Training & Learning Opportunities

We want to share with you some of the great meetings, conferences, forums and resources attended by APSCA and APSCA Members.

If your organization has an upcoming event that you would like to have added to this calendar, contact us at

BRCGS-001 Ethical Trade & Responsible Sourcing Auditor Training

Virtual classroom delivery

Global Standard Ethical Trade & Responsible Sourcing (ETRS) Issue 2.1: Auditor Training Duration: 3 days. Who Should Attend: Qualified and experienced Social Auditors. To audit the Global Standard for Ethical […]

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Better Gold Initiative Report - Remote Audits and Assessments

Experiences from the forestry and mining sectors.

July 2021

[…] The study describes success factors as well as risks and limitations of remote audits, verifications and assurance processes. To this end, the study analyses existing experiences with remote audits. As these are still limited in the mining sector, the study includes experiences from the forestry sector, where remote auditing approaches are already more widely applied. […]

View/download the complete report below. 

Straight From The Source Podcast

April 2021

Guest: Avedis H. Seferian President and CEO of Worldwide Responsible Accreditated Production (WRAP) 

In this episode:
Avedis is the undisputed heavyweight champion in the Compliance and Audit space for Footwear and Apparel. In this episode, Avedis gives us an overview of the compliance landscape, and we also talked about the positive evolution of compliance in the face of COVID. This episode is critical for anyone working in or interested in the complex supply chains of apparel and footwear. 

Listen to full podcast episode, here 

In The News - Just Style

June 2020

How Coronavirus is Altering Apparel Factory Audits

With many fashion brands and manufacturers unable to visit factories due to travel bans and lockdowns during the Covid-19 crisis, there are numerous ways they can still proceed with responsible sourcing.

Read the full article here.  

In The News - Just Style

7 May 2020

Social Compliance Auditing During and After COVID-19

Randy Rankin, Global Client Development Director for Eurofins, an APSCA Member Firm, shared how the impact of COVID-19 has fundamentally changed life and business, particularly supply chains and social compliance audits . Writing in Just Style [7 May 2020], Randy comments “Simply, there are significant risks in the post-caronavirus environment and this will fundamentally make social compliance audits more important than ever.”

Read the full article here.  

In The News - Sourcing Journal

17 April 2020

VIDEO: WRAP CEO on Why Current Partnership Challenges Could Spell Future Crisis for Retailers

CEO and President of WRAP and Chair of APSCA’s Executive Board, Avedis Seferian addressed the challenges facing the sourcing industry as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Avedis commented,  “While COVID-19 has exposed major cracks in the supply chain, it’s also unearthing a problem of partnership—there may be a dearth of it at a time when neither retailer nor supplier can afford it.”

View the video here.

1 April 2020

What Will the Post-Coronavirus Supply Chain Look Like?

Randy Rankin, Global Client Development Director for Eurofins, an APSCA Member Firm, shared how the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic will dramatically change many aspects of life and the way we do business. Writing in Sourcing Journal [1 April 2020], Randy comments “There should be no question that the events associated with the global pandemic will have devastating financial implications for entities around the world, with the apparel value chain being one of the most dramatically impacted. From retail employees through the more than 40 million workers in factories producing the goods for brands and retailers, the tight-margin, just-in-time world presents significant risks and challenges.”

Read the full article here.  

24 March 2020 

How to Audit Factories During Lockdowns and Social Distancing

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

Read the full article here.

Member Firm Links & Resources

Continued Operations through COVID-19

Below APSCA are sharing and posting resources we think might be helpful to our members and those in the social compliance community during times of COVID-19 and looking ahead



                               *More Links and Resources to Come*

Intertek - Ethical Sourcing Forum - Sydney, AUS

12 November 2019 – Event hosted by Intertek

APSCA’s President & CEO, Rona Starr, presenting at the Ethical Sourcing Forum “Action Against Modern Slavery” event.

Sino-German Sustainability Summit - Beijing, China

June 2019 – Event hosted by TUV Rheiland

APSCA speaking on panel: “The Importance of Responsible Manufacturing in Order to Achieve 2030 SDGs”

Left to Right – Walter Lin (SEDEX), Frank Dossers (TUV Reihland; APSCA Executive Board Member), Joyce Chau (amfori BSCI), and Rona Starr (APSCA President and CEO)

Stakeholder Advisory Board Meetings

June 2019 – Thank you to Disney for hosting APSCA’s stakeholder advisory board meeting in Burbank, CA at Walt Disney Studios.

