Newsletter May 2017

30/05/2017 - No Comments

New Member Firm
APSCA is pleased to announce another new member firm: Verner Wheelock Associates Limited.  This takes our membership to 23.
​ W
e welcome Verner Wheelock and look forward to their contribution moving forward.


New Sedex Representative on Stakeholder Board
Jonathan Ivelaw-Chapman (CEO, Sedex Group) has joined the Stakeholder Board representing Sedex.  Sedex are committed to APSCA’s mission to enhance the professionalism and credibility of the individuals and organisations performing independent social compliance audits. 

Welcome Jonathan! 

Sedex Responsible Sourcing Conferences
In April May, APSCA participated in the three Sedex Conferences held in London, Shanghai and Sydney.
hese presented great opportunities to talk and network with a range of stakeholders in the industry and to promote the benefits membership to APSCA brings.  Brands were particularly interested in understanding APSCA’s work and the credibility it will bring to social compliance auditors via the certification process. 

Rona Starr (APSCA) presenting at the Sedex Conference in April in London, UK.

Amy Yan (SGS) supported Rona Starr (APSCA) at the Sedex Conference in May in Shanghai, China.

Sedex Conference in May in Sydney, Australia. 
Left to Right:  Richard Boele (KPMG Australia), Rona Starr (APSCA), Andrew Martin (Foreign Trade Association),
​David Mullen (Simplot Australia).

Intertek Ethical Sourcing Forum
APSCA were proud to participate at the Intertek Ethical Sourcing Forum in New York on 5 May to share and discuss APSCA’s progress towards the development of a certification process for social compliance auditors.  Our panel was made up of members from both our Executive and Stakeholder Boards.

Left to Right:  Rona Starr (APSCA), Wesley Wilson (Walmart), Avedis Seferian (WRAP), Laura Rubbo (The Walt Disney Company), Greg Gardner (Arche Advisors), Christophe Liebon (Intertek).  Photo taken by David Schilling (ICCR).

​Annual Members’ Meeting – Social Labor Convergence Project
The Social & Labor Convergence Project is facilitated by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC).  The Annual Members’ Meeting was held in Bangalore, India in May which was attended by APSCA’s Executive Board Chair, Avedis Seferian and Tara Holeman, APSCA Working Group 1 member. 
The Sustainable Apparel Coalition’s vision is of an apparel, footwear, and home textiles industry that produces no unnecessary environmental harm and has a positive impact on the people and communities associated with its activities.

Avedis Seferian (APSCA Chair) and Tara Holeman (Working Group 1 member) presenting at the Annual Member’s Meeting in Bangalore, India.

To receive up-to-date information regarding APSCA and our work in progress ensure you sign-up to receive our newsletter and follow us on LinkedIn if you haven’t already!  

Newsletter April 2017

28/04/2017 - No Comments

New APSCA Members
APSCA’s Executive Board are pleased to announce the acceptance of 3 new member organisations, bringing APSCA’s membership to 22.  The new members are Counter Human Trafficking Compliance Solutions, Extensive Standard Technical Services Co., Limited (ESTS) and Openview Service Limited.    

These new members have demonstrated the competencies required via an application process, Third Party Due Diligence and an interview, to ensure all members are professional organisations which meet APSCA’s standards.

APSCA is very excited to be growing at this pace, having 9 founding members in August 2016 and growing to 22 in April 2017.

Please join us in welcoming our new members!


New Stakeholder Board Member
APSCA is pleased to announce that Betsy Borrelli, Senior Vice President & Partner – FleishmanHillard New York has joined APSCA’s Stakeholder Board.

Elizabeth (Betsy) Borrelli has more than 20 years of global experience focused on issue, reputation and crisis management. This includes stakeholder engagement, communications and corporate social responsibility. She is known for creating strategic alliances and mobilizing, leading and managing multi-stakeholder groups and internal cross-functional teams in addressing complex issues and initiatives. Her work has spanned across the consumer product, pharmaceutical, apparel, airline and financial services sectors.  

Industry Meetings
APSCA’s Executive Director was privileged to be invited to present “What’s New Within APSCA” at both the Sedex Stakeholder Forum and AIM-Progress meeting, held in London in early April.

