APSCA Newsletter August 2019

30/08/2019 - No Comments

During August, APSCA continued to focus on the development of the final phase of the CSCA Examination process pending the Part III Pilot scheduled for October. The advancement of this process is expected to deliver the first Certified Social Compliance Auditors (CSCA) by year end. 

APSCA also welcomed two new provisional Member Firms during the month while Auditor enrollments posted a 40% year on year growth.

The Disciplinary Board held its first meeting for the revision of five cases comprising allegations of improper use of an APSCA number, improper payment and the falsification of audit reports. The outcomes of the meeting, including approved sanctions are provided below. 


Provisional Member Announcement
We are pleased to welcome two new provisional Member Firms; TUV NORD Certification and Omega Compliance Limited. Congratulations 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.

Disciplinary Board – First Meeting Results
APSCA’s Disciplinary Board held its inaugural meeting on August 19.  The five-person Board includes representatives from the Executive and Stakeholder Boards, plus our Senior Advisor Ethics & Integrity who acts as the Chair, and an Independent Member.  The Board’s role is to adjudicate cases where an individual member of APSCA is alleged to have violated APSCA’s Code & Standards of Professional Conduct.  If it finds a violation, the Board may impose sanctions ranging from a written warning to suspension or revocation of APSCA membership.
 
At its first meeting, the Board reviewed five cases.  The allegations ranged from improper use of an APSCA number, to improper payments, to falsification of audit reports.  The Board substantiated the allegations in four of the five cases, revoking the auditor’s APSCA membership in two cases, and approving a written warning in the other two.  The member auditors subject to these sanctions have been notified of the Board’s actions and will have the opportunity to seek review before APSCA’s Appeals Board.

​​The Disciplinary Board generally relies on investigations conducted by Member Firms, though APSCA has the authority to conduct an independent investigation when necessary.  Auditors subject to allegations are notified and given 30 days to respond or submit evidence.  The Disciplinary Board is an important part of APSCA’s Ethics & Integrity Program.  Its effective functioning brings greater credibility to APSCA and its certification program.


Updated – Code & Standards of Professional Conduct
APSCA’s Code & Standards of Professional Conduct (English) were updated during August with the new version available on our website – click here to view.  The amendments succeed a series of updates executed during July to ensure consistency and integration with our broader policy framework.

Translated versions in Spanish, Simplified and Traditional Chinese are expected to be released during September. 

In response to the updates, we have received several queries with common questions now addressed on the FAQ page of our website and summarized below:

  • The Code is applicable to ALL APSCA Member Firms and Member Auditors. The additional Standards are considered to apply to all Members whom executed the Code of Professional Conduct on joining APSCA. 
  • The Code articulates the expectations of our Members and client requirements cannot lower these expectations.  As an APSCA Member you are held accountable to the Code.
  • Registered Level Auditors (RA) have the rights, responsibilities and obligations of a CSCAs. This means that wherever you see CSCA written throughout the Code a RA can fulfil this role during the roll-out period.
  • An ASCA auditor conducting an audit on their own without the support of a RA/ CSCA will face disciplinary action as this is a violation of the Code and Standards.
  • “Signing off” on an audit report means the APSCA Member Auditor puts their APSCA Member Number on the audit report with their applicable “pre-fix” RA, CSCA – the review process and other steps are to be followed.

Still have questions? See our website for more FAQs or contact us at director@theapsca.org


Join Us! APSCA Webinars – September 4 & 5, 2019 
To help keep you informed on the latest updates regarding exams and APSCA’s Code & Standards, APSCA is hosting  informational webinars September 4/5. Topic and times below. For those interested in attending, please register using the link provided. We hope you can join us – all are welcome! 

Note: Topic covered is the same for each webinar, but offered across various time zones. 

  • Topic: APSCA CSCA Exams Part I-III and Code & Standards Updates 
  • When? September 4 / 5 across various time-zones (see below for specific details)
  • Where? Online webinar via JoinMe – Dial-in details will be shared with enrolled attendees. 
  • Cost? Free online webinar 
  • Duration: 90 min. 

Available Times: 

  • 13:00-14:30 (Pacific Time; Sept. 4) / 6:00-7:30 (Aussie Time; Sept. 5) – Country Region Covered USA/UK
  • 20:00-21:30 (Pacific Time; Sept. 4) / 13:00-14:30 (Aussie Time; Sept. 5) – Country Region Covered Australia/NZ/Asia/India
  • 1:00-2:30 (Pacific Time; Sept. 5) / 18:00-19:30 (Aussie Time; Sept. 5) – Country Region Covered UK/Europe/India/Asia

Click Here to Register


CSCA Exam Part I
A total of 1,253 CSCA Part I exams have been completed to date with a pass rate of 80%. Of the four language offerings, English and Chinese (simplified) comprise the majority of completed exams.

Since examinations commenced, approximately 200 scheduled exams have not been completed. Of these 200 incomplete exams, some 31% were due to participant forfeiture (failure to present for exam) and 48% due to IT issues.

