APSCA’S COMPETENCY FRAMEWORK
The Association of Professional Social Compliance Auditors (APSCA) aims to increase the value and
eﬀectiveness of independent social compliance audits by enhancing the professionalism, consistency and
credibility of individuals and organizations performing them.
Labor rights and workplace conditions are a central focus for many organizations, due to expanding global
supply chains, public perceptions related to social responsibility, and legislation. Independent social
compliance services are an important tool in advancing labor rights and workplace conditions for workers
globally. APSCA aims to raise the value, quality and eﬀectiveness of social compliance services and support
Member Auditors and Member Firms who are performing them.
Social compliance auditing plays a vital role in initiatives to assess and improve labor rights in the work place
throughout global supply chains.
APSCA’S Competency Framework is to be read in conjunction with APSCA’s Code and Standards of Professional
Conduct (‘Code’) and Glossary of Terms.
1. SOCIAL COMPLIANCE AUDITING AS A PROFESSION
Through APSCA’s Certiﬁed Social Compliance Auditor (CSCA) program, the organization aims to elevate the
role of the social compliance auditor, and develop a workforce of committed, competent, experienced and
ethical professionals. Auditors can help their clients make positive change to the lives of workers by identifying
and understanding key labor rights issues. To help them succeed, Auditors should be provided with the
working conditions and the ongoing support and development needed to maintain high quality standards.
APSCA believes Member Auditors deserve to be treated with respect in line with the UN Guiding Principles
for Business and Human Rights. APSCA expects Member Firms to respect the human rights of its Member
Auditors and avoid causing or contributing any adverse human rights impacts.
APSCA supports audit programs, initiatives, brands and retailers who utilize the skills of social compliance
auditors for them to have the necessary conﬁdence in the level of auditor competency.
Note: Throughout this document an APSCA Associate of Social Compliance Auditor (APSCA ASCA) will be
noted as ASCA, and an APSCA Certiﬁed Social Compliance Auditor (APSCA CSCA) will be noted as CSCA.
2. APPLICATION OF THE COMPETENCY FRAMEWORK
APSCA’s Competency Framework for Social Compliance Auditors sets out the basic competency requirements
for Certiﬁed Social Compliance Auditors (CSCA). Competency refers to the knowledge and skills drawn on in
performing tasks necessary to operate in the role of a social compliance auditor.
This framework speciﬁes the competencies expected of CSCA. It is intended to be used by:
APSCA Associate Social Compliance Auditors (ASCA) to better understand the skills and knowledge
required to gain and maintain CSCA status.
CSCAs to validate their skills, abilities, and articulate the value of Certiﬁcation.
Clients and the public to understand the value of using a CSCA.
APSCA Member Firms as guidance for the development of internal frameworks.
RA/CSCA and APSCA Member Firms for continuing professional development (CPD) requirements.
APSCA to guide the CSCA certiﬁcation process and monitor adherence to the APSCA Code
Audit programs, initiatives, brands and/or retailers who utilize the skills of social compliance auditors, to
have conﬁdence in auditor competency.
Training and education program developers in the design and development of learning objectives and
materials for course curricula and profession-speciﬁc programs.
Anyone who works or considers working as a social compliance auditor to ensure they are informed
regarding the competency requirements for CSCA.
ASCA to apply eﬃciently the principles of objective auditing to gain and maintain CSCA status.
Version & Date
APSCA Competency Framework D-011
Version 5 – October 2020
Version 4 – July 2020
This document is no longer version controlled once printed.
APSCA President & CEO
APSCA Executive Board
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