Rona Starr, Executive Director APSCA, presenting at the AIM-Progress Meeting (photo taken by Transitional Media.

We also participated in two very informative sessions hosted by KPMG.  The first was held in the House of Lords in London and later that day in the KPMG offices in London.  These sessions focussed on Human Rights – Risk to People or Risk to Business?    Both events started with an informative opening by Lord Dr Hastings of Scarisbrick with reflections by various people including Richard Boele (Head KPMG’s Global Business & Human Rights Network).

For access to “Addressing Human Rights in Business, Executive Perspectives”  click the link below:

Addressing Human Rights in Business – Executive Perspectives

Closing out the week, APSCA participated in a working session with 20 other organisations, hosted by Consumer Goods Forum focusing on Forced Labour. 

We are very excited about the opportunities to meet, hear what others are working on and discussing ways in which we can work together for the greater good of our industry and to improve the overall lives of those which we come into contact with.

Lord Dr Hastings of Scarisbrick CBE, Global Head of Corporate KPMG
and Rona Starr, Executive Director APSCA.

APSCA Milestones
In February we published our milestones for how we were going to achieve our goal of establishing a certification process for Social Compliance Auditors.  We have been tracking very successfully towards that goal, however, as we continued to make progress we realised the need to make a few changes to our plans.  Our enhanced milestone goals see us taking all 3 Working Groups out to Public Comment in June, instead of our original plan of going individually – starting in March.  So whilst it may be perceived as having missed a major milestone, this change will actually see us finalise earlier than anticipated. We are very grateful to our Working Group members as well as our Consultation Group members for their continued participation and feedback, which sees us grow and succeed.

Below are our updated High Level Milestones or refer to our website

To receive up-to-date information regarding APSCA and our work in progress visit our website Ensure you sign-up to receive our newsletter and follow us on LinkedIn if you haven’t already! 

Newsletter March 2017

21/03/2017 - No Comments

Human Rights Outlook Report 2017
Verisk Maplecroft is an internationally recognized source of human rights data, research and consultancy services who have been working in the field for 10+ years.  Recently they published a Human Rights Outlook Report for 2017.  Following is the link to that report

Verisk Maplecroft Human Rights Outlook Report for 2017
Earlier this year they requested an interview from APSCA to understand what we believed to be wrong with social audits, what we were trying to do as an organization and how our auditor certification program will work.  Please see the results of that interview in Section 1 of the report.
APSCA aims to certify the first round of auditors in January 2018, beginning with three to five major countries.  Our Working and Consultation Groups have been making great progress in defining the prerequisites, skills and competencies that a social auditor should hold and the relevant auditor level to which they will be accredited. 

Working Groups’ Update
The three working groups have made great progress since work began last year.   The published project plans had us going to Public Comment for the various working groups independently (with Working Group 1 due to go to Public Comment this month), but as we were nearing the completion of this work and obtaining feedback, it was determined it would be more effective if we held back and went to Public Comment with a complete package.
 APSCA are now moving to engage experts in the human resources field to take the information completed thus far by the working groups and to consolidate.  Then we will start the process of socialising this work and calling on the Working / Consultation Groups for feedback.   This will then be shared with the Executive Board in early May.
 We are currently working on our modified High Level Milestones for each of the working groups and this will be uploaded to our website shortly.  APSCA is still moving ahead at a great pace to meet our longer term desired outcome to formalise the accreditation process for APSCA registered auditors and ensuring we develop a framework to professionalise the social compliance auditing industry.

February 2017 Newsletter

23/02/2017 - No Comments

Social & Labor Convergence Team Meeting
In February, Avedis Seferian (APSCA Chair) and Rona Starr (APSCA Executive Director) had the opportunity to meet and spend a few hours working with the Social and Labor (S&L) Convergence Project Team in Amsterdam.  The focus of this meeting was to continue the conversation about how APSCA and S&L can work closely and to begin developing a framework to articulate the expectation of our business relationship.  While the two initiatives are quite distinct in their core missions, the discussion explored areas of common interest and intersection, with avenues of partnering for mutual benefit emerging. More to come on this front in the coming months.