CSCA Exam Part II
As APSCA continues to advance the auditor certification program the focus shifted toward the soft launch of Part II CSCA exam in Spanish and Simplified Chinese in August.  A total of 98 CSCA Part II exams have been completed, with a pass rate of 67%. Since examinations commenced, 9 scheduled exams have not been completed with half being due to participant forfeiture (failure to present for exam).
  

Part II is now eligible for booking in English – Chinese / Spanish to come shortly!  As always, be sure to check with your Member Firm to confirm eligibility and exam payments before scheduling.

The Exam team are in the process of reviewing all questions to improve in preparation of a full launch in the coming months.

CSCA Exam Part III Pilot 
As APSCA continues to advance toward Auditor certification we are excited to announce we will be piloting the third and final portion of the CSCA exam late October.  
Accordingly, our first CSCA’s will be presented at the AGM and Stakeholder Event in December. Member Firms with eligible auditors have been notified about the process.


APSCA Auditor Enrollments
During August, the total number of enrolled auditors reached over 3,827 reflecting 40% year on year growth.


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


FAQs – Helpful Resources on the Website  
Be sure to check out APSCA’s newly 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 


Our monthly newsletter now reaches over 2,300 subscribers each month! We encourage our Member Firms to have their auditors subscribe to APSCA’s newsletter to stay up to date 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.

APSCA Newsletter July 2019

31/07/2019 - No Comments

Key membership metrics continue to strengthen as APSCA welcomed two new provisional Member Firms in July. The Stakeholder Board was reinforced with the addition of a new independent representative while the Disciplinary Board prepare for their first meeting in August.

Stakeholder Board Appointment
During July, we were pleased to welcome Mr Mark Spears as an independent Stakeholder Board member. After nearly thirty years at The Walt Disney Company where Mark served in a number of senior business roles ranging from finance and strategic planning to corporate responsibility and sustainability. He now devotes his efforts to promoting positive environmental and social change. Read more about Mark here.


Provisional Member Announcement
We are pleased to welcome two new provisional Member Firms; NSF International and Global Sustainable Certification Services Ltd. Congratulations 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.


Save the Date – APSCA Annual General Meeting & Stakeholder Event
Experience a day of discussion, discovery, learning and networking with industry peers at APSCA’s Annual General Meeting December 11, 2019 in Shenzhen, China. 

Registration for the event is expected to open in September. Further details to follow in our August newsletter.

Disciplinary Board – First Meeting
APSCA’s Disciplinary Board will meet on the 19th August 2019 with its first review of cases.
Further information will be provided as each case progresses.


Updated – Code & Standards of Professional Conduct
APSCA’s Code & Standards of Professional Conduct (English) were updated during June with the new version available on our website – click here to view. 

Translated versions in Spanish, Simplified and Traditional Chinese to follow. Stay tuned! 

As you can imagine with anything new we have received a number of questions and requests for clarification of updates. These are summarized below and have also been updated on our FAQ page of the website.

  • Yes, the Code is applicable to ALL APSCA Member Firms and Member Auditors. Each member signed at the time of joining.
  • The Code articulates the expectations of our Members and client requirements cannot lower these expectations.  As an APSCA Member you are held accountable to the Code.
  • Registered Level Auditors (RA) have the rights, responsibilities and obligations of a CSCAs. This means that wherever you see CSCA written throughout the Code a RA can fulfil this role during the roll-out period.
  • An ASCA auditor conducting an audit on their own without the support of a RA/CSCA will face disciplinary action as this is a violation of the Code and Standards.
  • “Signing off” on an audit report means the APSCA Member Auditor puts their APSCA Member Number on the audit report with their applicable “pre-fix” RA , CSCA – the review process and other steps are still to be followed.

Still have questions? See our website for more FAQs or contact us at director@theapsca.org.


CSCA Exam Part 1
A total of 1,148 CSCA Part I exams have been completed to date with a pass rate of 79%. Of the four language offerings, English and Chinese (simplified) comprise the majority of completed exams.

Since examinations commenced, approximately 170 scheduled exams have not been completed with some 52% due to participant forfeiture (failure to present for exam) and 34% due to IT issues.

August Soft-Launch Language CSCA Exam Part II (Spanish and Simplified Chinese) 
As APSCA continues to advance the auditor certification program the focus is shifting toward the soft launch of Part II CSCA exam in Spanish and Simplified Chinese in August. Results and details from the language soft launch will be provided our next month’s newsletter.

APSCA Auditor Enrollments
During July, the total number of enrolled auditors reached over 3,700 with strong growth continuing from Q2 2019.

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

 
FAQs – Helpful Resources on the Website  
Be sure to check out APSCA’s newly 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  
August  8:  AAFA Traceability Seminar – Minneapolis, MN (USA). If you are attending this event, please connect with APSCA’s President & CEO Rona Starr who will be presenting in the morning.


Our monthly newsletter now reaches over 2,200 subscribers each month! We encourage our Member Firms to have their auditors subscribe to APSCA’s newsletter to stay up to date 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.

