Part III Exam – Guide For Success  
CSCA EXAM PART III  
GUIDE FOR SUCCESS  
APSCA’s Part III exam is a comprehensive, live, interview-style exam which incorporates three different  
parties: you as the Auditor (test taker), Proctor U (host) and a live evaluator / interviewer.  
Part  
Format  
Mode  
Online exam  
Duration (hours)  
1
2
3
Multiple-Choice  
Written Case Study  
Simulated Interview  
2
2
Online exam  
Online exam using video conference  
1.5  
The live interview will be conducted as a role-play of various audit processes or steps that are completed  
during the course of a social compliance audit. You will participate in three different scenarios in which you will  
act as an auditor and conduct activities as you would at the audit site.  
The purpose of this exam is to:  
ƒ measure your ability to interface professionally and effectively, given a range of circumstances and  
personalities you might encounter during an audit;  
ƒ assess how you manage these challenge; and  
ƒ appraise your ability to identify and describe audit findings / non-conformities.  
The Part III exam is very different from Part I and II. Therefore, APSCA developed this supporting document  
to assist you in your preparation for the final stage of the CSCA credentialing process. As one experienced  
Auditor (test-taker) advised at the Stakeholder event in Shenzhen in December 2019, “Don’t be scared of the  
exam but take it seriously. Read the Auditor Handbook carefully”.  
CONTENTS  
Exam Preparation  
2
2
Auditor Handbook  
Competency Framework / Code & Standards of Professional Conduct (Code)  
2
Test Your Equipment  
Review Prior Training Materials  
Conduct a Mock Interview  
Exam Strategies  
2
3
3
3
Tips for Success  
4
5
5
6
6
7
10  
Exam Logistics  
Time Management  
Available Tools  
How Scoring Works  
Logging onto the Test Site  
Summary  
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EXAM PREPARATION  
AUDITOR HANDBOOK  
COMPETENCY FRAMEWORK / CODE &  
STANDARDS OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT  
(CODE)  
READ the APSCA Auditor Handbook in its entirety  
(including the glossary of terms). Be sure your Firm  
has provided the latest version, as it includes the  
most up to date information. As at the time of writing  
this guidance, the latest version is Version 10.  
These documents are available on APSCA’s website  
(www.theapsca.org) and you are encouraged to read  
both carefully.  
Information within the Auditor Handbook includes:  
The Competency Framework highlights the  
areas that the exam may cover, which includes  
Foundational Skills and Functional Knowledge Areas.  
ƒ Information specific to the Part III exam  
ƒ Allowed (and non permitted) resources  
ƒ Tips on the format used throughout the exam  
ƒ Examination cost and integrity  
The Code & Standards of Professional Conduct  
includes areas of ethics & integrity that you are  
expected to know and understand as an APSCA  
Member.  
ƒ Guidance for testing your equipment  
Helpful Tip: Auditors are recommended to ONLY take exams in a language they are advanced in. Your  
APSCA profile should accurately reflect your language ability, both written and spoken. If the exam is not  
offered in a language you consider yourself advanced in, please postpone your exam until it becomes  
available in your language.  
Ensure you update your APSCA profile to reflect your language skills.  
TEST YOUR EQUIPMENT  
You have already tested your equipment for the Part I and Part II exams. However, the technology for the Part  
III exam is somewhat different. Therefore, testing your equipment specifically for this exam is essential.  
ProctorU enhanced the testing process, as described in the Auditor Handbook (V10). The steps detailed  
in Section 4 Examination – Format and Scheduling are intended to be completed in advance of your  
scheduled exam date. We suggest running periodic checks in the weeks and days leading up to your exam.  
System and firewall updates can impact your connection and / or equipment. Internet stability is key to your  
success. It is also important to update all third-party software and your operating system with latest updates.  
This will ensure your exam session is uninterrupted.  
Note: Part III exam requires access to GoToMeeting. You must access and test GoToMeeting separately from  
the ProctorU interface, as ProctorU will NOT be able to assist you or assess your computer’s compatibility.  
Check with your firm’s IT team to test GTM. Guidance to this is included within the Auditor Handbook.  