From Left to Right:  Avedis Seferian (APSCA Chair), Baptise Carriere-Pradal (VP-EU, SAC), Rona Starr (APSCA Executive Director), Janet Mensink (S&L Convergence Project Director), Christian Smith (S&L Convergence Project Manager).

Working Groups’ (WG) UpdateThe three working groups continue to make progress and are committed to their project plans.  As we stay focused on our overall desired outcome of “creating a license to operate” for social compliance auditors, similar to CPA for Accounting or the BAR for legal, our working groups are hard at work.
WG1 (Identify Categories) – Presented a framework document to both the Consultation Group as well as WG2.  Once finalized, WG2 will define auditor competencies required to identify / verify during a social audit.  The framework document contains a list of categories which occur in social audits.  Feedback has been received from the Consultation Group, WG2, the Executive & Stakeholder Boards.  All feedback is being incorporated into the next draft which will be shared for public comment in March 2017.

WG2 (Identify Auditor Levels Auditor Competencies) – Presented preliminary Auditor Levels with definitions to the Consultation Group as well as the Executive & Stakeholder Boards.  All feedback is being incorporated and the pre-requisites to obtain each level are being defined.

WG3 (Develop a Professional Code of Conduct) – After much benchmarking, WG3 have developed and presented the preliminary Code of Professional Conduct to the Consultation Group and are in the process of incorporating the feedback. 
To receive up-to-date information regarding APSCA and our work in progress visit our website Ensure you sign-up to receive our newsletter and follow us on LinkedIn if you haven’t already! 

December 22, 2016

21/12/2016 - No Comments

Celebrating Our First 100 Days It has been 100 days since APSCA kicked off full time…. and as the saying goes….. success or failure is made in the first 100 days.  

In the spirit of Christmas, we would like to take a moment and thank you for being part of APSCA and ask you to join us in celebrating our success.  Below are 6 of our 2016 achievements and our top 3, 2017 goals.

2016 Achievements:

  • Implementation of objective Membership Process
  • Increased membership from 9 to 17 firms
  • Working Groups well established 
    • Roadmap/ Projects Plans complete for working groups 1 and 3 (working group 2 not far behind)
  • General Meeting with the following achievements held 1-3 November:
    • Election of the Executive Board, including Chair
    • APSCA Charter and 2017 Budget approved by Members
    • 15 separate meetings with over 100 people participating 
  • Development of foundational and process documents including document control policy
  • Over 200 calls/ meetings

Top 3 Goals for 2017:

  • Working Groups deliver against project plans (updates will be posted on website commencing January 2017)
  • Auditor registration portal launched
  • Disciplinary committee established

​From all of us at APSCA, thanks for your ongoing support.  We wish you and your families the best for the holiday season! .

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year!

Rona Starr & Julie Shaw

To receive up-to-date information regarding APSCA and our work in progress visit our website Ensure you sign-up to receive our newsletter and follow us on LinkedIn if you haven’t already! 

INAUGURAL GENERAL Meeting – Election of APSCA Executive Board

20/11/2016 - No Comments

The Executive Director of the Association of Professional Social Compliance Auditors (APSCA) is pleased to announce during the Inaugural General Meeting, the following members were elected by their peers to the Executive Board.

Chair                               Avedis Seferian – WRAP
Executive Director                                 Rona Starr
​Stakeholder Board Representatives
                                  Randy Rankin – Independent
                                     Wesley Wilson – Wal-Mart

A Member Representatives
                                              Betty Hutchison – BV
                                   Christophe Liebon – Intertek
                                      Pierre-Yves Dupont – SGS
                                                    Fred Waelter – UL
B Member Representatives
                                     Antonio Astone – DNV-GL
                          Frank Dorssers – TUV Rheinland
C Member Representative
                             Greg Gardner – Arche Advisors

“APSCA is officially up and running to fulfil its mission of enhancing the professionalism and credibility of the individuals and organizations performing independent social compliance audits. This marks a real turning point for this industry and to begin the journey of setting, maintaining, and raising standards for professionals engaged in providing the very challenging and very important service of social audits,” said Avedis Seferian, Chair, Executive Board.

