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


Picture

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.

Picture

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.


Picture

(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

13/01/2019 - No Comments

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.

Picture

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

03/12/2018 - No Comments

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

28/10/2018 - No Comments

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

Picture

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 Newsletter – September 2018

27/09/2018 - No Comments

During September activities focussed on the launch of Part I of the Certified Social Compliance Auditor (CSCA) examination and the re-launch of the Audit Firm Approval Process. The Association’s President & CEO, Rona Starr commented “Implementation of the CSCA examination is a significant milestone for APSCA and critical to enhancing industry credibility. We remain confident APSCA membership and recognition via our CSCA examination program will become a key driver in auditor selection among all users of social compliance audits”

Our sustained auditor enrollment program has successfully increased our auditor base by some 200% since April 2018 with enrollments exceeding 2,850 during the month. Pending the re-launch of our Member Firm Approval process, existing Member Firms are encouraged to enroll their social compliance auditors early. Read more

Auditor Enrollments 
APSCA now have over 2850 Auditors who are fully enrolled.  We continue to be excited about the growth in our Auditor membership and encourage Member Firms to enrol your social compliance auditors, it is never too late.

We encourage our Member Firms to have their auditor’s 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 Member Auditors – Validation of Credentials
APSCA has now released the online function to enable the public to validate an APSCA Auditor’s Membership Number, Auditor Level, Membership Standing and identity via a photograph, by entering the SurnameFamily Name and APSCA Membership Number.

You will find the “APSCA Member Auditors” page here:  Member Auditors

This forms a notable resource for audit clientele and will further foster confidence in the credibility of our growing industry.

UPDATE: 2018 Annual General Meeting 
APSCA’s 2018 Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held:

Date:        4th December 2018
Time:       1:00pm – 4:00pm
Venue:     Holiday Inn Golden Mile
                  50 Nathan Road
                  Tsim Sham Tsui
                   Hong Kong

The formal attendance registration for this year’s AGM will be available on our website mid-October. All eligible participants will be advised via email.

September Executive Board Update
On 13 September 2018, our Executive Board met in Geneva, Switzerland to optimize our development pathway and determine detailed strategy and budget objectives for 2019 -2021. Emphasis was placed on enhancing legitimacy, sustaining growth and developing industry and organizational accountability while reiterating the overall goal of strengthening the professionalism, consistency and credibility of individuals and organizations performing social compliance audits.

Regarding the immediate future, our focus is on the launch of Part I and Part II of the Certified Social Compliance Auditor examination and the re-launch of the Audit Firm Approval Process.  In looking forward to 2019, we are pleased to define our key foundational objectives which focus on the recognition of auditor competencies, with the continued roll-out of the CSCA exam, and membership growth.  

Executive Board Meeting Geneva, Switzerland.

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 approval process will foster industry credibility and position our Members and CSCA’s as the trusted professionals of Social Compliance Auditing.  We appreciate this is taking a little bit longer than initially anticipated. However, all firms who have enquired will be notified as soon as it has been finalised and APSCA’s website will be updated.

Industry Happenings

BSR – Gender Equality in Social Auditing Guidance
On Thursday, 20 September, BSR published the Gender Equality in Social Auditing Guidance, outlining why and how gender considerations should be integrated into social auditing methodologies and processes. The Guidance is designed to provide perspectives and recommendations on how to best adapt existing auditing processes so that women’s issues are better surfaced as well as, how to explore alternative worker voice approaches to enhance or complement the process.

The guidance draws on and is a follow-up to BSR’s Gender Equality in Codes of Conduct Guidance, published in 2017.

Please also see the associated blog connecting gender sensitive auditing as a way to prepare for UNGPs gender dimensions!

ELEVATE CSR Asia Summit
CSR Asia, an ELEVATE company, hosted the CSR Asia Summit in Hong Kong on the 18th-19th of September. The summit bought together key stakeholders to share their knowledge and experience with the most effective sustainability practices. The focus of this year’s summit was the application of transparency, integrity and impact and how applying these processes across sustainability initiatives within businesses, communities and supply chains will enable growth and increase performance. 