Left to Right SB Members – Randy Rankin (SB member), Rona Start (APSCA CEO), Christian Ewert (Amfori), Avedis Seferian (Chair, SB Member, WRAP), Laura Rubbo (Walt Disney Company), Todd Nash (Home Depot), Dan Murray (Sedex), Rochelle Zaid (SAI). Not pictured, but joined remotely, Brendan Morrissey (Walmart).

Executive Board Meetings

March 2019 – thanks Walmart for hosting us in London following our participation in the Sedex Conference.

top left Randy Rankin (SB member), Rajan Kamalanathan (BV), Justin Bettey (Intertek), Richard Ingrao (Accordia) Brendan Morrissey (standing in for Jan Saumweber – Walmart), Rona Starr (APSCA) Avedis Seferian (Chair, SB Member WRAP) Darrell Doren (Elevate) Effie Marinos (SGS) not pictured, taking the picture, Greg Gardner (Arche)

Sedex Conference 2019

APSCA participated in the Sedex panel: Achieving meaningful change in the lives of workers and communities by enabling better business learning and decision-making

What is good data? How do we move from outputs to outcomes? And how do we use supply chain information to drive change and show progress?

Panelists: Mark Hodge (Moderator), Shift; Gillian Haythornthwaite, nGaje; Rona Starr, APSCA; Aisha Aswani, Co-op; Antoine Heuty, Ulula 

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 here:


Hong Kong 18 & 19 September 2018

APSCA participated on the panel:  “Global Trends in Responsible Sourcing 2018” exploring:

  1. Forced Labor:  Increased Attention & Legislation
  2. Rationalizing Industry Initiatives
  3. ESG Investments Becoming Mainstream
  4. Auditor Quality & Accreditation
  5. Tech Innovation & 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 (APSCA). ​Photo Courtesy of ELEVATE.

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

American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) Social Responsibility Committee Summer 2018 Meeting

Seattle, USA 9 August 2018

AAFA‘s Social Responsibility Committee met on Thursday, August 9, 2018 in Seattle, WA, to discuss the latest social compliance issues facing the apparel and footwear industry. Avedis Seferian (WRAP President & CEO and APSCA Executive Board Chair) presented with particular reference to initiatives championed by the ​Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety.

Avedis Seferian (WRAP President & CEO and APSCA Executive Board Chair) providing an update regarding Bangladesh.

Unleash Opportunity Conference - amfori

Amsterdam​ 13 June 2018

​”A wonderfully moderated panel addressing audit integrity during the amfori – Trade with Purpose Unleash Opportunity Conference. Rona Starr (second from left) sharing insights with fellow panelists (L-R) Andrew Leatuali’i Savini (APSCA Member Firm – ELEVATE Global), Richard Boele (KPMG Australia), Christophe Liebon (APSCA Member Firm – Intertek) and Federico Burlon (Impactt Limited).”

From Left: Christophe Liebon (Intertek & APSCA Executive Board), Rona Starr (APSCA President \CEO) & Avedis Seferian​ (WRAP & APSCA Executive Board Chair).
APSCA participating on a panel discussing audit integrity. From left: Andrew Savini (ELEVATE), Rona Starr (APSCA), Richard Boele (KPMG Banara), Christophe Liebon (Intertek) & Federico Burlon (Impactt).

​Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) Annual General Meeting

Perth, Australia 24 May 2018

“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.” – Dr Fiona Solomon, ASI CEO

Rona Starr (APSCA President\CEO) at the ASI AGM.

ASI Bauximite Mine Site Visit (Photo credit: Mark Wielga, NomoGaia)

Sedex and Australia Post Conference

​Melbourne, Australia 14 March 2018
​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.”​

ELEVATE Leadership Series

​Sydney, Australia 22 March 2018
APSCA participated on a panel session:  Transparency, Trust and Impact – Partnership Approach to Responsible Supply Chains.

From Left: Jennifer Burn (UTS, Anti-Slavery Australia), Julie Shaw (APSCA) & Nathan Parkin (Ethical Partners Funds Management). Moderator: Mabel Wong (ELEVATE, CSR Asia).