APSCA Newsletter June 2019

30/06/2019 - No Comments

​During June, CSCA Part I examinations continued with a strengthening pass rate (78%) across the four language offerings. Audit Firm Membership was bolstered by the welcoming of three new provisional Member Firms while auditor enrollments realized a 68% year on year increase.

CSCA Exam Part 1
With a total of 836 exams completed to date, pass rates for Part I of the CSCA examination increased to 78% during June. Performance across the three language offerings remained strong with the  breakdown of successful participants by exam language comprising (approximately):

  • English 52%
  • Chinese (Simplified) 43%
  • Spanish 4%
  • Chinese (Traditional) 1% 

Pilot CSCA Exam Part II (English)
Cumulative pass rates from Part II of the CSCA examination demonstrated a slight decline during June to 66%.

Participants demonstrated strong competency across the following  foundational skills and functional knowledge areas

  • Harassment and Abuse Practices
  • Management Systems
  • Forced Labour
  • Freedom of Association
  • Discrimination and Disciplinary Practices 

Areas for improvement included:

  • Appropriate use of APSCA member number
  • Underage labor
  • Wages, benefits and terms of employment
  • Working Hours and Overtime
  • Problem Solving and Analytical

To enhance exam performance, applicants are strongly encouraged to:

  • review the Auditor Handbook prior to the examination and 
  • carefully follow question instructions

APSCA Auditor Enrollments
During June, the total number of enrolled auditors reached over 3,500 to realize a 68% year on year increase (from June 2018). 

Updated – Code & Standards of Professional Conduct
APSCA’s Code & Standards of Professional Conduct (English) were updated during June with the new version available one our website – click here to view. 

Translated versions in Spanish, Simplified and Traditional Chinese to follow. Stay tuned! 

Provisional Member Announcements
We are pleased to welcome three new provisional Member Firms; ABS Quality Evaluations IncAPCER and QIMA Limited. Congratulations 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.

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

 
Membership Reminders [Action Required]

Member Firms
All existing members need to reapply by June 30, 2020.
 
Member Auditors
If you are a “Registered Level” auditor and have not submitted your audit log, you must ensure this is completed by no later than July 30, 2019.

Don’t wait until the last minute!  Get in early!  
 
For more information email KellyJo.Potts@theapsca.org

 
FAQs – Now Available 
Be sure to check out APSCA’s newly 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 

 
Events
June proved to be a very busy month for APSCA with representatives attending several events to further promote our global mission.

As a collaboration between audit firms, auditors, stakeholders and audit consumers, these events continue to strengthen our connection to industry and allow APSCA to better service our growing membership.

Be sure to connect via APSCA’s official LinkedIn and Twitter accounts to stay up to date!

Left: As well as providing an insightful snapshot of emerging trends in sustainable trade, the amfori – Trade with Purpose #unleashopportunity conference provided a forum to gather past and present members of our Executive Board. Top Right:  At the Sino-German Sustainability Summit hosted by TUVRheinland. Bottom Right: Stakeholder Board meeting hosted by The Walt Disney Company headquarters (Burbank, California).

 
Member Firm and Auditors – Dates to Remember 
30 July 2019: Audit logs to be provided to APSCA for review to validate and maintain Registered Level Auditor (RA) 

ALL “Registered” (RA) Level auditors already in APSCA’s data system who have not submitted an audit log must provide their signed audit log to validate their APSCA level per the due date above. Should an audit log not be received, the auditor will be re-assigned to the level of ASCA.

As a reminder, ASCA auditors can NOT audit on their own, they must be accompanied by a RA level auditor.  Refer to APSCA Code of Professional Conduct and Competency Framework.  Any questions please contact us at: director@theapsca.org 

 
Questions? Send them here.

 
Our monthly newsletter now reaches over 2,000 subscribers each month! We encourage our Member Firms to have their auditors subscribe to APSCA’s newsletter to stay up to date 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.

Share with my colleagues!

APSCA Newsletter May 2019

31/05/2019 - No Comments

During May, completion of the CSCA Part I Examination increased substantially with results continuing to demonstrate improving pass rates. Outcomes of the Part II Examination pilot were also positively received and key learnings are currently under assessment for pilot scaling.

APSCA’s President & CEO commented “The advancement of APSCA’s Auditor Certification Program reinforces our commitment to the improvement of audit integrity and comprehension.  I envisage certification will form a major consideration for auditor selection where consumers are seeking credibility of audit outcomes”

CSCA Exam Part 1
Participation rates for Part I of the CSCA examination increased significantly during the month. 788 exams have been completed to date with an overall pass rate of 75% reflecting a 3% increase on April.

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APSCA Auditor Enrollments
Enrollment growth continued during May to reach 3,445 Auditors. Approximately 17% have successfully completed Part I of the CSCA Examination where forecasts indicate this will exceed 20% by June end. 

Executive Board Updates
It is with much disappointment we farewell Fred Waelter from our Executive Board. Fred has made an outstanding contribution to the establishment of APSCA’s positive trajectory and we are most grateful for his support.

In fulfillment of the Executive Board opening we are pleased to welcome  Angie Weikel – Global Quality Assurance Manager, Audits & Inspections and Quality Assurance Manager, Responsible Sourcing at UL.