APSCA was excited to participate in the discussion of “Global Trends in Responsible Sourcing 2018”. The panel exchanged views on:

  1. Forced Labor: Increased Attention and Legislation 
  2. Rationalising Industry Initiatives
  3. ESG Investments Becoming Mainstream
  4. Auditor Quality and Accreditation
  5. Technological Innovation and How Predictive Analytics are Reshaping the Future

From Left:  Ian Spalding (CEO, ELEVATE), Archana Kotecha (Liberty Global Asia), David Lawrence (Executive Director Aim-Progress), Rona Starr (President & CEO, APSCA).
Photo Credit: ELEVATE.

APSCA Newsletter – July 2018

08/08/2018 - No Comments

Increasing auditor enrolments during July provided exciting insight into the diversity of APSCA’s Membership, representing 62 different countries and 48 different languages

The significance of this reach and potential accessibility reflects a substantial opportunity to contribute to the improvement of workplace conditions throughout global supply chains. It is encouraging of our mission; to increase the value and effectiveness of independent social compliance audits by enhancing the professionalism, consistency and credibility of individuals and organisations performing them.

Auditor Enrolments
During July, Auditor enrolments increased substantially with over 2,600 Auditors now fully enrolled.

APSCA have also developed an online facility for the validation of Member Auditor credentials. The facility will be available via our website and is scheduled for release by Q4, 2018. This facility will allow public validation of an Auditor’s Level, Membership Number and Status and Identity (via a photograph) by input of the Auditor’s surname and APSCA Membership Number.  It will not provide a list of APSCA Member Auditors but allows the validation of individual Auditors.    

The online facility will form a notable resource for audit clientele and will further foster confidence in the credibility of our growing industry.

We encourage our Member Firms to have their auditor’s 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 CSCA Exam
Of the 2,600+ Auditors who have completed their online enrolment, 75% are ready to start the CSCA exam process and have been assigned the ‘Registered’ auditor level. These auditors are located in 62 different countries with advanced written language competency across 48 different languages.

As we prepare to start the written exams, we have identified that 95% of the auditors are covered by 11 languages with the remaining 5% representing 37 different languages. Ten languages were notably represented by a single auditor.

We are currently finalising the exam format and are completing a workplace assessment of the organisation identified to facilitate the exam process. 

The CSCA exam is on track for launch during Q4, 2018.

Account Administration
Auditor accounts and related Memberships are recorded independent of Member Firms. As such, an individual auditor’s account details and membership number stays with them wherever they work. 

Apart from adding or removing connection to a firm, account changes will only be accepted by notification from the Auditor. To this end, Auditors are reminded to keep their account details up-to-date with any changes to be emailed to the APSCA Data Administrator at data.administrator@theapsca.org.  It is recommended, Auditors provide an alternate (personal) email address in their profile by emailing data.administrator@theapsca.org if they have not already done so.  

Firms are encouraged to incorporate confirmation of ASPCA Auditor Membership during their onboarding processes to facilitate Auditor linking. Equivalently, firms should also develop an offboarding process to ensure severance of connections within the APSCA database as required. Member Firms should notify the Data Administrator of any changes to member connections via data.administrator@theapsca.org.

These measures are necessary to support the integrity of the information within the APSCA data system. This will allow accurate review of:  

  • Auditor examinations and results
  • Any allegations or confirmed breaches of adherence to APSCA’s Code of Professional Conduct
  • Status of membership fees 

My Auditors App
The APSCA My Auditors App has been released providing Member Firms with the ability to view their Auditors’ information and assigned auditor level. Member Firms are now requesting, if required, auditor level re-assessments via the APSCA review of auditor logs. This is in preparation for the CSCA exam which is expected for launch in Q4, 2018.

Member Firm Application Process Pilot
APSCA Membership engenders a commitment to continuously enhance the professionalism and credibility of the social compliance industry in accordance with the principles of our Code of Professional Conduct.

Respective of this commitment, APSCA have been focused on the development of an application process which will reinforce the values and professional integrity to which all APSCA Members have been endorsed and will continue to be held accountable.

