COMPETENCY  
FRAMEWORK  
TABLE OF  
CONTENTS  
1. Social Compliance Auditing as a  
Profession  
9. Functional Knowledge Areas  
12  
12  
3
9.1 Business Legitimacy and Integrity of  
2. Application of the Competency  
Framework  
Records  
3
4
6
9.2 Underage Labour  
12  
12  
13  
13  
3. APSCA Qualification Levels  
9.3 Discrimination and Disciplinary Practices  
9.4 Forced Labour  
4. Use of APSCA Member Auditor Number  
4.1 According to the Code and Standards of  
Professional Conduct  
6
6
6
9.5 Working Hours and Overtime  
4.2 According to the Auditor Handbook  
9.6 Freedom of Association and Effective  
Recognition of the Right to Collective  
Bargaining  
5. Competency Overview  
13  
14  
6. Validation of Demonstrated  
Competencies  
7
7
7
7
8
8
8
8
9
9
9.7 Harassment and Abuse Practices  
6.1 CSCA Exam (Part I and Part II)  
6.2 CSCA Interview  
9.8 Wages, Benefits and Terms of  
Employment  
14  
14  
15  
15  
9.9 Subcontracting  
6.3 Maintaining CSCA Certification  
7. Misconduct  
9.10 Occupational Health and Safety  
9.11 Use of APSCA Member Number  
8. Foundational Skills  
8.1 Strategic and Systems Thinking  
8.2 Professional and Ethical Behaviour  
8.3 Observation and Investigation  
8.4 Data Collection and Analysis  
8.5 Problem Solving and Analytical Decision  
Making  
9
9
8.6 Management Systems  
8.7 Documentation Review  
8.8 Interview Skills  
10  
10  
8.9 Communication, Relationship  
Management and Conflict Resolution  
11  
11  
12  
8.10 Self-Management  
8.11 Standards, Laws and Regulations  
APSCAS 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:  
ƒ APSCA Associate Social Compliance Auditors (ASCA) to better understand the skills and knowledge  
required to gain and maintain CSCA status.  
ƒ CSCAs to validate their skills, abilities, and articulate the value of Certification.  
ƒ Clients and the public to understand the value of using a CSCA.  
ƒ APSCA Member Firms as guidance for the development of internal frameworks.  
ƒ RA/CSCA and APSCA Member Firms for continuing professional development (CPD) requirements.  
ƒ APSCA to guide the CSCA certification process and monitor adherence to the APSCA Code  
ƒ Audit programs, initiatives, brands and/or retailers who utilize the skills of social compliance auditors, to  
have confidence in auditor competency.  
ƒ Training and education program developers in the design and development of learning objectives and  
materials for course curricula and profession-specific programs.  
ƒ Anyone who works or considers working as a social compliance auditor to ensure they are informed  
regarding the competency requirements for CSCA.  
ƒ ASCA to apply efficiently the principles of objective auditing to gain and maintain CSCA status.  
Document Name:  
Version & Date  
Replaces:  
APSCA Competency Framework D-011  
Version 5 – October 2020  
Version 4 – July 2020  
This document is no longer version controlled once printed.  
Author/Owner:  
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APSCA Executive Board  
Page 3 of 16  
The intention of this document is to outline the competencies required by CSCAs, not to set audit  
standards or define audit methodology. The brand, initiative or collaborative program will be responsible for  
communicating and validating that their specific expectations are adhered to.  
Members providing social compliance services must be independent and avoid conflicts of interest that, in fact  
or in appearance, may create an incentive to report anything other than the true and accurate facts gathered  
during a social compliance service.  
Member Firms shall only deploy social compliance auditors (whether direct employees or independent  
contractors) who demonstrate, at a minimum, the relevant knowledge, skills and attributes outlined in the  
APSCA Competency Framework, and agree to act in accordance with the Code and the Standards.  
3. APSCA QUALIFICATION LEVELS  
There are two (2) levels for APSCA Auditor Membership; APSCA Associate Social Compliance Auditor (APSCA  
ASCA) and APSCA Certified Social Compliance Auditor (APSCA CSCA). During the initial period, APSCA has a  
level called Registered Level Auditor (RA). This is an interim level which includes auditors who have provided  
evidence of the experience required to be a CSCA, and are going through the CSCA examination process.  
Registered Level Auditors have the rights, responsibilities and obligations of a CSCA.  