If you are not already familiar with the GoToMeeting platform, we advise you to learn how to use it prior to  
your exam date. Here are a couple of resources that will help you:  
2. Review FAQ’s  
3. Watch the video about joining a session: https://support.goto.com/meeting/help/join-help-and-faqs-  
4. In the “Join Help and FAQs” section, click on: “Join a Test Session.”  
5. Another option: sign up with GoToMeeting for a 14-day free trial.  
Conduct some practice calls see how the platform works. https://www.gotomeeting.com/try  
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REVIEW PRIOR TRAINING MATERIALS  
Ask your Firm for training materials, auditing protocols and any other exchange of experience sessions  
related to conducting social compliance audits. You should review audit methodologies and processes, not  
only for improving your work at the audit site, but also to prepare for this exam. Processes to study include,  
but are not limited to:  
ƒ Steps for conducting an audit:  
Ȉ Greeting and introduction on arrival at the  
Ȉ Interviewing third party contractors (cleaning,  
facility  
cafeteria, security)  
Ȉ Conducting an opening meeting  
Ȉ Facility walkthrough  
Ȉ Pursuing / investigating / validating areas of  
concern  
Ȉ Corroborating evidence from different sources  
Ȉ Interviewing workers  
Ȉ Conducting a closing meeting  
Ȉ Interviewing supervisors  
Ȉ Interviewing management  
For the above topics, consider (1) how to conduct each process (step-by-step), and (2) practice each step via  
a mock interview with a friend/colleague (see next section).  
ƒ General topics which you may want to review (refer to the Competency Framework):  
Ȉ hiring / termination practices  
Ȉ discrimination (occurrence and prevention)  
Ȉ working hours and overtime  
Ȉ grievance procedures  
Ȉ unions and collective bargaining  
Ȉ migrant workers  
Ȉ For additional topics see the Competency  
Framework – working with your training  
team, particularly on areas which may occur  
infrequently in your own geographic region  
Ȉ forced labor  
Ȉ health and safety, including root cause  
analysis  
Ensure you understand the above topics and how they are investigated at an audit site. Think about what the  
concept means, and what are you looking for when you audit. Recall how you handled difficult situations,  
whether effectively or not, and think objectively about how you might manage them better.  
CONDUCT A MOCK INTERVIEW  
Role play practice will assist you in feeling more confident during the exam. You may have been involved in  
and / or experienced role play as a part of your initial training to become a social compliance auditor – the  
live online role plays simulate what you may have experienced while auditing. As the exam is a live online  
interview, we offer a couple different suggestions to assist with your preparation:  
Option 1  
Option 2  
Work with someone from your Firm who is willing  
to role play, acting as someone who you might  
interview in a typical audit. That person can also offer  
constructive feedback on your performance. One tip  
Record a video of the role play and critique  
yourself. Focus on: Professionalism, ability to deflect  
difficult situations, clarify of communications, all  
while ensuring that you cover the main points and  
is to ensure that the volunteer does not act “too nice.” complete one step before moving on to the next.  
Strive for effectiveness in your interactions with the  
Be sure you request assistance from someone who  
other person. This method could be particularly  
is willing to challenge you.  
useful if you do not have a partner to practice with.  
Be aware that your exam interviewer may not act nice or seem to be a supportive individual throughout  
the scenarios. Their job is to simulate a real-world social auditing environment. This exam is meant to test  
your ability to remain cool under pressure, to deal with a diverse range of people and attitudes, and to act  
professionally while getting the job done. Every time you walk into a facility, you expect the unexpected. The  
same holds true for this exam.  
EXAM STRATEGIES  
The 1.5 hour exam is divided into three sections of 30 minutes, each section presenting a different scenario.  
The scenarios do NOT build on each other and are not inter-related. The interviewer will act in a different  
capacity (i.e. in a different role) each time. Two of the three scenarios have one (1) written question at the end.  
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One scenario does not require any writing.  
The one written question will ask you to note the potential findings identified during the interview. This  
question is a way to earn points; no points are deducted for erroneous statements so there is no negative  
marking. Therefore, list all potential findings you can think of, even those requiring further investigation.  
The exam has space on screen where you may type your notes as you conduct your work. Those notes may  
be used to assist you in answering the question in the end. The answer does not have to be a formal essay  
or complete sentences; in fact, dot / bullet points or short phrases are acceptable. There are no points  
awarded or penalties given related to spelling or grammar.  
Previous test takers have spent approximately two to five minutes answering the written question(s).  
TIPS FOR SUCCESS  
The following are recommendations based on feedback from previous test takers and observations from the  
interviewers:  
It is better to understand a few issues thoroughly than to move  
Investigate thoroughly  
quickly through a checklist. Failure to investigate thoroughly and  
ask relevant follow up questions (see point 5) may result in reduced  
points.  
1
2
3
and avoid rushing the  
interview process.  
Read the background  
and law information  
carefully.  
This information is provided to set the stage for the scenario and  
provides important content. All of the content is relevant; nothing is  
provided for the purposes of distraction.  
