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
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Our news and thoughts on the Social Compliance industry


Press Release

Industry Press Releases

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

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