APSCA Associate Social Compliance Auditor (APSCA ASCA)  
Entry-level social compliance auditor, who is enrolled with APSCA, gaining experience under the supervision/  
guidance of a CSCA.  
Requirements:  
ƒ Has completed classroom training with an APSCA Member Firm or an APSCA-approved organization and  
shadowed a minimum of 3 social compliance audits  
ƒ Has been signed off by a Member Firm as competent in meeting ASCA Level competencies  
ƒ Receiving onsite/field training by an APSCA Member Firm or accredited training organization  
ƒ Holds a university-level degree  
ƒ Satisfactory results from pre-employment screening of new staff/auditors, where allowed by law  
ƒ Has signed APSCA’s Code  
Responsibilities:  
ƒ Participates in social audits as a team member  
ƒ Must be supervised by an CSCA during all audits  
ƒ Does not independently make decisions or call out findings or non-compliances  
ƒ Adhering to the principles within APSCA’s Code  
APSCA Certified Social Compliance Auditor (APSCA CSCA)  
Experienced social compliance auditor who has completed the CSCA process.  
Requirements:  
ƒ Has obtained the level of ASCA  
ƒ Has been signed off by a Member Firm as competent in meeting CSCA level competencies  
ƒ Has passed all elements of the CSCA examination process  
ƒ Has signed APSCA’s Code  
ƒ Has the following experience:  
Pathway 1:  
ƒ Minimum 1 years’ experience in social compliance auditing, and  
ƒ Minimum 100 social compliance audit days, provided via audit log signed by Member Firm (s)  
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Replaces:  
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Version 4 – July 2020  
This document is no longer version controlled once printed.  
Author/Owner:  
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APSCA Executive Board  
Page 4 of 16  
APSCA Certified Social Compliance Auditor (APSCA CSCA) (continued)  
OR  
Pathway 2:  
ƒ Minimum 2 years’ experience in any other type of auditing, and  
ƒ 150 audit days, of which a minimum of 50 are social compliance audit days. Other audit days may  
include management system, health and safety, labor inspections, investigations, audit components  
OR  
Pathway 3:  
ƒ 5+ years in the social compliance or subject related industry in various positions, with a minimum of 35  
social compliance audit days and additional experience which may include:  
Ȉ training  
Ȉ supervisory/managerial  
Ȉ previous parallel experience such as implementing social compliance programmes and/or  
Ȉ audit review  
Pathway 3 also requires the following:  
Ȉ Letter stating what additional experience has been obtained and  
Ȉ Statement from management of an APSCA Member Firm as to why the auditor should be  
considered for Pathway 3.  
Upon the above items for Pathway 3 being completed, the auditor must sit and pass Part I of the CSCA  
exam prior to being allocated to the level of RA.  
OR  
Pathway 4:  
ƒ Minimum 90 days social compliance industry experience and  
ƒ Minimum of 20 social compliance audit days  
Note: Under Pathway 4, the auditor remains an ASCA until all Part I, II and III exams have been  
successfully completed (there is no time limit for completion of exams)  
Pathway 4 does not lower the credibility or robust nature of APSCA’s certification program. The 20+  
social compliance audit day requirement enables the auditor to commence the exam process and  
unlike Pathway 3, where upon successful completion of Part I they move to RA, through Pathway 4, the  
auditor remains an ASCA until all three (3) parts of the CSCA exam are passed.  
As with all ASCA(s), auditors going through Pathway 4 are NOT able to audit on their own until they  
become a CSCA.  
Responsibilities:  
ƒ Conducts social compliance audits independently and/or as part of a team  
ƒ Organizes, directs and manages audit team members in preparation, during and after the audit.  
ƒ Supervises ASCAs  
ƒ Approving and signing off on the audit report  
ƒ Adhering to the principles within APSCA’s Code  
Note: APSCA may consider exceptions to the above requirements on an ad hoc basis.  
Document Name:  
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Replaces:  
APSCA Competency Framework D-011  
Version 5 – October 2020  
Version 4 – July 2020  
This document is no longer version controlled once printed.  
Author/Owner:  
Authorized by:  
APSCA President & CEO  
APSCA Executive Board  
Page 5 of 16  
4. USE OF APSCA MEMBER AUDITOR NUMBER  
APSCA Member Auditors may only sign off on a Social Compliance Audit if they are a RA/CSCA.  