Throughout the interview, keep track of the topics provided in the  
instructions. Prior to finishing the interview, revisit these points to  
ensure each one has been covered. Utilize your online note-taking  
feature.  
Refer to the topics  
provided in the  
instructions often.  
When a test taker asks a question with only a “yes/no” answer (i.e.  
a closed-ended question), you may be preventing the interviewer  
from revealing new facts to you. Ask open questions that start with  
“how,” “describe for me,” or similar phrases that cannot be answered  
with simply a yes or no.  
Ask open-ended  
questions.  
4
5
Ask follow-up questions  
(what, who, when, where,  
why, how).  
Explore all issues thoroughly to determine the specifics and severity  
of potential compliance findings.  
Examiners are trained to keep the test taker on course with the  
relevant topics. Should you begin to investigate a topic that is not a  
relevant part of the scenario, the interviewer will not have answers  
to give you. Do not be frustrated if you hear “I don’t know” several  
times in a row – it is a clue that the examiner has no information in  
that area, and you should continue to the next issue.  
If you hear repeated “I  
don’t know” answers,  
then move to the next  
topic.  
6
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Reconfirm your  
understanding of what  
the interviewer said – or  
if you do not think the  
interviewer heard you  
correctly, restate the  
comment.  
There may be technical issues, such as pauses or glitches in the  
audio transmission, that affect your ability to hear the examiner  
(or vice versa). The examiners understand this and are trained  
to manage it by helping you as much as possible. Restate your  
understanding back to your interviewer to ensure he/she heard you  
properly.  
7
EXAM LOGISTICS  
Part III exam is 1.5 hours and is the final step in your journey towards achieving the CSCA qualification. You  
should allocate between 2 to 3 hours to allow sufficient time for set up and to ensure the required technology  
is running efficiently on the day of the exam. You may not be able to start if technology problems cannot be  
resolved, so be prepared (as listed above in “test your equipment”).  
There is a timer on the bottom right hand corner of the screen (same as Part I and II) to help you manage your  
time once the exam has begun.  
TIME MANAGEMENT  
Ensure that you manage your time during the exam. An example of how you might do this is:  
Scenario: 30 minutes in length  
5 - 7 minutes  
Read the instructions (identify if there is a question at the end), review the scenario, and  
develop your plan for conducting the interview. We encourage you to take notes (a notes  
field has been provided on the exam site) while reading the instructions, to help you  
remember the details. Notes and thoughts can be written in free flow text suitable for your  
own purpose and will not be graded.  
15 - 25 minutes  
Conduct the interview  
+/- 5 minutes  
Compose and write your answers to the question at the end of the scenario, when  
applicable.  
In each section, ensure you:  
Take Time to plan the interview prior to starting.  
Read the instructions (identify if there is a question  
With the assigned topics in mind, recall the  
standard interview questionnaire you would use in  
a typical workplace audit.  
at the end) and the scenario.  
Interview your examiner as per the topics  
assigned in the scenario (follow the notes and  
thoughts you have written for the areas to cover  
and ensure you do not move to another topic until  
you have completed each one).  
Listen & Watch carefully to understand key  
points. The potential issues/findings may be in  
the answers provided or the way answers are  
provided.  
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Investigate the potential issues / findings further,  
including asking questions to determine the risk  
factors (the severity, frequency, and impact) of the  
issues.  
Gather relevant information (e.g. who, what,  
where, when, why and how).  
Manage your time. BE AWARE of the amount of  
time you are spending on each potential issue /  
finding. Keep track of the timer.  
Write your answers at the end in two out of three  
scenarios.  
When conducting the interview, keep in mind your client’s expectations, past social auditing training  
experience, your company’s auditing procedures and any other exchange of experience you have had  
with your colleagues. One of the most common mistakes during Part III is the lack of detailed investigation.  
Auditors often stop investigating as soon as a finding is revealed. For example, the exam evaluator playing a  
role of a worker states in the conversation that he / she earns a wage that is lower than the minimum wage.  
Some auditors write down the minimum wage finding and move on to another topic. Investigate the issue  
thoroughly, keeping in mind the available time.  
AVAILABLE TOOLS  
As indicated in the Auditor Handbook, the only resource allowed during the Part III exam is:  
ƒ A basic calculator (that is NOT on a phone or computer)  
As mentioned above, there is a place on the exam site to write notes (on screen) during the  
exam – these notes are not included in the final submission of the exam.  
