APSCA Newsletter May 2020

31/05/2020 - No Comments

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have an unprecedented impact on our industry. During this challenging time, we wish to reiterate our hopes for your continued health and safety. Should you require any assistance, we encourage you to reach out via email or connect with us via the links below.

Under the circumstances, we are pleased to report the sustained investment into Auditor certification has continued through strong participation rates in the CSCA examination program. Since commencement in 2018, over 4,000 exams have been administered and during May we reflect on the significant progress made to date. 

In correlation with continued growth in Auditor enrolments, we welcomed a new Audit Firm to the association this month, while two existing Member Firms achieved full membership status.

Further highlights are provided below. 

In this this issue:

  • APSCA’s Code & Compliance Manager Changes
  • CSCA Exam Part II Webinar
  • CSCA Examination Progress
  • Auditor Enrollment Summary
  • Member Firm Announcements
  • Disciplinary Board Results
  • Information and Support for Member Auditors
  • FAQs 
  • APSCA Out and About
  • Cancelled – Stakeholder Events for 2020

APSCA’s Code & Compliance Manager Changes

APSCA would like to announce that Bob Ansell is stepping down as our Code & Compliance Manager after dedicating almost two years to the development of APSCA’s Ethics & Integrity program.

Bob has played a pivotal role in the establishment and function of our Disciplinary Boards (Firm and Auditor) and on his departure we extend our gratitude for his work toward the realization of our shared mission.

As Bob steps down, APSCA are pleased to announce that Carol Rice has joined the team as our full-time Code & Compliance Manager.  Carol was most recently the Director of Global Compliance for Sears Holdings where she managed an international team of auditors and support staff across five countries.  She was responsible for enhancing and managing effective social and ethical compliance programs for the Sears, Kmart, and Lands’ End supply chains, including the investigation of integrity violations. 

Carol Rice Pic

Carol also created compliance and ethics training which was presented in annual workshops to associates, vendors, and factories in multiple countries.  

In addition to her years of working in social compliance, she also brings experience in factory and operational management, strategic and business planning, financial management, and communications.  Her education includes an MBA in finance and labor relations from Virginia Commonwealth University.  

We are excited to have Carol onboard. Carol is based in the US and can be reached via email at Carol.Rice@theapsca.org

CSCA Exam Part II Webinar

June Webinar Image

Join APSCA as we provide an overview of the various elements of the CSCA Exam Part II. Developed for exam participants, the webinar will share insights into the exam format and assist participants with preparations to provide the best opportunity for success.

While numbers are limited we are pleased to advise a recording of the webinar will be provided for access via APSCA’s website.

For those interested in attending, registration is essential. Details of the live webinar are provided below:

  • When? June 24, 2020
  • Time? 2:00pm – 3:00pm (USA – Pacific Time)
  • Where? Online via GoToMeeting – You must register to join.

Dial-in details to be shared with registered attendees closer to webinar date.
Registration via the link below.

More webinars to come in July, so please stay tuned!

CSCA Examination Progress

Since commencement of the CSCA Examination program in 2018, over 4,000 exams have been administered across Parts I – III with an overall pass rate of 78%. A summary of program participation and results to date can be downloaded via the link below.

For all CSCA Exams (Part I – III) auditors MUST confirm their eligibility BEFORE they schedule each exam. Please work with your Member Firm and follow the guidance in the Auditor Handbook to notify APSCA prior to enrolling to sit the exam. If you have attempted an exam and experienced IT issues, you need to inform APSCA that you are rescheduling your exam to have a new invoice raised.

CSCA Exams Part I and II available in four Languages  (English, Spanish, Simplified & Traditional Chinese).

CSCA Exam Part III interviews will commence scheduling shortly. Exams will be available in English, Spanish, Mandarin and Cantonese. 

Please note, in the event an Auditor does not achieve a pass mark for either Part I, II or III CSCA exam, the Auditor will be assigned to the Associate Social Compliance Auditor (ASCA) level. Upon  successful completion of the exam the Auditor will be re-assigned to the Registered Auditor (RA) level.

Auditors and Member Firms are encouraged to work collaboratively in preparation for each exam prior to the commencing the enrollment process. It is recommended, Auditors consult available materials to assist in their preparation, including the Auditor Handbook, Glossary of Terms and webinar recordings (available here).

