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 firstname.lastname@example.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
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
As 2022 drew to a close, APSCA held two distinctly
separate year-end events.
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
vThe First Eventv
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
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
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.
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!
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
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
who graciously stayed up very late to provide a brand perspective.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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 here
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
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
TOGETHER, WE CAN
TRANSFORM THE FUTURE OF SOCIAL AUDITING.
- 500+ new Membership
Numbers issued to our newly enrolled auditors
- Introduction of
- 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
- 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
In our recent presentation
) we discussed our extensive review of Member documentation and
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.
NEWS FROM THE EXAM
TEAM FOR 2022
We have had such a busy year in
2022, as we now have 1750+
CSCA members across 59
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
- 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
- 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
- Produced podcasts and
updated the webinars
- Enhanced the Resource
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
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
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
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 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
- Use of Timer &
recommended time allocation per activity.
- How to use the
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.
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
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.
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 email@example.com/
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
Disciplinary Board for Member Auditor Statistics
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.
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.
requires auditors to stay current in their field after they have
passed through the exam certification phase.
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.
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
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
In our first year of Mandatory CPD (2022), as at the end of October,
there were more than 13,250 approved Auditor CPD records.
APSCA Member auditors have risen to the APSCA
requirements of reporting their own continuous learning and ongoing
The approvals in the APSCA data system are updated weekly – please
check your profile for current approval status on any CPD that has been
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.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!
RREPORTING AN INTEGRITY
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
newsletter and our website for more details and changes.
We would welcome your feedback – please forward your
suggestions to: email@example.com
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