APSCA Newsletter December 2022

December 31, 2022

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










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​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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