Auditor Enrollments

During May, the total number of enrolled auditors increased to 4,471 (as of 27 May 2020). The enrolled Auditors comprise approximately 60% Registered Auditors, 39% Associate Social Compliance Auditors and 1% Certified Social Compliance Auditors.

Reminder of Upcoming Deadlines: As part of APSCA’s ongoing commitment to achieving our Mission of enhancing the professionalism and credibility of the industry, we have established deadlines to ensure that our Members operate in a level playing field, and have clear deadlines in which to sat exams to maintain their RA status.

Part I: Following our recent deadline of all Auditors who obtained RA Level Status prior to 1 November 2019, had a deadline to sit Part 1 by 31 March 2020, any RA level auditor who was advanced in one of the 4 languages that we offered the exam did not successfully complete the exam by 30 April 2020 was moved to ASCA level and will remain there until they sit and pass Part I.   Auditors who became a RA Level Auditor from 1 November 2019 onwards have 6 months to sit Part I from the date they became an RA, otherwise they will be moved to ASCA.  During 2021 we will launch additional languages.

Part II: Due to COVID-19 there is a change to the due date for Part II exam. Those Auditors who are advanced Chinese (Simplified or Traditional) and have successfully completed Part I must complete Part II by the end of September 2020 (or 3 months after completing Part I whichever is the latest).  If an Auditor is advanced in Spanish or English, they have until March 2021 to complete Part II or 3 months after completing Part I whichever is the latest.

Member Firm Announcements

We are pleased to welcome two full Member Firms, ABS Quality Evaluations Inc and APCER, along with our newest provisional Member Firm SCS Global Services. Congratulations to our newest APSCA Member Firms on your commitment to the realization of APSCA’s mission “To enhance the Professionalism and Credibility of individuals and organisations performing independent social compliance audits”.

FULL MEMBER FIRMS

PROVISIONAL MEMBER FIRMS

For information on Firm Membership definitions and how your Firm can commence the application process, please visit our website.   

 

As a reminder: ALL Member Firms who were accepted as an APSCA Provisional Member Firm prior to 2019, MUST reapply BEFORE June 2020.

If you are unsure if your firm needs to re-apply, please email director@theapsca.org

 

Disciplinary Board Results – Allegations and Sanctions

APSCA Member Auditors
APSCA’s Disciplinary Board met again early May to review three cases. To date, APSCA’s Ethics and Integrity team have addressed over 120 allegations against Member Auditors across several different Code violation classifications. A summary of allegations reflecting violations of APSCA’s Code and Standards of Professional Conduct can be downloaded via the link below.

Information and Support for Member Auditors

APSCA supports Member Auditors and future Members by providing important information on the APSCA website regarding membership, expectations, processes, and most importantly, how to comply with the APSCA Code and Standards of Professional Conduct.  Here is a reminder on where to find information on some common questions.   

What are the benefits of being an APSCA member, and what is the cost?
Refer to Membership Information.

What knowledge is required to become a Certified Social Compliance Auditor (CSCA)? 
Take a look at the Competency Framework.

What are the differences between the two levels of APSCA Auditor Membership?
This too is found in the Competency Framework.

What constitutes unethical practices? 
Refer to the APSCA Code and Standards of Professional Conduct.

How does APSCA respond to reported allegations of unethical behavior?
Refer to FAQS under “Ethics”.

If you are unable to find answers to any of your questions on our website, please email director@theapsca.org.

FAQs

Check out APSCA’s FAQ page – it has been recently updated.

Don’t see a question / answer you’re looking for? Contact us at director@theapsca.org.

APSCA Out and About

Please note that due to the global impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, APSCA have postponed or cancelled all travel. Updates on any future travel will be provided as soon as practicable. Please visit our Out and About page for updates from some of our Member Firms on what they are doing to support the industry during this time.

In seeking to further support our Members, we also welcome you to tell us how your organization and auditors are navigating today’s dynamic work environment.  It is our intention to share these insights across our media channels to foster industry collaboration and unite our community during this difficult period. Please send responses to director@theapsca.org .

Cancelled - APSCA Stakeholder Event for 2020 (Germany and Thailand)

Unfortunately due to the global impacts of COVID-19, APSCA have resolved to cancel the Stakeholder Events which were due to be held in Germany (June) and Thailand (August).

Further announcements on additional Stakeholder Events planned for 2020 will be made in due course.

APSCA Newsletter April 2020

30/04/2020 - No Comments

As the COVID-19 pandemic persists, we echo our hopes for your continued health and safety. 

