Consistent with its mission of increasing the value and effectiveness of independent social compliance audits by enhancing their professionalism and consistency, and the credibility of individuals and organizations performing them, APSCA has the authority to enforce the Code. This includes disciplining Member Auditors or Firms who violate the provision of these documents. These Disciplinary Procedures (“Disciplinary Procedures”) describe the processes for enforcing the Code with respect to Member Auditors, and the bodies authorized to do so.
APSCA’s Ethics Team offers services to our members and stakeholders to ensure that when unethical behavior is reported, investigative action is taken to review each allegation. APSCA relies on reporters, whistleblowers, and collaborative parties to report concerns to APSCA because we cannot be everywhere at once. Frontline parties involved in all aspects of the social compliance audit process may witness unethical behavior. Every APSCA member (individual or firm) has a distinct responsibility to report ethical issues when they occur. The Ethics Team at APSCA safeguards the anonymity of whistleblowers and
maintains confidentiality of sensitive information to protect the identity of reporters. APSCA stands up against retaliation and has implemented a zero-tolerance policy for retaliation against any party who reports in good faith. APSCA’s mission to professionalize social compliance auditing can only be successful if all members speak up and report concerns so that accountability and systemic issues in our profession can be addressed and remediated. You can place your trust in the APSCA Ethics Team and Disciplinary Board Members to manage reported concerns with integrity.
Members of the Disciplinary Board and the Appeals Board shall recuse themselves from participating in the consideration of any matter where such participation would result in, or give the appearance of, a conflict of interest.
Guidelines for investigations and sanctions of suspected misconduct in connection with APSCA certifications exams are set out in a separate document. Actions of the President & CEO under these guidelines are not subject to review by the Disciplinary Board or the Appeals Board unless either the President & CEO, or APSCA’s Senior Advisor, Ethics & Integrity, specifically refer the case to the Disciplinary Board for its review and action.
Unless disclosure is required by a court order or other applicable legal requirements, decisions of the Disciplinary Board and Appeals Board shall be confidential, provided that APSCA may share actions by the Boards with the relevant Member Firm, and may publish on its website and elsewhere information on cases individually and collectively, provided that the name of the Member Auditor or Member Firm involved is not revealed.
The Disciplinary Boards oversees the disciplinary process for APSCA. It is authorized to:
Members are given 30 days to respond in writing and submit relevant supporting documentation and evidence to be considered by the Disciplinary Board, and shall have the right to appear in person or remotely before the Board.
To the extent feasible, APSCA shall present all matters to the Disciplinary Board in an anonymous format, without disclosing the name of the Member(s) involved.
The standard of review for the Disciplinary Board shall be a preponderance of the evidence, which generally means “more probable than not.”
The Appeals Board may only reverse a decision of the Disciplinary Board if it finds a clear error in the decision.
When the Disciplinary Board has reviewed an allegation that a Member Auditor has violated the Code, it may take any of the following types of actions.