A pilot application process is under evaluation with a further update to be provided in the August Newsletter.

CSR Asia Summit in Hong Kong | 18 – 19 September 2018

CSR Asia, an ELEVATE company, hosts CSR Asia Summit in Hong Kong this September. For the 12th year running, CSR Asia Summit is Asia’s leading event for bringing together key stakeholders to share knowledge and best practice in sustainability. This year’s programme explores how transparency, integrity and impact can be applied across sustainability initiatives within business, communities and supply chains to enable growth and drive performance. The Summit is expected to attract 500 delegates from 30 countries. 

In 2018, we are including a full track across the two-day Summit to address the responsible sourcing and supply chain management expertise of The ELEVATE Leadership Series – Hong Kong. 

Our President and CEO Rona Starr joins ELEVATE CEO Ian Spaulding for a key supply chain session, Global Trends in Responsible Sourcing 2018. In addition, APSCA Executive Board member and ELEVATE SVP, Dr. Kevin Franklin, will conduct responsible sourcing introductory training during pre-Summit training sessions on 17 September. 

Register soon – the early bird discount ends on 26 July! 

APSCA Newsletter – June 2018

24/07/2018 - No Comments

Auditor enrolments continued to grow with advancement of APSCA’s supporting processes including release of the My Auditors App. APSCA Director, Systems Management, Julie Shaw commented “The release of APSCA’s My Auditors App will enhance efficiencies of auditor administration for Member Firms. The app provides access to APSCA auditor accreditation; promoting professional development under APSCA’s Competency Framework.

APSCA Ethics & Integrity Program
Pursuant to our Strategy released earlier this year, the development of a credible and efficient Ethics and Integrity Program consistent with APSCA’s Code of Professional Conduct, has been a key priority. The development work for this important initiative commenced under the guidance of our Senior Advisor Tim Lindon and an external consultant.  In summary, our Ethics and Integrity Program will comprise four facets:
 
      1.    education, guidance and support to auditors and the industry; 
      2.    enforcement, investigation and sanction process of individual members; 
      3.    admission and sanctioning process for member firms; and 
      4.    internal APSCA compliance program.  

Each will further establish APSCA’s function as a professional membership body and enhance Member credibility respective of our core mission.

 
Auditor Enrolments
Auditor enrolments continue to grow.  We currently have over 2,100 auditors who have fully completed their enrolment process and have received their APSCA Member number. As part of the enrolment process, APSCA has reviewed and assigned auditor levels as per the Competency Framework.  Auditors are assessed as being either:

  • Associate Social Compliance Auditor (ASCA)
  • Registered Auditor (ready to sit the Certified Social Compliance Auditor (CSCA) Exam

Note:  Closing date for auditors to be enrolled in our system in order to participate in the initial round of the CSCA exam is 31 July 2018.

We encourage our Member Firms to have their auditor’s 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!
 
My Auditors App
As per APSCA’s May Newsletter, we have initiated the roll-out of the My Auditors App to designated Senior Managers of Member Firms.  This will enable Member Firms to view the information for all auditors associated with their firm who are either employed, subcontractor or freelance auditors and who have completed the on-line auditor registration process.    Member Firms are also able to view the assigned APSCA Auditor Level for each of their auditors.  Firms may also request a reassessment of an auditor’s level via the second pathway documented in the Competency Framework.  

Note:  Reassessment of levels is required to be completed as soon as possible to prepare for the initial round of the CSCA exam.

Please note that APSCA Member Firms are receiving the Auditors Membership number and Levels of their auditors via the release of the My Auditors App, they will be in a position to start sharing this information with you in the coming weeks, please liaise directly with your audit firm for this information.

 My Auditors App is being released over the next couple of months to designated Senior Managers of Member Firms. 

Member Firm Approval Process
As communicated earlier, the approval process for firm membership to APSCA is currently being reviewed and is on schedule to be released in Q3, 2018.  Once approved, pending applications, new applicants and current provisional members will be reviewed under this new process.