The situation is subject to ongoing monitoring by our team and apart from Stakeholder Events, we are pleased to report APSCA remains fully operational. Should you require any assistance, we encourage you to reach out via email or connect with us via the links below.

During April the CSCA program formed a core focus with yet another record month of exam scheduling.  Further updates are provided below

In this this issue:

  • Disciplinary Board Update
  • Provisional Member Announcement
  • APSCA’s New Certification Coordinator
  • Cancelled – APSCA Stakeholder Events
  • Membership Application Process
  • Coming Soon – Resources Library on APSCA Website
  • CSCA Examination Update
  • Auditor Enrollment Summary
  • FAQs
  • APSCA Out and About 

Disciplinary Board – Allegations and Sanctions

APSCA Member Auditors
During April, allegations received for 2020 increased by 15% with new reports of bribery, corruption and misuse of the APSCA Member numbers. To date, APSCA’s Ethics and Integrity team have addressed over 120 allegations across eleven (11) violation classifications. Of these allegations there have been thirty (30) cases resulting in the enforcement of sanctions.

A full summary of allegations and substantiated cases related to Member Auditors can be downloaded via the link below.

Provisional Member Announcement

Congratulations to our newest APSCA Member Firm, Primus Auditing Operations on your commitment to the realization of APSCA’s mission “To enhance the Professionalism and Credibility of individuals and organisations performing independent social compliance audits”.

For information on Firm Membership definitions and how your Firm can commence the application process, please visit our website.   

Applicants

As APSCA continues to receive applications from interested organizations looking to gain membership, we want to share the number of new and re-applications under review/processing at this time. 

Note, the duration of an applicant’s review period can be delayed for one reason or another (often for reasons not in APSCA’s control), but on average we find applications take anywhere from 3 – 6+ months to process prior to being put forward to the Executive Board. 

An overview of the current number of applicants and the processing time of these applications is provided below.

APSCA’s New Certification Coordinator

APSCA are pleased to announce the appointment of our new Certification Coordinator, Shannon McNulty.  Shannon joins APSCA with experience as an auditor in the social compliance auditing space and enjoys spending time with her family and horses. Shannon is based East Coast USA and can be reached via email at shannon.mcnulty@theapsca.org.

Cancelled - APSCA Stakeholder Event for 2020 (Germany and Thailand)

Unfortunately due to the global impacts of COVID-19, APSCA have resolved to cancel the Stakeholder Events which were due to be held in Germany (June) and Thailand (August).

Further announcements on additional Stakeholder Events planned for 2020 will be made in due course.

Membership Application Process

APSCA’s Audit Firm Membership Application process was formally released in November 2018. Details can be found on our website.  All applications should be sent to applications@theapsca.org.

Important Reminder - Member Firm Deadline June 2020

ALL Member Firms who were accepted as an APSCA Provisional Member Firm prior to 2019, MUST reapply BEFORE June 2020.

If you are unsure if your firm needs to re-apply, please email director@theapsca.org

Coming Soon – Resources Library on APSCA Website

APSCA is developing a Resources Library on the website to improve accessibility to reference documents (including available translations) for our Members and Stakeholders. These will include the likes of the Competency Framework, our Code & Standards of Professional Conduct, Glossary of Terms and Use of APSCA Number (Member Auditor Guide) and a Member’s Disciplinary Guide.

These documents are being translated into Spanish, and Chinese (Simplified / Traditional) and will be posted as they are finalized. We encourage you to stay tuned for news on when this page has been published via the newsletter. In the meantime, available documents are posted on the website and are publicly accessible via theapsca.com/about-us.

If there are additional resources you would like APSCA to consider for future inclusion in the library, please express your interest to director@theapsca.org  – we welcome your input! 

CSCA Examination Update

During April, examination rates continued with sustained momentum from March as the total number of Auditors having passed Part I reached 2,247, 618 Part II and 41 Part III. 

Across Part I and II, some 14% of exams scheduled for 2020 (to date) were not completed due to participant forfeiture (failure to present for exam) and or IT issues. Results of completed exams are summarized below.

CSCA - Part I Exam Results

A total of 946 CSCA Part I exams have been completed during 2020 with a pass rate of 84%
Results of completed exams are provided below.

CSCA - Part II Exam Results

A total of 699 CSCA Part II exams have been completed during 2020 with a pass rate of 75%.
Results of completed exams are provided below.