4.1 ACCORDING TO THE CODE AND STANDARDS OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT  
Audit Team: Each audit team shall have a minimum of one RA/CSCA. Audit teams may include ASCA(s) who  
support the audit under supervision of the RA/CSCA.  
In assigning auditors to perform a Social Compliance Audit, Member Firms shall ensure sufficient resources are  
deployed to complete all work required for the client or scheme for whom the audit is to be performed.  
To the extent the audit team includes an ASCA(s), the Member Firm shall ensure assigned resources are  
sufficient to provide for appropriate supervision by the assigned RA/CSCA.  
A RA/CSCA shall only include the designation as a RA/CSCA and their APSCA member number after having  
fully completed an independent Social Compliance Audit on behalf of a Member Firm.  
A RA/CSCA shall include reference to RA/CSCA status and/or their APSCA member number only where the  
scope of work is a Social Compliance Audit and where the work is performed on behalf of a Member Firm.  
To the extent a RA/CSCA performs an audit that includes consideration of elements beyond the elements in  
the Competency Framework, the associated audit report must conspicuously include the following disclaimer  
if the CSCA’s APSCA number is to be included in the audit report:  
This audit includes elements beyond the scope of a Social Compliance Audit as defined by the APSCA  
Competency Framework. The association of the auditor’s APSCA number with this report is limited to those  
elements outlined in the APSCA Competency Framework. APSCA makes no representations with respect to  
the auditor’s competency to professionally evaluate compliance with any other audit elements.  
4.2 ACCORDING TO THE AUDITOR HANDBOOK  
APSCA ASCA: Can sign a social compliance audit (see definition below) report using their APSCA ASCA  
number if they are present at the facility being audited and working under the supervision of an APSCA  
Registered Auditor (RA) or CSCA who has overall responsibility for, signs the audit report puts their APSCA #  
and working on behalf of an APSCA Member Firm. If an ASCA signs and puts their APSCA Member number  
on an audit report without a supervising RA/CSCA also placing their APSCA Member Number, this will be  
considered an ethical violation and will be reported to APSCA’s Integrity Team.  
If an audit contains less than APSCA’s definition of a Social Compliance Audit, an APSCA Member Number can  
NOT be used.  
It is the responsibility of each Member Firm to develop a process to identify why they did or did not use an  
APSCA Member Number on a report which they would share with APSCA if reported to the Disciplinary Board  
for misuse of APSCA Member Numbers on an audit which does not fall within APSCA’s definition of a Social  
Compliance Audit.  
5. COMPETENCY OVERVIEW  
Note: The competencies noted on pages 8 - 15 are focused on the specific activity of executing a social  
compliance audit.  
Foundational Skills  
Functional Knowledge Areas  
ƒ Strategic and Systems Thinking  
ƒ Professional and Ethical Behaviour  
ƒ Observation and Investigation  
ƒ Business Legitimacy and Integrity of Records  
ƒ Underage Labour  
ƒ Discrimination and Disciplinary Practices  
Document Name:  
Version & Date  
Replaces:  
APSCA Competency Framework D-011  
Version 5 – October 2020  
Version 4 – July 2020  
This document is no longer version controlled once printed.  
Author/Owner:  
Authorized by:  
APSCA President & CEO  
APSCA Executive Board  
Page 6 of 16  
Foundational Skills continued  
ƒ Data Collection and Analysis  
Functional Knowledge Areas continued  
ƒ Forced Labour  
ƒ Problem Solving and Analytical Decision  
ƒ Working Hours and Overtime  
Making  
ƒ Freedom of Association and Effective  
Recognition of the Right to Collective  
Bargaining  
ƒ Management Systems  
ƒ Documentation Review  
ƒ Interview Skills  
ƒ Harassment and Abuse Practices  
ƒ Wages, Benefits and Terms of Employment  
ƒ Subcontracting  
ƒ Communication, Relationship Management  
and Conflict Resolution  
ƒ Self-Management  
ƒ Occupational Health and Safety  
ƒ Use of APSCA Member Number  
ƒ Standards, Laws and Regulations  
6. VALIDATION OF DEMONSTRATED COMPETENCIES  
The Competency Framework outlines the expected level of competency for ASCAs and CSCAs:  
ƒ Understanding: Auditor has a basic knowledge and understanding of what is required in this area, but is  
not yet proficient.  
ƒ Proficiency: Auditor has a sufficient degree of skill and/ or expertise in this area.  
Refer to APSCA’s Auditor Handbook for more information on the exam.  