Combined Stakeholder & Executive Board Meeting | 4 – 6 June 2018
The Stakeholder & Executive Boards met both individually and jointly, hosted by WRAP in their offices in Arlington Virginia earlier this month to discuss the strategic direction of APSCA and to provide feedback and guidance. 

We had great attendance by our Stakeholder and Executive Boards with many participating via the teleconference.

From Bottom Left Clockwise:  Greg Gardner, Wesley Wilson, Randy Rankin, Rochelle Zaid, Jill Manata, Tim Lindon, Brendan Morrissey, Dan Murray, Pierre-Yves Dupont, Antonio Astone, Fred Waelter, Avedis Seferian. Not pictured but present at meeting:  Rona Starr, Laura Rubbo, Bernardo Cruza, Jonathan Ivelaw-Chapman and Andrew Martin.

Unleash Opportunity amfori Conference
Our President & CEO Rona Starr joined an insightful panel on defining and delivering audit integrity during the amfori – Trade with Purpose Unleash Opportunity Conference. Together with Richard Boele (KPMG), Andrew Leatuali’i Savini (Member Firm ELEVATE Global) and Christophe Liebon (Member Firm Intertek), the panel explored the challenges and opportunities faced by our growing industry. Under the guidance of moderator Federico Burlon (Impactt), panel members considered the need for increased transparency and reduction of audit fatigue through technological innovation.

From left:  Andrew Savini (ELEVATE Global), Rona Starr (APSCA), Richard Boele (KPMG), Christophe Liebon (Intertek) and Federico Burlon (Impactt).

Meetings on Capital Hill Washington DC
On 31 May APSCA and RBA, with the support from Paul Delaney from Kyle House, met with 9 people from various US government organisations, namely Department of State, Department of Trade, Department of Labour as well as the Democratic Ways and Means.   These discussions were very productive and we all learned a lot throughout our time together.

Our approach with each agency was very similar:

  • brief history of APSCA, why we formed, how we have grown,
  • brief history of the Social Compliance industry,
  • our plan for implementing the certification process and the 2 pilots that have occurred,
  • Kyle House presented APSCA as industry experts who they could come to as support in their work in the social compliance space.

We look forward to continuing these ongoing discussions throughout the year.

From left:  Wesley Wilson (APSCA Vice Chair Executive Board), Rona Starr (APSCA PresidentCEO) & Paul Delaney (Kyle House).

From left:  Wesley Wilson (APSCA Vice Chair Executive Board), Rona Starr (APSCA PresidentCEO) & Carlos Busquets (RBA).

APSCA Newsletter – May 2019

31/05/2018 - No Comments

During May, APSCA continued preparations for the implementation of the Certified Social Compliance Auditor (CSCA) examination. Through the CSCA program, APSCA aims to promote the role of the social compliance auditor and develop a workforce of committed, competent, experienced and ethical professionals. 

Enactment of the examination process reflects APSCA’s transition from a development to operational phase. 

Auditor Registrations
We are pleased to announce auditor registration advanced during May with 20 member firms having completed their registrations and many more in progress.  At this time 1,500+ auditors have completed their on-line registration.

We encourage our Member Firms to have their auditor’s subscribe to APSCA’s newsletter to stay up to date.

APSCA Members – Status Assessment
All Member Firms were recently contacted to advise that their membership status is currently being assessed against the following criteria in readiness for the implementation of the Certified Social Compliance Auditor (CSCA) exam and to prepare for APSCA’s 3rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) scheduled for December.

All Audit Firms must be in Good Standing with APSCA to:

  • Register auditors to sit any part of the CSCA exam
  • Nominate to run for a seat on the Executive Board at the AGM 
  • Vote for Executive Board Representative 

Definition of In Good Standing:
Audit Firm

  • 2018 Audit Firm Membership Fees paid.
  • All documentation signed and returned:
    • Confidentiality Framework Agreement (including Contractual Clauses)
    • Code of Professional Conduct 
  • Auditor information submitted to APSCA and Auditors commenced on-line registration.

Auditor

  • Completed on-line registration.
  • Auditor Registration Fee Paid (either by firm or individual auditor). 