Angie offers a wealth of industry experience and knowledge in delivering responsible sourcing solutions. Her understanding of the challenges presented by dynamic and global supply chains will be fundamental to APSCA’s mission to enhance the professionalism, consistency and credibility of social compliance audits and auditors. 

 
Reminder – New Firm Membership Application Process
APSCA’s Audit Firm Membership Application process has been formally released with details available via the link below. All applications should be sent to applications@theapsca.org.

Reminder: All existing members also need to reapply – get in early! For more information email KellyJo.Potts@theapsca.org.

FAQs – Now Available 
Be sure to check out APSCA’s newly 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 

  
Member Firm and Auditors – Dates to Remember 
30 July 2019: Audit logs to be provided to APSCA for review to validate and maintain Registered Level Auditor (RA) 

ALL “Registered” (RA) Level auditors already in APSCA’s data system who have not submitted an audit log must provide their signed audit log to validate their APSCA level per due date above. Should an audit log not be received, the auditor will be re-assigned to the level of ASCA.

 
Where We’ll Be – APSCA Out and About

  • May 29-30: APSCA Executive Board Mtg. – Northbrook, IL (USA)
  • June 4-5: APSCA Stakeholder Board Mtg.  – Burbank, CA  (USA) 
  • June 17-19:  Amfori Conference – Belgium

Our monthly newsletter now reaches over 1,990 subscribers each month! We encourage our Member Firms to have their auditors subscribe to APSCA’s newsletter to stay up to date 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.

APSCA Newsletter April 2019

30/04/2019 - No Comments

​During April, the development of APSCA’s Auditor Certification Program formed a core focus. Part II of the CSCA Examination was piloted with results informing process optimisation ahead of a soft launch scheduled for early June.

Participants of the CSCA Exam Part I continued to maintain a strong pass rate during the month while April realised a 5% increase in auditor enrollments since December 2018.   

CSCA Exam Part 1 
Participants have maintained a strong pass rate during Q1 with the rate of exam completion and scheduling increasing substantially.


​Pilot CSCA Exam Part II (English) 

As APSCA continues to advance the auditor certification program the focus is shifting toward the soft-launch of Part II CSCA exam in early June. In anticipation, a pilot was completed during April with results currently subject to review. Further details will be provided in the May Newsletter.

 
APSCA Auditor Enrollments
Auditor enrollments continued to increase during the month, reflecting a growth of approximately 5% since December 2018. 


Executive and Stakeholder Board Updates
It is with much disappointment we announce the resignation of Jan Saumweber from the APSCA Stakeholder and Executive Boards.  Despite her short appointment, Jan has been instrumental in supporting our strategic plan; imparting a legacy which will continue to foster our mission well beyond her tenure. 

We also farewell Bernardo Cruzo, Wesley Wilson and Elizabeth (Betsy) Borelli. Bernado and Wesley were founding members of the Stakeholder Board established in 2015 while Betsy joined in 2017 (Wesley also held a role on the Executive Board between 2016 – 2018). Each were fundamental to the growth and advocacy of APSCA during the Association’s formative years. 

In replacement of our departing board members we welcome :

  • Brendan Morrissey – Director for Governance on the Responsible Sourcing Team at Walmart and
  • Todd Nash – Director of Responsible Sourcing at The Home Depot.

​Please visit our website to read more about our newest Stakeholder Board Members with details on further expansion expected during June. 


In Case You Missed It 

ProctorU APSCA Case Study
During April, ProctorU (APSCA’s independent exam proctor) released a case study on APSCA’s auditor examination process. The case study ‘How Online Proctoring Beats In-Person Exam Administration to Securely Certify Social Compliance Auditors’, provides insight into the rationale behind APSCA’s examination format and process. Importantly, ProctorU outlines measures to preserve exam integrity with APSCA’s President and CEO Rona Starr commenting “The more credibility that we can build and demonstrate to the people that are asking for APSCA certified auditors, the better for us as an industry association”.

Watch Rona Starr, explain how remote proctoring through ProctorU is helping APSCA scale its certification exams process, save costs, increase prevention of integrity breaches and provide evidence of breaches that did occur. 


Reminder – New Firm Membership Application Process
APSCA’s Audit Firm Membership Application process has been formally released with details available via the link below. All applications should be sent to applications@theapsca.org.

Reminder: All existing members also need to reapply – get in early! For more information email Kelly.Jo@theapsca.org 


FAQs – Now Available 
Be sure to check out APSCA’s newly 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 

Where We’ll Be – APSCA Out and About 
May1: NBC Universal 2019 Global Brand Standards Summit – Denver, CO (USA) 

Our monthly newsletter now reaches over 1,900 subscribers each month! We encourage our Member Firms to have their auditors subscribe to APSCA’s newsletter to stay up to date 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.

APSCA Newsletter – March 2019

28/03/2019 - No Comments

At the cessation of Q1, we are pleased to announce significant progress toward the realization of APSCA’s 2019 strategic plan.