6.1 CSCA EXAM (PART I AND PART II)  
The CSCA Exam serves as a benchmark for the assessment of proficiency in the areas of functional  
knowledge and foundational skills. The exam assesses an individual’s understanding of basic facts, policies,  
practices, methods, international human rights treaties and labor standards, local legislation and other  
regulations relevant to their role. The exam includes multiple choice, short answer and case study questions.  
6.2 CSCA INTERVIEW (PART III)  
Candidates must demonstrate proficiency required of CSCAs. This step will take the form of a formal interview  
assessing the individual’s ability to conduct effective audits.  
6.3 MAINTAINING CSCA CERTIFICATION  
Individuals that are RA/CSCA level looking to obtain or maintain certification will need to meet ongoing  
requirements to maintain certification. This is demonstrated through compliance with the standards for  
Continuing Professional Development (CPD).  
CPD involves undertaking development activities that support RA/CSCAs in ensuring maintenance of  
their competencies as well as expanding their professional knowledge and practice. Auditors are required  
to complete a minimum of 48 hours of CPD per calendar year, including mandatory training as outlined  
by APSCA. CPD undertaken must be tracked by the RA/CSCA and recorded into APSCA’s data system.  
Information to validate these records may be requested by APSCA at any time. CPD includes the following:  
ƒ 16 hours – field social compliance audit  
ƒ 16 hours – training on APSCA mandated training topics (focused on gaps identified during examination)  
ƒ 16 hours – APSCA recognized training which may include, firm, brand, scheme training, participation in  
social compliance conference or other relevant events.  
See APSCA’s Continuous Professional Development (CPD) document on APSCA’s website, under the  
Resource Library page.  
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Replaces:  
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Version 4 – July 2020  
This document is no longer version controlled once printed.  
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APSCA Executive Board  
Page 7 of 16  
7. MISCONDUCT  
Any APSCA Member who is aware of another APSCA Member or audit firm personnel who has committed a  
violation of APSCA’s Code, must inform the Member Firm for which the audit was conducted or APSCA.  
Others who are aware of an APSCA Member or audit firm personnel who is to have alleged to have committed  
a violation of APSCA’s Code, are encouraged to inform the Member Firm for which the audit was conducted or  
APSCA.  
When professional misconduct or an infringement of the Code come to the attention of APSCA, there is an  
obligation that an investigation will be undertaken. If the outcome of such an investigation confirms a Member  
was in breach of the Code it will lead to an APSCA disciplinary hearing which gives the Member(s) the right  
to defend their actions. A possible outcome of such a disciplinary hearing would be to suspend or revoke  
APSCA Membership, which APSCA reserves the right to make public.  
There is a restriction therefore on Member Firms from appointing an auditor whose Membership and / or  
certification has been withdrawn by APSCA as well as a restriction on the auditor from presenting themselves  
as a Member Auditor of APSCA. A Member Firm who has taken disciplinary action against a Member Auditor  
who has committed a violation of the Code shall inform APSCA.  
8. FOUNDATIONAL SKILLS  
Note: All areas are to be read “as related to the work”  
U - Understanding  
P - Proficiency  
8.1 STRATEGIC AND SYSTEMS THINKING  
ASCA  
CSCA  
Is open-minded, reasonable, and willing to consider alternative ideas or points of view  
Is persistent and focused in their approach  
P
P
P
P
P
P
Can integrate ideas and solutions across all levels and functions in the organisation  
Operates effectively in an environment of change and uncertainty, maintaining flexibility  
P
P
P
P
Is aware of issues and develops timely strategies to solve problems or seize  
opportunities  
8.2 PROFESSIONAL AND ETHICAL BEHAVIOUR  
ASCA  
CSCA  
Is fair, truthful, unbiased, discreet, trustworthy and respectful  
P
P
Makes ethical decisions even though these actions and decisions may result in  
disagreement, confrontation or appeal proceedings; reports to higher levels of  
management or others when appropriate  
P
P
Maintains objectivity and impartiality  
P
P
P
P
Maintains confidentiality and avoids conflicts of interest  
Maintains and enhances the reputation of the Member Firm, CSCAs, ASCAs, APSCA and  
the initiatives they are auditing against  
P
P
P
P
Upholds the law, professional standards and policies when exercising judgement,  
seeking out advice where needed and relying on their ethical principles to guide their  
behaviour  
Possesses honesty and integrity, particularly in relation to preventing or reporting  
bribery and corrupt practices  
P
P
P
P
Is courteous, conscientious and business-like in their approach to auditing  
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Replaces:  
APSCA Competency Framework D-011  
Version 5 – October 2020  
Version 4 – July 2020  
This document is no longer version controlled once printed.  