Annual General Meeting
The date for audit firms to be in Good Standing for the AGM is 31 August 2018.
On 1 September, we will review the number of fully registered, employed auditors per member firm to determine Membership Category (e.g. A, B or C). All changes in Membership Category from 2018 level will be communicated to the audit firm. We will commence the AGM lead up process during the month of September based on audit firm categories as at 31 August 2018.

CSCA Examinations
We are preparing for the rollout of the CSCA Exam (Part 1 – Multiple ChoiceShort Answer) which is anticipated to begin in September.

Auditor information is being reviewed for all auditors who have completed their on-line registration, including their fees paid and assigning one of the two APSCA Auditor Levels:

  • Registered, which is eligible to sit the CSCA Exam
  • Associate (ASCA)

Please refer to the Competency Framework and Code of Professional Conduct for further details: 

Only those auditors who have the level of Registered AND are in Good Standing, will be eligible to sit the CSCA Exam. Please note the anticipated closing date for this will be 31 July 2018.

My Auditors App
APSCA are continuing to enhance Member benefits with the My Auditors App initiative targeting improved visibility of auditor registration and accreditation under the APSCA certification program. The app will be available to Member Firms whom have completed their on-line registrations. APSCA will contact these organisations directly to grant approved personnel access to the My Auditors App. This will allow Member Firms to see their auditors who have registered and assigned auditor level with APSCA.

Note:  Further assessment of an auditor’s level may be required pending Member Firm review.  

Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) Annual General Meeting
APSCA participated in the ASI Annual General Meeting which took place in Perth, Australia on 24 May 2018. This was a great opportunity to reinforce the relationship between ASI and APSCA.

“APSCA’s participation in the 2018 AGM Week helped raise understanding of APSCA’s work with our company and civil society members.  In a multi-stakeholder discussion about human rights challenges and opportunities, Rona Starr (APSCA President & CEO) described how APSCA is taking practical steps to enhance the professionalism and credibility of the social compliance industry.  In facing global human rights challenges relating to corruption, gender, labour rights, and the rights of Indigenous peoples, social compliance auditors can play a critical role alongside company culture and the willingness to learn and improve.  ASI appreciates the work of both APSCA and its members and is committed to supporting APSCA’s progress.” said Dr Fiona Solomon, ASI CEO.

ASI bauxite mine site visit. Photo credit:  Mark Wielga, NomoGaia

Auditor Certification Pilot
We are investigating the use of Third-Party Proctoring to execute the Multiple Choice Short Answer and Case Study examinations which are to be conducted on-line.  This will enable an efficient and cost-effective roll-out of the APSCA CSCA Examination.
Once a proctoring organisation has been selected a pilot will take place, with a view to roll-out of the examinations in Q3 2018.

Unleash Opportunity – Amsterdam, 13 June 2018
Unleash Opportunity is the leading conference dedicated to sustainable trade across Europe. Inspirational sessions on future global trends will meet practical workshops, the conference will provide tools to improve your daily supply chain operations and keep your business at the forefront of sustainable trade. 
 
Where: The Passenger Terminal, Amsterdam
When: 13 June 2018 

Featuring more than 20 breakout sessions, we will tackle a range of relevant issues including Chinese environmental regulations, engaging your suppliers towards maximum impact, the next industrial revolution ESG reporting, and more. 

Join these ground-breaking discussions, innovative solutions and cutting-edge tools to inspire you and keep you at the forefront of sustainable trade. ​

2018 Annual General Meeting4 December 2018, 1.00pm – 4.00pm | Hong Kong
While we will endeavor to accommodate all interested parties, seats will be limited necessitating an allocation for individual organizations.  Further details, including registration information, will be provided to members in due course. 

Out & About
Sedex and Australia Post Conference – 14 March 2018 – Melbourne, Australia
​One of our Member Firms, DQS,  Arta Beikzadah, was on a panel titled:  “How do we simplify responsible sourcing for small business in Australia”.  Arta introduced the 3 E’s.  Encouraging, Educating  and Expecting suppliers and employees.

APSCA

Our news and thoughts on the Social Compliance industry

Webinars

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