For all CSCA Exams (Part I – III) auditors MUST confirm their eligibility BEFORE they schedule each exam. Please ensure you follow the guidance in the Auditor Handbook to notify APSCA prior to enrolling to sit the exam. If you have attempted an exam and experienced IT issues, you need to inform APSCA that you are rescheduling your exam to have a new invoice raised.

CSCA Exams Part I and II are available in four languages (English, Spanish, Simplified & Traditional Chinese).

CSCA Exam Part III interviews anticipated to commence scheduling during May. Exams will be available in English, Spanish, Mandarin and Cantonese.  We are finalising the scheduling process which has proven to be more complicated than Part I and II.

Auditor Enrollments

During April, the total number of enrolled auditors increased to 4,437 (as of 30 April 2020). The enrolled Auditors comprise approximately 59% Registered Auditors, 40% Associate Social Compliance Auditors and 1% Certified Social Compliance Auditors

Changes to Auditor Status – April  

Leading up to March 2019 APSCA communicated to all auditors and audit firms, a 31 March 2020 deadline which required all Registered Auditor (RA) level auditors who identified as advanced in at least one of four languages (English, Traditional, Simplified Chinese, Spanish) of which the Part I exam is available in, must have successfully completed the exam in order to maintain their RA level. Due to COVID-19, APSCA extended this deadline to 30 April. Any auditors who met this criteria and did not have an exam scheduled during April were moved from RA to ASCA, and will remain there until such time until they successfully complete Part I, at which time they will be moved back to RA.  This update impacted approx. 314 auditors.  

Reminder of Upcoming Deadlines

Part I: Those Auditors who have become RA Level 1 from November, 2019 onward have 6 months to sit Part I, otherwise they will be moved to ASCA.

Part II: Those Auditors who are advanced in one of the 4 languages and have completed Part I, have to complete Part II by the end of September 2020 (or 3 months after completing Part I whichever is the latest).

FAQs – Helpful Resources on the Website

Be sure to check out APSCA’s updated FAQ page. Have a question We’ve got answers here.  

Don’t see a question / answer you’re looking for? Contact us at Director@theapsca.org.

APSCA Out and About

Please note that due to the global impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, APSCA have postponed or cancelled all travel. Updates on any future travel will be provided as soon as practicable. Please visit our Out and About page for updates!

In seeking to further support our Members, we also welcome you to tell us how your organization and auditors are navigating today’s dynamic work environment.  It is our intention to share these insights across our media channels to foster industry collaboration and unite our community during this difficult period. Please send responses to director@theapsca.org.

APSCA Newsletter March 2020

31/03/2020 - No Comments

As the COVID-19 pandemic grips the world, we at APSCA wish to extend our thoughts to you and your families. While this situation presents unprecedented challenges for all, we acknowledge these are particularly difficult for our Members and all those working within the social compliance audit industry.

As a global organisation, APSCA’s remote working arrangements remain unchanged during this time. However, all work-related travel has been suspended until further notice and Stakeholder Events scheduled for 2020 are currently on hold.

It is important to note, with the exception of industry events, APSCA’s primary functions remain fully operational and we are still available to assist you. Please reach out via email or connect with us via the links below.

In seeking to further support our Members, we also welcome you to tell us how your organization and auditors are navigating today’s dynamic work environment.  It is our intention to share these insights across our media channels to foster industry collaboration and unite our community during this difficult period. Please send responses via the link below.

In this this issue:

  • Disciplinary Board Update
  • New APSCA Website Live
  • Stakeholder Board Appointment
  • CSCA Examination Update
  • Auditor Enrollment Summary

Disciplinary Board – Allegations and Sanctions

APSCA Member Firms
The Disciplinary Board for Member Firms met in March to review one case that resulted in the issue of a warning. This is the third warning issued to a Member Firm, with each required to submit a corrective and preventative action plan to APSCA for review and subsequent monitoring by APSCA’s Code & Compliance Manager.

APSCA Member Auditors
Since 2017, APSCA’s Ethics and Integrity team have addressed over 120 allegations. A summary of allegations can be downloaded here

In the News

CEO and President of WRAP and Chair of APSCA’s Executive Board, Avedis Seferian addressed the challenges facing the sourcing industry as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Writing in the Sourcing Journal [24 March 2020], Avedis commented  “With consumer demand for clothing plummeting as a result of directives limiting social movement, we are seeing major brands and retailers cutting back on orders, with reverberations being felt all through the supply chain. And for those buyers who are still able to proceed, the question of how they can inspect their vendor facilities is a pressing one, as those same directives are making it impossible for auditors to visit factories in large swaths of the world”.