​The three working groups also came together during this week, consulting with their extended members as progress continues on audit definition, auditor competencies and audit firm requirements.  Working Group 1 and 2 also held open sessions to commence the public feedback component of their work.  We will be updating the website with this information in the coming weeks. 

“We were pleased to host over 100 participants this week in New York – these face-to-face meetings saw the 3 working groups make great progress and we are energized by the level of engagement,” said Rona Starr, Executive Director.

To receive up-to-date information regarding APSCA, our work in progress and a biographical profile of each of the Executive Board Members, visit our website, sign-up to receive our newsletter and follow us on LinkedIn.  


APSCA Executive Board L-R Front Row: Avedis Seferian (Chair), Betty Hutchison (BV), Rona Starr (APSCA), Pierre Yves Dupont (SGS), Greg Gardner (Arche), Christophe Liebon (Intertek) Back Row: Frank Dorssers (TUV), Randy Rankin (Independent), Wesley Wilson (WalMart), Josh Warren (UL), Antonio Astone (DNV GL)

​APSCA Announces 8 New Member Organizations

28/09/2016 - No Comments

London, 29 September 2016

The interim Executive Board of the Association of Professional Social Compliance Auditors (APSCA) is pleased to announce the acceptance of eight new member organizations, bringing APSCA’s membership to 17.  The new members are:  AsiaInspection Limited, AUS-MEAT Limited, Control Union, DNV GL – Business Assurance, DQS CFS GmbH, Insite Compliance LLC, International Compliance Group Inc., and SMT-Global (Global Strategy Management Technology Co. Limited).
These organizations have demonstrated the competencies required via an application process, 3rd party due diligence and an interview to ensure members are professional organizations which meet APSCA’s standards.
These organizations will play key roles in helping shape the ongoing work of enhancing the professionalism and credibility of individual auditors and organizations performing independent social compliance audits.
“This is an exciting time for APSCA as we continue moving forward with our mission and objectives.  I am looking forward to working closely with all of our member organizations,” said Rona Starr, Executive Director, APSCA.

The Association for Professional Social Compliance Auditors (APSCA) is launched today in an effort to bring more credibility to auditors addressing working conditions around the world.

31/08/2015 - No Comments

London, September 1, 2015

The Association for Professional Social Compliance Auditors (APSCA) was created today to ensure the professionalism, consistency and credibility of individual auditors and organizations performing independent social compliance audits, and to promote the use of independent social compliance audits, as a tool to advance workplace conditions for workers globally. The APSCA certification process will ensure auditors have consistent training, education, background checks, and demonstrated competencies that are standard requirements in comparable professional auditor associations.

Social compliance audits, often conducted by third party auditing firms, are the main tool used by multinational organizations to assess supply chain facilities’ and farms’ compliance with local and international expectations of labor conditions. A result of a year’s effort led by leading social compliance auditing firms, including Arche Advisors, Bureau Veritas, Intertek, SGS, TUV Rheinland, TUV Sud, and UL, APSCA comes as supply chains become increasingly global and while hundreds of thousands of social compliance audit reports are already in circulation.

“Today, working conditions around the world are increasingly scrutinized by consumers and media, and in which multinational organizations are expecting more transparency from their suppliers. However, social compliance audits performed to-date are inconsistent, conducted by too wide a range of provider,” said Roger Brockway of the International Federation of Inspection Agencies (IFIA), a major sponsor of APSCA.

“As challenges for workers around the world continue to evolve, and companies’ Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) needs continue to expand, it is more important than ever to bring consistency to the social compliance auditing industry. Companies and workers throughout the world rely on the oversight provided by social compliance audits, and APSCA endeavors to provide a leading level of assurance.” 

APSCA welcomes applicants to register for the APSCA certification starting January 1st, 2016.

APSCA will be primarily focusing on members from the social compliance auditing industry before it includes other types of auditors such as internal auditor staff from brand or retailer organizations.  Additionally, as the association expands,

APSCA is actively seeking an executive director to lead this initiative, and is also currently forming an executive and stakeholder board to be fully functional in the coming weeks.

For more information on how you can participate, contact 

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