March capitalized on the recent acceleration of the auditor certification program with APSCA’s new Certification Coordinator to continue enhancement of exam scheduling and coordination from mid-April. Part II of the CSCA exam is set to move toward the forefront of piloting ahead of a soft-launch early-June.

CSCA Exam Part 1
Participants have maintained a strong pass rate during Q1 with the rate of exam completion and scheduling increasing substantially.


Pilot CSCA Exam Part II (English) 
As APSCA continues to advance the auditor certification program the focus is shifting toward the soft-launch of Part II CSCA exam in early June. In anticipation, a number of tests are scheduled to commence during April.

We look forward to sharing the learnings and feedback in the next Newsletter. 

Reminder – New Firm Membership Application Process
APSCA’s Audit Firm Membership Application process has been formally released with details available via the link below. All applications should be sent to applications@theapsca.org.

See Firm Application Process Here


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APSCA’s New Certification Coordinator 

APSCA would like to announce that Essie Grant has joined the APSCA Team
​as the Certification Coordinator.

Essie Grant joins APSCA after 4 years with the Foxconn Corporation where she worked as a Safety Coordinator and Global SER Manager and also attained certifications as a Labor, Ethics, Environmental, Health and Safety Auditor. As a graduate of The University of Virginia at Wise, Essie holds a degree in the French language and enjoys spending time with family and going to the gym. 


APSCA Auditor Enrollments
Auditor enrollments increased during the month, following updates to the auditor registry during February which resulted in the attribution of an ‘inactive status’ for approximately 170 auditors. 

Where We’ll Be – APSCA Out and About 

  • Mar 26 – 27: Sedex Conference – London
  • Mar 28-29: APSCA Executive Board Meeting – London 

Our monthly newsletter now reaches over 1,800 subscribers each month! We encourage our Member Firms to have their auditors subscribe to APSCA’s newsletter to stay up to date 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.

APSCA Newsletter – February 2019

28/02/2019 - No Comments

February realized strong progress in APSCA’s 2019 Strategic Plan with the auditor certification program buoyed by the successful piloting of Part 1 of the CSCA examination in Simplified Chinese and Spanish.

Growing demand for the certification program has supported the offering a new Certification Coordinator’s position while we celebrate the achievements and contribution of our retiring Director of Systems Management and APSCA Founding Member / Executive Board Secretary.

Language Soft Launch Exam – CSCA Exam Part 1 (Simplified Chinese/Spanish) | Jan 23 – 25, 2019 
During January, APSCA hosted a Language Soft Launch Exam, piloting Part 1 Multiple Choice examination questions in simplified Chinese and Spanish. 49 auditors from 30 firms, participated in the pilot with an overall pass rate of 84%. In addition, the pilot provided further opportunity to optimize the examination process as we prepare for the launch of the CSCA Exam Part 1 (simplified Chinese and Spanish) by Q1 end.

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In consultation with ProctorU (our exam service provider), our leadership team have compiled feedback from participating auditors and audit firms to identify means of enhancing examination efficacy and participant experience. Separately results of the examination have provided initial insight into auditor strengths and development opportunities. The following have been noted as the average top 5 areas of opportunity and strength.  
Top 5 areas of opportunity

  • Business legitimacy and integrity of records
  • Use of APSCA number
  • Data Collection & Analysis
  • Freedom of Association and effective recognition of the rights to collective bargain
  • Discrimination and disciplinary practices

Top 5 areas of strength

  • Self-management
  • Working Hours and Overtime
  • Underage Labour
  • Interview Skills
  • Communication, relationship management and conflict resolution

Areas of opportunity should form the focus of professional development for auditors and audit firms. For more information regarding these areas, please refer to APSCA’s Competency Framework.


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(In photo (left to right) at ProctorU onsite pilot: Kara Chan, Rona Starr, Kelly-Jo Potts and Tara Holeman)

Now Available – New Firm Membership Application Process
APSCA’s Audit Firm Membership Application process has been formally released with details available via the link here.

APSCA Leadership Team Changes
It is with great disappointment, we share news of Julie Shaw’s retirement. Since September 2016, Julie has been a driving force in APSCA’s growth and development. As Director of Systems Management, Julie has established critical processes which underpin the integrity of the Association’s function. During her tenure, Julie notably enrolled over 3000 auditors and onboarded 32 audit firms reinforcing a substantial foundation for sustained membership growth. On behalf of our members we extend our sincere thanks to Julie for her significant contribution to APSCA’s mission.
 
APSCA’s President & CEO, Rona Starr commenting “On behalf of the Executive Board, I extend our tremendous gratitude to Julie for her efforts over the past 2.5 years. APSCA’s development is testimony to Julie’s commitment, foresight and attention to detail. I wish her the best as she enjoys retirement with her husband.”

APSCA Auditor Enrollments
During February, auditor enrollments continued to increase with net growth offset by the attribution of an ‘inactive status’ for approximately 170 auditors.

The status of enrolled auditors is regularly updated to maintain the currency of APSCA’s auditor registry. An auditor may be assigned an ‘inactive’ status where the auditor has become dissociated from an Audit Firm and or fails to respond to communications regarding continuing membership.