Read the full article here.

New APSCA Website Live

In late 2019, APSCA were made aware of website accessibility issues affecting certain countries. Following further investigation, a solution was identified and we are pleased to report our new website is now live.

Please note the website address has not changed. The new website can be viewed at www.theapsca.org.

Stakeholder Board Appointment

During February, we were pleased to welcome Magali Martowicz as a Stakeholder Board member. Magali is Sedex’s Director of Responsible Sourcing. She is passionate about making a genuine difference in the lives of workers and brings 12 years of responsible sourcing experience with her. 

Read more about Magali here.

Cancelled - APSCA Stakeholder Event for 2020 (Germany)

Unfortunately due to the global impacts of COVID-19, APSCA have resolved to cancel the Stakeholder Event which was to be held at Cologne, Germany during June.

Further announcements on additional Stakeholder Events planned for 2020 will be made in due course.

Coming Soon – Resources Library on APSCA Website

APSCA is developing a Resources Library on the website to improve accessibility to reference documents (including available translations) for our Members and Stakeholders. These will include the likes of the Competency Framework, our Code & Standards of Professional Conduct, Glossary of Terms and Use of APSCA Number (Member Auditor Guide) and a Member’s Disciplinary Guide.

These documents are being translated into Spanish, and Chinese (Simplified / Traditional) and will be posted as they are finalized. We encourage you to stay tuned for news on when this page has been published via the newsletter. In the meantime, available documents are posted on the website and are publicly accessible via theapsca.com/about-us.

If there are additional resources you would like APSCA to consider for future inclusion in the library, please express your interest to director@theapsca.org  – we welcome your input! 

Membership Application Process

APSCA’s Audit Firm Membership Application process was formally released in November 2018. Details can be found on our website.  All applications should be sent to applications@theapsca.org.

Important Reminder - Member Firm Deadline June 2020

ALL Member Firms who were accepted as an APSCA Provisional Member Firm prior to 2019, MUST reapply BEFORE June 2020.

If you are unsure if your firm needs to re-apply, please email director@theapsca.org

CSCA Examination Update

Despite sustained impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, rates of examination during March were encouraging. Auditor progression through the CSCA program was bolstered by strong pass rates for the Part II exam – further increasing the cohort of Auditors advancing to the final stage in obtaining their CSCA status.

To date a total of 2,062 Auditors have passed Part I, 483 Part II and 41 Part III. Examination rates during 2020 are forecast to exceed 2019 totals by the end of April; as at the close of Q1 2020, Part I and Part II exam completions reflected 69% of 2019 totals. 

Part I Exam Results

A total of 733 CSCA Part I exams have been completed during 2020 with a pass rate of 84%.  Results of completed exams are provided below.

CSCA Exam Part II

A total of 512 CSCA Part II exams have been completed during 2020 with a pass rate of 75%. Results of completed exams are provided below.

For all CSCA Exams (Part I – III) auditors MUST confirm their eligibility BEFORE they schedule each exam. Please ensure you follow the guidance in the Auditor Handbook to notify APSCA prior to enrolling to sit the exam. If you have attempted an exam and experienced IT issues, you need to inform APSCA that you are rescheduling your exam to have a new invoice raised

CSCA Exams Part I and II are available in four languages (English, Spanish, Simplified & Traditional Chinese).

CSCA Exam Part III interviews anticipated to commence scheduling during May. Exams will be available in English, Spanish, Mandarin and Cantonese.  We are finalising the scheduling process which has proven to be more complicated than Part I and II.

Auditor Enrollments

During February, the total number of enrolled auditors increased by just under 100 to 4,394 (as of 30 March 2020). The enrolled Auditors comprise approximately 66% Registered Auditors, 33% Associate Social Compliance Auditors and 1% Certified Social Compliance Auditors.

FAQs – Helpful Resources on the Website

Be sure to check out APSCA’s updated FAQ page. Have a question We’ve got answers here.  

Don’t see a question / answer you’re looking for? Contact us at Director@theapsca.org.

APSCA Out and About

Please note that due to the global impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, APSCA have postponed or cancelled all travel. Updates  on any future travel will be provided as soon as practicable.

Sign up for APSCA News

Keep up-to-date with all the latest news and
promotional offers at APSCA