Author/Owner:  
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APSCA Executive Board  
Page 8 of 16  
U - Understanding  
P - Proficiency  
8.2 PROFESSIONAL AND ETHICAL BEHAVIOUR (CONTINUED)  
ASCA  
CSCA  
Can raise uncomfortable issues and ask challenging questions in a polite manner.  
Enables constructive challenge at all levels in the organisation  
U
U
P
P
Delivers factual, clear, accurate, timely and accessible reporting  
8.3 OBSERVATION AND INVESTIGATION  
ASCA  
CSCA  
Applies audit principles, procedures and techniques  
Thoroughly reviews and analyses relevant documentation  
U
U
P
P
Possesses a detailed knowledge of compliance issues commonly applied for social  
compliance audit codes or standards  
U
U
U
U
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
Uses investigative skills / triangulates a range of information to determine the  
authenticity of information and to verify possible allegations made by other sources  
Triangulates information from interviews, documentation review and observation to  
draw conclusions regarding activities at the facility  
Selects and applies a range of appropriate operational and management tools and  
techniques  
Is observant of physical surroundings, people and activities throughout the entire audit  
process  
Applies detection / triangulation skills, looking for methods of document manipulation,  
fraudulent actions and fraudulent practices  
U
8.4 DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS  
ASCA  
CSCA  
Selects and applies a range of appropriate analysis tools and techniques  
Undertakes effective sampling where appropriate  
U
U
P
P
Mitigates impact of factors that can affect the reliability of audit findings and  
conclusions  
U
P
Can reach timely conclusions based on logical reasoning and analysis  
U
P
P
P
Uses numeracy skills to understand and interpret relevant number systems  
8.5 PROBLEM SOLVING AND ANALYTICAL DECISION MAKING  
ASCA  
CSCA  
Shows logical judgement skills, making decisions based on objective and verifiable  
evidence  
P
P
Uses an evidence-based approach to problem solving and decision making  
When facing an issue during an audit, can provide solutions to solve the problem  
P
P
P
U
Assesses situations and information to make informed decisions on objective and  
verifiable evidence  
U
P
8.6 MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS  
ASCA  
CSCA  
Demonstrates knowledge of management system frameworks, applicable procedures  
or other management systems documents  
U
P
Able to apply management system principles to different organisations and to interact  
between components of the management system  
U
P
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Page 9 of 16  
U - Understanding  
P - Proficiency  
8.6 MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS (CONTINUED)  
ASCA  
CSCA  
Demonstrates knowledge of the use of information systems and technology to validate  
the authenticity of records through triangulation.  
U
P
Understands specific organisational functions including human resource management,  
payroll systems, environmental, trade union relationships, collective bargaining  
processes, applicable collective agreements, health and safety cooperation, other  
worker representation and worker grievance procedures  
U
P
Demonstrates ability to effectively investigate, collect data, analyse and draw  
conclusions in relation to:  
ƒ Policies, implementation and verification  
ƒ Auditees capabilities and root cause analysis  
ƒ Training  
U
U
U
U
P
P
P
P
ƒ Feedback and grievance mechanisms  
8.7 DOCUMENTATION REVIEW  
ASCA  
CSCA  
Demonstrates the ability to review documentation specific to each of the functional  
knowledge areas, including:  
ƒ Business ethics management program (review documents: anti-bribery and anti-  
corruption – contracts/ agreement with suppliers, third party providers, business  
ethics records)  
U
P
ƒ Environmental permits  
U
U
P
P
ƒ Legal compliance with inspections, audits, certifications, collective agreements  
8.8 INTERVIEW SKILLS  
ASCA  
CSCA  
Is experienced in a range of interviewing techniques and uses as appropriate  
Creates an environment where the interviewee/s feel comfortable and at ease  
Can select a sample and/or groups for interview as appropriate  
Can ask effective follow-up questions to collect information  
U
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
Possess appropriate investigative interviewing skill to raise probing questions to collect  
information on sensitive issues, triangulate information across interviews  
U
U
P
P
P
P
P
Interviews appropriate personnel, including management, HR, security staff, worker  
representatives and workers across shifts to gather information on adherence to  
relevant laws and other regulations  
Listens to the interviewee and adjusts questions and tone of voice appropriately. Reads  
verbal and non- verbal cues  
Relays findings without compromising the source of information, and deals  
appropriately with personnel who may feel compromised or uncomfortable being  
interviewed  
U
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Version & Date  
Replaces:  
APSCA Competency Framework D-011  
Version 5 – October 2020  
Version 4 – July 2020  
This document is no longer version controlled once printed.  