The recent revision of auditor status’ serves as a timely reminder –  Member Auditor accounts are recorded independent of Member Firms. As such, an individual auditors account details, and membership number stays with them wherever they work.  
 
Account changes will only be accepted through notification from the Auditor.  Auditors should email the APSCA Data Administrator at data.administrator@theapsca.org, with any  requested changes.  It is also good practice to share an alternate (personal) email address to be maintained on the Auditors profile.
 
Firms are encouraged to incorporate confirmation of ASPCA Auditor Membership during their onboarding processes on new auditors to facilitate Auditor being linked with applicable Member Firms. Firms should also develop an off-boarding process to ensure detachment with the APSCA database as required. Member Firms should notify the Data Administrator of any changes to member connections via data.administrator@theapsca.org.

WFSGI General Assembly and Annual Meeting (Jan 30 – Feb 6)
Our President & CEO, Rona Starr was honored to present at the recent WFSGI (Worldwide Federation of Sporting Goods IndustryCorporate Responsibility Working Group and General Assembly. The event provided an opportunity to share APSCA’s progress and plans for 2019 and beyond.  Engagement from the 100+ attendees was positive with interest from both social compliance audit providers and consumers alike. 

About WFSGI
WFSGI is the world authoritative body for the sports industry officially recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the industry representative within the Olympic Family.

WFSGI are a valuable member of APSCA’s supporting stakeholder network having committed their support via APSCA’s Support Statement  and further encouraged the execution of their social compliance audits by APSCA Member Firms.

APSCA Now Hiring!
Looking to join a dynamic and growing group? Explore the latest job opportunity with APSCA as Certification Coordinator. To learn more about this role and apply, visit here.

Where We’ll Be – APSCA Out and About
 
Mar 13 – 14: Responsible Fashion Summit – Sydney
Mar 26 – 27: Sedex Conference – London

Our monthly newsletter now reaches over 1,700 subscribers each month! We encourage our Member Firms to have their auditors subscribe to APSCA’s newsletter to stay up to date 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.

APSCA Newsletter – December 2018

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During December we held our 2018 Annual General Meeting for resolution of Board nominations and operational review. The event provided an opportunity to extend thanks and appreciation to our Executive and Stakeholder Boards for their leadership and guidance through 2018; a year marked by unprecedented growth and development.

Further, the Board would like to thank our Members for their continuing support and dedication to the realization of APSCA’s mission. We are confident in your carriage of our vision for 2019 and look forward to supporting your work through enhancement of the professionalism, consistency and credibility of the independent social compliance audit industry.

Annual General Meeting 2018 Update
APSCA’s 2018 Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held in Hong Kong on 4 December with over 140 in attendance. The event reflected on achievements across the 3 pillars of Validation, Governance and Processes and Systems.  Read the address from APSCA’a President & CEO, Rona Starr here.

Addressing the formal resolutions of the AGM, APSCA welcomed the following new Board Members:
Executive Board

  • Greg Gardner (Arche Advisors, Inc.)
  • Richard Ingrao (Accordia Global Compliance Group, Inc.)
  • Darrell Doren (ELEVATE) (replacing Kevin Franklin)
  • Effie Marinos (SGS) (replacing Pierre-Yves Dupont)
  • Jan Saumweber (Walmart) (Stakeholder Board representative)

Special thanks were extended to Pierre-Yves Dupont, Kevin Franklin, Antonio Astone and Wesley Wilson, for their great contributions to the development and growth of the Association.

APSCA Executive Stakeholder Boards From Left Back Row: Rajan Kamalanathan, Richard Ingrao, Antonio Astone, Christian Ewert, Dan Murray, Christophe Liebon, Randy Rankin, Frank Dorssers, Jonathan Ivelaw-Chapman. From Left Front Row:  Rochelle Zaid, Avedis Seferian, Effie Marinos, Jan Saumweber, Pierre-Yves Dupont, Greg Gardner, Rona Starr. Absent from photo:  Darrell Doren, Fred Waelter, Laura Chapman Rubbo, Bernardo Cruza, Elizabeth Borrelli, Wesley Wilson.
See more from the AGM here

2018 Membership Snapshot – Auditor Enrollments
The substantial increase in auditor enrollments during the year has further reinforced APSCA’s position as the independent social auditing industry association. Now exceeding 3200, APSCA’s Member Auditor base embodies a geographically and ethnically diverse population.

APSCA President & CEO commented: “Respective of market demand, industry commitment has escalated since ASPCA’s formation. The augmentation of auditor enrolments is considered a direct reflection of this response; increasing by some 200% since April 2018 to reach over 3,200 fully enrolled auditors as at the end of December 2018 from over 40 Audit Firm Members. Further, our auditor base spans across more than 93 countries with more than 45 different languages confirming such commitment is widespread and demanding of APSCA’s international presence.”

