APSCA Newsletter September 2023

September 30, 2023

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

Welcome to the latest edition of the APSCA newsletter! We’re kicking off this edition with our Strategy Spotlight, where you will find important new links for November’s Annual Meeting of Members & Stakeholders (AMM) as well as information on the next phase of the ASPCA Audit Fee (AAF).
We also have myriad updates from our Exam and Ethics teams, CPD highlights, podcasts and more!
As always, please contact us if you have comments or queries by emailing director@theapsca.org


APSCA’s Ethics & Management Team would like to thank Tim Lindon, who has played a leading role in developing and implementing our ethics and integrity program over the past five years.  
Our beloved Senior Ethics Advisor, and Chair of both APSCA’s Disciplinary Board for Member Auditors and APSCA’s Disciplinary Board for Member Firms, Tim has decided to step away from these positions to pursue new interests.

Tim’s dedication and work in benchmarking efforts to help establish APSCA’s ethics procedures and disciplinary framework are unmatched. He provided advice and wisdom to both managers and directors in the Ethics Team by acting as a sounding board for new ideas, shaping advice for difficult cases, and playing a large role in continued program development.
We will be forever grateful for Tim’s many contributions.

As we move into a new era of disciplinary board structure and processes to best serve APSCA Members, we are able to build on the strong foundations in place that Tim helped establish over the past years. In the coming year, APSCA’s Ethics Team will be working to roll out updated processes, policies, tools and a refreshed Code and Standards of Professional Conduct that will be updated to address ethical issues and situations that our Member Auditors and Member Firms face in the everyday practice of the social compliance auditing profession.

We are extremely appreciative of the many efforts that Tim has made to promote APSCA’s Ethics program over the years and we wish him the very best in his onward journey!

Also in this this issue:
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The countdown is on to this year’s Annual Meeting of Members & Stakeholders! We look forward to seeing you at the November 16-17 event, whether in-person at the Coca-Cola offices in Atlanta, Georgia, USA or online.
The Agenda and registration  for our 2023 AMM are now available on the APSCA website. REMEMBER – When registering, please be sure to choose the correct registration type, as this year our event is both virtual and in-person. Unlike previous years, your registration type will affect the communications you receive for the event.
If you require a letter of invitation from APSCA to apply for a travel visa, submit your information through this form.
We look forward to seeing you in November!

The AAF is an important tool in APSCA’s journey to implement our 2030 Strategy, which focuses on the three strategic pillars of professionalism, future proofing and identity as we advance the social compliance auditing profession globally. We will keep you informed as to our strategy implementation progress via the newsletter and our website.
Phase two of the AAF will run from October 1, 2023, through January 1, 2025. During this time, the AAF of USD15 will be applied to all audits that meet the definition of a Social Compliance Audit, as outlined in our Glossary of Terms. 


APSCA’s communications team has been working hard to get more information out to Members and Auditor Firms via the user-friendly format of podcasts.
Check out our latest podcasts via the links:
Episode 11 – In Conversation with Be Slavery Free
Episode 10 – In Conversation with Stephanie Ragan 
Episode 9 – APSCA Overview from the Chair
Episode 8 – APSCA Future Direction with Rona Starr 

SUPPLY CHAIN:  A Four-Part Article Series by Craig Moss & David Kurz

A friendly reminder that after September 30, 2023, RA will no longer be an available level for APSCA Member Auditors.

On October 3, 2023, all RAs who have not sat and passed their Part III Exam will be moved to ASCA level until such time as they have successfully completed the exam with a score of 75% or higher. This includes auditors who have an exam booked.


Coming soon!
We are excited to share that Auditors sitting their Part I & II exams will soon have the opportunity to complete the exam at an in-house testing facility. With over 1,400 centers available across 110 countries, this is a wonderful development that will allow more seamless exam execution for our Auditors.
More information about the testing facilities, including locations, is available here.

New Administrative Suspensions – Improvements for Ethics Case

The APSCA Ethics Team has implemented an enhancement to APSCA’s investigation and disciplinary processes. Recently, administrative suspensions have been put in place to support efficiencies during case reviews.    

 Administrative Suspensions are only utilized should a Member fail to meet the expected deadlines put forth in communications from the Ethics Team as part of the investigation efforts or when the Disciplinary Board deems that alleged unethical behaviour is highly egregious and presents a possible danger to APSCA or the Social Compliance Auditing Profession at large. 

 When a Member Auditor faces an Administrative Suspension, their ability to conduct social compliance audits using their APSCA Member number for APSCA Member Firms will be immediately halted until the suspension is lifted. Suspensions will be communicated to all associated Member Firms when assigned.  Whenever possible, Administrative Suspensions for Member Firms will be applied regionally, with aim to address specific location or personnel engaged in unethical behaviour.

Collaborative Program Working Group – Inaugural Meetings 

APSCA’s Ethics Team have implemented a Working Group with Collaborative Programs. This moment marks a significant step forward in fostering a culture of ethical excellence within the social compliance auditing profession to standardize, professionalize and provide enhanced support to our Members. 

The primary purpose of our Working Group is to establish a platform where like-minded organizations can come together to share ideas, knowledge, and best practices. By doing so, we aim to identify gaps in our respective compliance programs and, most importantly, forge strong collaborations to address systemic ethical and integrity challenges within the industry. 

The first meeting focused on introductions determining mutual compliance program alignment and variations. Each participating organization generously shared insights into its existing processes, enabling us to create a solid foundation of collective knowledge.  Our second meeting led to the conceptual development of additional tools for data sharing and strategies to improve Ethics investigations across the board.   

The APSCA Ethics Team is confident regarding the possibilities of what lies ahead for this group. We believe that by collaborating effectively, we can significantly influence and shape the future of compliance programs in the social compliance profession. 

We also aim to improve processes and provide increasingly valuable support for APSCA Member Auditors and Member Firms. Together, we have the potential to raise the bar of ethical standards and drive positive change, ensuring a fair, safe, and sustainable environment for workers across the globe.  


If you have suggestions for us or would like to see certain topics in future issues, please email us at director@theapsca.org

Thanks for reading the latest APSCA Newsletter!

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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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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