Author/Owner:  
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APSCA Executive Board  
Page 10 of 16  
U - Understanding  
P - Proficiency  
8.9 COMMUNICATION, RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT AND CONFLICT  
RESOLUTION  
ASCA  
CSCA  
Is tactful and respectful in dealings with people, balances diplomacy and assertiveness  
P
P
Puts people at ease and builds open, constructive relationships with workers,  
managers, peers and clients  
P
P
P
Can communicate and work with many different stakeholders, at various levels of an  
organisation  
U
Displays effective influencing and negotiation skills  
U
P
P
P
P
P
Demonstrates strong (oral and written) reporting skills  
Listens, understands and empathizes with others, and is sensitive to people’s needs  
Displays effective communication skills, oral, written and non-verbal, for example,  
when conducting audit meetings, interviews etc.  
P
P
P
P
P
P
Demonstrates cultural awareness and sensitivity, with an appreciation of the situation of  
vulnerable workers, such as migrant labour, young workers, homeworkers etc.  
Is a fluent speaker and reader of the language(s) used in the organisation being  
audited, or communicates effectively through an interpreter  
Discusses audit findings with appropriate levels of the organisation independently and  
with confidence, while maintaining confidentiality and protecting potentially vulnerable  
individuals from retaliation  
U
P
Assumes a leadership role during possible conflict situations and is confident to  
manage and control discussions  
U
U
P
P
Anticipates reactions and objections and plans how to overcome  
8.10 SELF-MANAGEMENT  
ASCA  
CSCA  
Arrives on site in a timely manner, prepared for the work, including knowledge of the  
appropriate standard, understanding of both industry and facility-specific details, in  
possession of any reference materials and supplies required for the audit  
P
P
Arrives on site dressed appropriately – e.g. flat, enclosed shoes, PPE if required  
Functions effectively and independently during audits  
P
P
P
U
Demonstrates strong time management skills, by planning, prioritising and adjusting  
audit activities as required  
U
P
P
P
Demonstrates good organisational and time-management skills, ensuring deadlines,  
actions and objectives are achieved even when faced with problems, challenges and  
pressure  
Responds well to feedback and is committed to continually developing own skills  
Acts as a role model, demonstrating high performance for teams and individuals  
P
P
P
U
Takes personal accountability for results delivered in area of responsibility, strives for  
excellence and encourages others to do the same  
P
P
Monitors and improves own performance  
P
P
P
P
Engages in continuous professional development  
Recognises limits to own professional competence, seeking support from other  
professionals and experts as needed  
P
P
Document Name:  
Version & Date  
Replaces:  
APSCA Competency Framework D-011  
Version 5 – October 2020  
Version 4 – July 2020  
This document is no longer version controlled once printed.  