Download our 2018 Membership Snapshot

CSCA Exam Part 1 
Following optimization of the examination process considering key pilot learnings, APSCA
held a Pre-Launch 3-4 October 2018 and a Soft Launch 12-24 November 2018.   119 Auditors from 39 of our Member Firms participated in these events which reflected a major milestone in our strategic plan. The launch saw a 71% pass rate with 22 participants unable to complete the examination due to IT or poor internet issues.

 
Discover the development of the CSCA Exam from pilot to launch!

The full launch began 17 December 2018 commencing with over 130 auditors enrolled to sit Part 1 of the exam.  We will hold a soft launch for Part 1 of the exam in Simplified Chinese and Spanish late January 2019 with an anticipated full roll-out late Quarter 1, 2019.  We have provided monthly allocations for each Member Firm for this initial phase of implementation

Our monthly newsletter now reaches over 1,500 subscribers each month! We encourage our Member Firms to have their auditors subscribe to APSCA’s newsletter to stay up to date 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.

Share with my colleagues!

New Firm Membership Application Process
APSCA’s new Firm Membership Application process has been formally released and details can be found on our website.

All applications should be sent to applications@theapsca.org.

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Seasons Greetings from the APSCA Team!

From Left: Julie Shaw (APSCA Director Systems Management), Kerrie Baylis (APSCA Data Administrator), Kelly-Jo Potts (APSCA Member Services Manager) & Rona Starr (APSCA President & CEO)


APSCA Newsletter – November 2018

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During November, the CSCA Exam (Part 1) Soft Launch reflected the culmination of an extensive development and piloting program. The exam is considered a significant milestone in the realization of our mission and will reinforce competencies considered critical to the function of a Social Compliance Auditor.

We are also excited to introduce Kelly-Jo Potts as our Member Services Manager.  As our Member base continues to grow, Kelly-Jo’s diverse industry experience will further strengthen delivery of APSCA’s services in support of our Auditors and Audit Firms.

During our upcoming AGM we look forward to reflecting on a positive year and sharing with you, our vision for 2019 and beyond: “Building credibility, promoting trust”

APSCA Member Firm Applications
The Member Firm Application process was released to those firms who have previously contacted APSCA enquiring about membership at the end of October.  Details, including the Application Form and costs, will be posted on our website after our Annual General Meeting in December.
CSCA Exam Part 1 – Soft Launch 22 – 24 November
The CSCA examination is recognized as a critical means to enhance the credibility of our Member Auditors. The examination has been in development for some 12-months with recent optimization through piloting. During November we held the first scaled launch; 103 Auditors from 39 of our Member Firms participated in the event with 87 successfully completing the exam.
 
Discover the development of the CSCA Exam from pilot to launch!

The full launch is scheduled to begin 17 December 2018 and many of our Member Auditors already scheduling their on-line exam.

Our monthly newsletter now reaches over 1,500 subscribers each month! We encourage our Member Firms to have their auditors subscribe to APSCA’s newsletter to stay up to date 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.
Share with my colleagues!

APSCA Member Services Manager
APSCA would like to announce that Kelly-Jo Potts has joined the APSCA Team as the Member Services Manager.

Kelly-Jo Potts is a corporate social responsibility (CSR)/social compliance and marketing professional who has worked with businesses, service providers, and stakeholders to drive safer and improved working conditions for supply chain workers, globally. With over 9 years in a variety of CSR and marketing roles in London and Los Angeles, Kelly-Jo understands the challenges and opportunities in social compliance.  Prior to joining APSCA, she spent the last couple of years engaging independently with various organizations including helping manage and support social compliance, worker well-being, and sustainability related projects for clients, some of which include, the Social & Labor Convergence Project, The Economist Intelligence Unit, MANAUS Consulting, and Fortune 500 companies.

Kelly-Jo is fluent in Spanish and English and holds a BA in political science with a minor in Spanish from Saint Mary’s College of Moraga, California.Kelly-Jo will manage activities associated with the onboarding of new members (Firms and Auditors) and CSCA exam enrollments.  

Please join us as we wish Kelly-Jo a warm welcome to the team!  Kelly-Jo’s contact email is Kellyjo.potts@theapsca.org

​APSCA Annual General Meeting
APSCA will be hosting our 2018 Annual General Meeting on 4 December in Hong Kong – we are excited to have more than 125 registered participants.  We would welcome all interested parties to hear of our 2018 successes and plans for 2019 and beyond.  Participation by Members (Firms and Auditors) is voluntary and is open to all interested parties.

Venue:  Holiday Inn Golden Mile
               50 Nathan Road
               Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Date:    4 December 2018
Time:    1300 – 1600
Cost:      Nil

Download the agenda here.

Intertek – Ethical Sourcing Forum New York City 

Intertek hosted a half-day roundtable discussion with industry experts around some of the critical issues in the supply chain. Topics discussed included:

  • Actions and learnings from expansion into in-depth Modern Slavery and Forced Labor issues in the supply chain 
  • Ways in which companies are successfully launching Mutual Acceptance Recognition Programs 
  • Updates from APSCA and other industry insights

From Left: Avedis Seferian (WRAP President & CEO and APSCA Executive Board Chair), Betty Kluchinsky (The Walt Disney Company), Brian Kramer (PepsiCo), Christian Ewert (amforiBSCI).