Sedex Conference - Impact Through Leadership

London 13 & 14 March 2018 
Aisha Aswani (The Co-operative), Rona Starr (APSCA) & Anna Harvey (Sedex).
Avedis Seferian (WRAP President & CEO and APSCA Executive Board Chair)- Sedex Round Table Discussion re Due Diligence.

Avedis Seferian (WRAP President & CEO and APSCA Executive Board Chair) and Wesley Wilson (APSCA) participated on the panel “Introduction to ‘defining beyond compliance’ – what does it mean to you?” at the Sedex Conference, London 13 & 14 March 2018.

Rona Starr (President\CEO APSCA) participated on the panel “Whose responsibility is it to go ‘beyond compliance’? ​at the Sedex Conference, London 13 & 13 March 2018.

APSCA Annual General Meeting - 2017

​​Cologne, Germany 4 – 5 December 2017
APSCA Executive Board Meeting, Cologne Germany - 5 December 2017.
Madeline Huang (Globalgroup Certification Limited) and Rona Starr (President\CEO APSCA) at the APSCA Annual General Meeting in Cologne, Germany on 4 December 2017.

GOTS Conference

New Delhi, India November 2017
Avedis Seferian (WRAP President & CEO and APSCA Executive Board Chair) talks about the continuing importance of social compliance certifications during a debate at the GOTS conference in New Delhi, India – November 2017.​

​BSR Conference How Business Leads

Huntington Beach, California October 2017
APSCA was pleased to participate in a panel at BSR this year, focused on “Integrating Sustainability through Risk and Opportunity”.​

Great to catch up with a few of our members at the BSR Conference ​From L to R: Susan Su (Benchmarks), Rona Starr (APSCA), Rainfall Wu (ESTS).
From L to R: Alison Taylor (BSR), Matthew Swibel (Lockheed Martin), Janina Gawler (Rio Tinto), Rona Starr (APSCA), Ash Hegland (Swire Properties). Thanks to Avedis Seferian for sharing this photo.

Executive \ Stakeholder Advisory Board Meeting

USA, October 2017
From L to R Back Row:  Fred Waelters (UL), Christophe Liebon, (Intertek), Randy Rankin (Independent), Petra Herbertz-Crumpler (Walmart), Darrell Doren (BSCI), Rajan Kamalanathan (BV), Christian Ewert (FTA), Frank Dorssers (TUV Rheinland). 

From L to R Front Row: Laura Rubbo (The Walt Disney Company) Rona Starr (APSCA),  Avedis Seferian (WRAP), Greg Gardner (Arche Advisors) Effie Marinos (SGS), Rochelle Zaid (SAAS), Betty Hutchison (BV).

Sedex Conference

Shanghai May 2017
Rainfall Wu (Executive Director, ESTS) and Jonathan Ivelaw-Chapman (CEO, Sedex Group).
Rainfall Wu (Executive Director, ESTS) and Jonathan Ivelaw-Chapman (CEO, Sedex Group).

CSR Asia Summit

Bangkok September 2017

Kevin Franklin (Snr VP, ELEVATE) and Rona Starr (APSCA) discussing Supply Chain Forensics – combining quality and analytics.

ELEVATE Leadership Series Conference

Hong Kong June 2017
From left to right: Rona Starr (APSCA), Darren Doren (BSCI), Jonathan Ivelaw-Chapman (Sedex), Sridevi Kalavakolanu (Walmart), Kevin Franklin (ELEVATE ​), Johnny Kong (ICTI Care). Photo taken by DGM Photography.

​Verisio UK Auditor Team

Cambridge, UK June 2017
Training Day in Cambridge where they reviewed the new SMETA 6.0 documentation and APSCA updates.
From left to right: Dale Archer, Simon Goldby, James Brookes, Christopher Riley, Krisztina Dima, Leo Reed (MD), Peter Parsons, Richard Cleathero.

Intertek Ethical Sourcing Forum

New York May 2017
​​From 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).

India and Sustainability Standards: International Dialogue and Conference

​​Avedis Seferian (WRAP President & CEO and APSCA Executive Board Chair) talks about the benefit of voluntary compliance programs like WRAP at the 2016 “India and Sustainability Standards:  International Dialogue and Conference” hosted by the Centre for Responsible Business (CRB).

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