Author/Owner:  
Authorized by:  
APSCA President & CEO  
APSCA Executive Board  
Page 11 of 16  
U - Understanding  
P - Proficiency  
8.11 STANDARDS, LAWS AND REGULATIONS  
ASCA  
CSCA  
Understands relevant applicable laws, regulations and the role of collective  
agreements where they exist  
U
P
Understands relevant International Standards and international authoritative documents  
under all functional knowledge areas. Examples are the Universal Declaration  
of Human Rights, the Fundamental and other relevant ILO International Labour  
Conventions, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, applicable  
parts of the OECD Guidelines for multinational enterprises"  
U
U
9. FUNCTIONAL KNOWLEDGE AREAS  
Note: All areas are to be read “as related to the work”  
U - Understanding  
P - Proficiency  
9.1 BUSINESS LEGITIMACY AND INTEGRITY OF RECORDS  
ASCA  
CSCA  
Demonstrates a detailed knowledge of business integrity standards  
P
P
Demonstrates ability to effectively collect data, analyse and draw conclusions in  
relation to:  
ƒ Business Ethics Management System  
9.2 UNDERAGE LABOUR  
U
ASCA  
U
P
CSCA  
P
Identifies young appearing workers, triangulates information, reports on current and /  
or historic underage labour  
Demonstrates ability to effectively investigate, collect data, analyse and draw  
conclusions in relation to:  
ƒ Age verification system and records  
U
U
U
U
P
P
P
P
P
P
ƒ Young workers – training/apprentice student worker/internship programs  
ƒ Young workers – working hour limits, hazardous roles, night work  
ƒ Child labour remediation  
ƒ Hazardous work for young workers  
9.3 DISCRIMINATION AND DISCIPLINARY PRACTICES  
ASCA  
CSCA  
Investigate whether worker demographics represent industry/sector/country. Identify  
signs of policy implementation (e.g. signs posted in languages of all workers, workers  
understand their rights and the policies relating to discrimination and disciplinary  
practices)  
P
Demonstrates ability to effectively investigate, collect data, analyse and draw  
conclusions in relation to:  
ƒ Employment decisions and Employment Equality (based on ability)  
ƒ Non-discrimination policy  
U
U
U
U
U
U
P
P
P
P
P
P
ƒ Monetary fines and/or deductions used as a form of discipline  
ƒ Grounds for termination  
ƒ Fair employment practices  
ƒ Labour contracts (in language understood by worker)  
Document Name:  
Version & Date  
Replaces:  
APSCA Competency Framework D-011  
Version 5 – October 2020  
Version 4 – July 2020  
This document is no longer version controlled once printed.  
Author/Owner:  
Authorized by:  
APSCA President & CEO  
APSCA Executive Board  
Page 12 of 16  
U - Understanding  
P - Proficiency  
9.3 DISCRIMINATION AND DISCIPLINARY PRACTICES (CONTINUED)  
ASCA  
CSCA  
ƒ Vulnerable groups, such as women, ethnic minorities, LGBTIQ+ people and  
people with disabilities (including discrimination in recruiting, hiring, employment,  
promotion)  
U
P
9.4 FORCED LABOR  
ASCA  
CSCA  
Understand operational indicators of forced labour; how to effectively identify these  
indicators during the audit process and how to record these indicators on audit reports  
in a manner that leads to remediation.  
U
P
Demonstrates ability to effectively investigate, collect data, analyse and draw  
conclusions in relation to:  
ƒ Freedom of movement – including third party workers e.g. agency, contracted,  
dispatch workers  
U
P
ƒ Payment to obtain a job – including throughout the recruitment and labour supply  
U
U
P
P
chain  
ƒ Indebted or coerced to work, including document retention and deposits  
With appropriate processes to identify these practices in the different business models  
of forced labour, particularly:  
ƒ State induced and prison labour  
U
U
U
P
P
P
ƒ Employer induced, including rogue and corrupt managers and supervisors  
ƒ Third party intermediary e.g. labour providers and sub-agents  
Identify proactive policy implementation to deter, detect and correctly deal with  
suspected and actual cases of forced labour  
U
P
9.5 WORKING HOURS AND OVERTIME  
ASCA  
CSCA  
Investigate signs of potential non-compliances, e.g. signs of unrecorded working hours,  
coaching notes, cages blocking time cards  
U
P
Demonstrates ability to effectively investigate, collect data, analyse and draw  
conclusions in relation to:  
ƒ Recording of working hours. Compliance with local law and international  
U
P
standards.  
ƒ Objective means to set and monitor working hours  
ƒ Waivers  
U
U
U
U
U
P
P
P
P
P
ƒ Rest days / breaks between shifts / total working hours  
ƒ Working hour limits for hazardous jobs and categories of workers.  
ƒ Transparency and accuracy of working hours records  
9.6 FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION AND EFFECTIVE RECOGNITION OF THE RIGHT  
TO COLLECTIVE BARGAINING  
ASCA  
CSCA  
Identifies signs of compliance, such as signage relating to trade union events, space for  
union meetings  
U
P
Document Name:  
Version & Date  
Replaces:  
APSCA Competency Framework D-011  
Version 5 – October 2020  
Version 4 – July 2020  
This document is no longer version controlled once printed.  