From Left:  Rachelle Jackson (Arche Advisors), Ross Nova (LL Bean), Kenneth Kennedy (Homeland Security Investigations Forced Labor Program).

APSCA Newsletter – October 2018

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During October we were pleased by the successful completion of our CSCA Examination Pilot. Key learnings will support optimization of the examination process and further inform a soft-launch scheduled for mid-November.

Respective of market demand, industry commitment has escalated since APSCA’s formation. The augmentation of auditor enrollments is considered a direct reflection of this response; increasing by some 235% since April 2018 to reach over 3,000 fully enrolled auditors during October.

2018 has delivered key outcomes across our strategic initiatives, and as we move into Q4, we are well positioned to realize the broad suite of objectives across our validation, governance, and processes & system pillars.

Auditor Enrollments 
Auditor enrollments exceeded 3,000 during October reflecting a growth of some 235% since April 2018.
Our monthly newsletter now reaches over 1,400 subscribers each month! We encourage our Member Firms to have their auditor’s subscribe to APSCA’s newsletter to stay up to date here


APSCA Annual General Meeting

We are pleased to announce details of our 2018 Annual General Meeting. Participation by Members (Firms and Auditors) and applicants is voluntary.

Venue:  Holiday Inn Golden Mile
               50 Nathan Road
              Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Date:    4 December 2018
Time:    1300 – 1600
Cost:      Nil

If you haven’t registered to participate at the Annual General Meeting please do so below by 15 November 2018.

CSCA Exam Part 1 – Pilot Update
During October, APSCA held a small pilot to evaluate the Auditor Handbook, enrolment process with our third-party proctoring organisation and the exam content. The pilot was offered to 16 auditors in English. We were very pleased with the results and had some wonderful learnings on both sides (Auditor and APSCA).Download Pilot Update Here

Member Firm Approval Process
APSCA has been working for the last few months on enhancing the application process for audit firms wishing to join APSCA and are now in the final stages of the re-launch. This updated application process will be launched in the next couple of days to those audit firms who have previously applied.  We will launch this via our website for others commencing early December.  This updated approval process will foster industry credibility and position our Members and CSCA’s as the trusted professionals of Social Compliance Auditing.  We understand this took a little bit longer than initially anticipated and appreciate your patience. Audit firms will receive an email from us in the next couple of days laying out the process.  APSCA’s website will be updated in time for the wider launch early December.

Intertek – Ethical Sourcing Forum New York City 
Join us at Intertek’s upcoming Ethical Sourcing Forum event on November 6th, 2018 in New York City.

Intertek is excited to announce a complimentary half-day roundtable discussion with industry experts around some of the critical issues in the supply chain. Join us in person or online to hear industry experts on topics including: 

  • Actions and learnings from expansion into in-depth Modern Slavery and Forced Labor issues in the supply chain 
  • Ways in which companies are successfully launching Mutual Acceptance Recognition Programs 
  • Updates from APSCA and other industry insights. 

Rationalizing Harmonization: The Apparel Industry Needs a Framework for Compliance 
Avedis Seferian (CEO – WRAP and APSCA Executive Board Chair) has written an article on the need to rationalize the harmonization efforts crowding the social compliance space.  Please see the article which was published by the Sourcing Journal. Download Article

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Intern – Emma Youngman
APSCA would like to farewell and wish all the best to our intern Emma Youngman. Emma has been working closely with our CEO and Director on many projects over the last couple of months. She has been helping with our monthly newsletters, configuring statistics for the upcoming AGM and assisting in the process of uploading the new exam.
Emma is studying a Bachelor of Global Studies, which requires her to undertake an internship where she can observe and experience the processes of globalization in the workplace. She has a great passion for human rights and upon graduating wishes to work in the humanitarian sector. 

We thank her for the work she completed over the last few months and wish her all the best in her degree and future career.  ​


APSCA Job Opportunity – Member Services Manager
APSCA is expanding and looking for a talented person who shares our purpose of enhancing the professionalism and credibility of the social compliance industry.  You would be working full-time with a dynamic group, from anywhere in the world, reporting to the Director Systems Management.

Interested?  If so, please see more details to apply here.

APSCA

Our news and thoughts on the Social Compliance industry

Webinars

APSCA Webinar – June 24, 2020 
To help keep you informed on the latest updates regarding exams, APSCA hosted an informational webinar in June on Part II – CSCA Exam.

The webinar presentation is provided below for your reference as well as the following:

  • Recording of the PPT – Part II Exam (webinar): Click HERE to view
  • PDF of PPT – Part II Exam (webinar): HERE (and below)
  • Part II Exam Guide (PDF): HERE (and below)
  • PDF of Q&A Summary:  HERE (and below)

APSCA Webinars – September 4 & 5, 2019 
To help keep you informed on the latest updates regarding exams and APSCA’s Code & Standards, APSCA hosted informational webinars September 4/5.

The webinar presentation is provided below for your reference as well as the following:

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