julie Shaw

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