Author/Owner:  
Authorized by:  
APSCA President & CEO  
APSCA Executive Board  
Page 13 of 16  
U - Understanding  
P - Proficiency  
9.6 FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION AND EFFECTIVE RECOGNITION OF THE RIGHT  
TO COLLECTIVE BARGAINING (CONTINUED)  
ASCA  
CSCA  
Demonstrates ability to effectively investigate, collect data, analyse and draw  
conclusions in relation to:  
ƒ Freedom to join lawful trade union without interference  
ƒ Grievance procedures/worker feedback on employment practices  
ƒ Non-discrimination and non-retaliation  
U
U
U
U
P
P
P
P
ƒ Collective Bargaining Agreement adherence  
9.7 HARASSMENT AND ABUSE PRACTICES  
ASCA  
CSCA  
Observes interactions between supervisors, management and workers  
P
P
Demonstrates ability to effectively investigate, collect data, analyse and draw  
conclusions in relation to:  
ƒ Disciplinary procedures  
U
U
U
U
U
U
P
P
P
P
P
P
ƒ Grievance mechanism  
ƒ Role of security guards against abuse  
ƒ Physical punishment or physical abuse  
ƒ Verbal abuse, mental abuse, coercion or harassment  
ƒ Application of disciplinary procedures to vulnerable groups  
9.8 WAGES, BENEFITS AND TERMS OF EMPLOYMENT  
ASCA  
CSCA  
Demonstrates ability to effectively investigate, collect data, analyse and draw  
conclusions in relation to:  
ƒ Responsible recruitment practices  
ƒ Payroll procedures (including payslips, regular payment)  
ƒ Wage calculations including piece rate  
ƒ Deductions  
U
U
U
U
U
U
U
U
U
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
ƒ Benefits  
ƒ Seasonal/temp workers/migrant workers/labour providers  
ƒ Equal remuneration  
ƒ Terminations and severance  
ƒ Transparency and accuracy of wages records  
9.9 SUBCONTRACTING  
ASCA  
CSCA  
Demonstrates ability to effectively investigate, collect data, analyse and draw  
conclusions in relation to:  
ƒ Ability to identify missing processes / ability to identify reasonable capacity  
ƒ Identification of signs of homeworking  
U
U
P
P
Document Name:  
Version & Date  
Replaces:  
APSCA Competency Framework D-011  
Version 5 – October 2020  
Version 4 – July 2020  
This document is no longer version controlled once printed.  
Author/Owner:  
Authorized by:  
APSCA President & CEO  
APSCA Executive Board  
Page 14 of 16  
U - Understanding  
P - Proficiency  
9.10 OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY  
Observes health and safety at the facility  
ASCA  
CSCA  
U
P
Demonstrates ability to effectively investigate, collect data, analyse and draw  
conclusions in relation to workers awareness and presence of:  
ƒ Health and safety policies and management system  
ƒ Health and safety training  
U
U
U
U
U
U
U
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
ƒ Licenses and permits  
ƒ Potable water (review documentation)  
ƒ Accident reporting and follow up actions  
ƒ Personal protective equipment (PPE)  
ƒ Equipment/machine safety  
ƒ Waste and chemical management program (review permits, licences, MSDS  
training for workers)  
U
U
ƒ Repetitive motion (review assessment reports, interview workers, observe use of  
U
U
U
U
P
PPE)  
ƒ Emergency procedures, fire safety, exits, fire prevention, fire extinguishers  
ƒ Air Quality Management Systems (identify system in place to manage air quality in  
U
the work environment)  
ƒ First aid  
U
U
U
U
U
P
P
P
P
P
ƒ Sanitation and hygiene  
ƒ Dormitories  
ƒ Canteen  
ƒ Lighting  
ƒ Noise (documentation review of medical records, interview workers /  
U
U
U
P
management, ensure noise monitoring has been completed)  
ƒ Ventilation and temperature control (documentation review, interview  
management / workers, medical records, evaluating what checks have been  
undertaken)  
ƒ Risk mitigation/supplier assessment/root cause analysis  
ƒ Occupancy Certificate  
U
U
U
U
P
P
P
U
ƒ Hazardous material handling  
ƒ Waste Management  
9.11 USE OF APSCA MEMBER NUMBER  
How to write Member Number  
ASCA  
CSCA  
P
P
P
P
When to use APSCA Member Number  
Glossary of Terms (refer to separate document)  
Document Name:  
Version & Date  
Replaces:  
APSCA Competency Framework D-011  
Version 5 – October 2020  
Version 4 – July 2020  
This document is no longer version controlled once printed.  
Author/Owner:  
Authorized by:  
APSCA President & CEO  
APSCA Executive Board  
Page 15 of 16