Helpful Tip: Copy into the notes section the bullet points listed in the scenario that you need to ensure  
you cover during your interview (they are a set of bullet points, and are presented / should be addressed  
in the correct order), so it is clear and easy for you to stay focused. You can use these points as a checklist  
while you are interviewing and / or writing your comments against each bullet point. Ensure you address  
each point before moving to the next.  
HOW SCORING WORKS  
Each scenario is scored separately with the overall exam result being calculated from the combined scores  
of the three scenarios and one final question at the end of the interview. You are being evaluated based on  
foundational skills and functional knowledge areas outlined in the APSCA Competency Framework, including,  
but not limited to, your ability to:  
ƒ evaluate, investigate, and triangulate  
ƒ raise relevant questions, provide appropriate answers, persuade  
ƒ handle, overcome and communicate challenging situations  
ƒ identify potential findings based on the scenario content and interview outcome  
ƒ organize an interview in its entirety with the proper opening and/or closing statement,  
ƒ manage time efficiently  
ƒ conduct the interview with an appropriate demeanor, professionalism, and interviewing techniques for  
each scenario  
As per the Auditor Handbook, it can take up to 14 business days to receive the exam results (whether that  
is Part I, Part II, or Part III) from the date of the exam. Given the high volume of exams being taken during the  
rollout phase, additional time may be required to process your results. Please be sure to check your email  
spam / junk folders for the email from our Exam Team. If you are past the 14 business day window, please  
feel free to reach out to the Exam Team at exam@theapsca.org or director@theapsca.org with a follow up  
inquiry.  
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LOGGING ONTO THE TEST SITE  
Once ProctorU brings you (Auditor / Test Taker) into GoToMeeting, the evaluator / Interviewer will hand over  
presenter rights to you and ask that you share your screen.  
The screen should look like the following. ProctorU will assist to adjust accordingly so you / the interviewer  
can see each other, and you can see the exam at the same time.  
APSCA Evaluation Centre  
ꢀelcome, please select your exam type  
Exm pe*  
Video of the Auditor / Test  
Taker  
Exam  
Test Taker’s Name  
Video of the  
Interviewer  
Ensure you pick the right language! When booking the exam, you selected the language which ensures you  
have an appropriate interviewer – NOW you are picking the language that the scenarios will be given to you:  
There are 4 options: English, Spanish, Chinese Simplified, and Chinese Traditional. There is a dropdown menu  
where you can make your choice.  
APSCA Evaluation Centre  
ꢀelcome, please select your language  
Lꢁnguꢁge  
Chinese Simplified - 皍 ⡤⚥俒  
CONTINUE  
Language selection  
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Ensure you double check that ALL information is correct. Issues which can slow down the process either at  
the start or when receiving your results include:  
Membership Number: THIS MUST BE CORRECT! Please double check the number is yours and do NOT  
include RA or ASCA before the number.  
First and Last Name: If your name is not the same as the name you used last time you logged in it may  
cause a delay. If your name has changed, please let us know so we can update the exam site. The Exam Site  
and APSCA’s data system are not linked, therefore any changes you may have made on one do not carry  
across automatically to the other. Let us know before the exam if your name or email has changed.  
Email: This email is the address that your results will be sent to. If you mistype, your results will be delayed.  
The exam site and the ProctorU / APSCA data systems are NOT linked – so if you do not input the  
information accurately, your results may take longer than normal. You do not need to rush to complete this  
form. Please take time to review the information you have provided, as it does NOT count against your time.  
APSCA Evaluation Centre  
ꢀelcome, please enter your details to begin the process  
Membership Number  
216012345  
Firs Nme *  
First Name  
Ls Nme *  
Last Name  
Emi *  
Teephone *  
Last Name  
Seec ꢁen†er ‡ou i†enif‡ ‰ih *  
Female  
Counr‡ of Resi†ence *  
Australia  
Start  
Before you click “start,”  
let the Proctor and  
Interviewer know you are  
ready to start.  
Double check your email  
is typed correctly  
This is your number, NO prefix  
e.g. do NOT include RA, ASCA  
Once you are in the exam, the next page you will see are the standard Terms and Conditions. Please take  
time to read through these – this section also does NOT count towards your time. The evaluator / interviewer  
needs to perform a couple of steps at his / her end to start the exam, therefore you are NOT rushed. He /  
she will take these steps while you read the instructions. Ensure you are familiar and aware – although the  
information is contained within the Auditor Handbook – it is worthwhile refreshing your memory. At the  
bottom you will type your full name acknowledging that you have read, understood and agree to abide by  
the rules, therefore we encourage you to read this information! Do not click “start” until told to do so by your  
evaluator / interviewer.  
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ꢀaiting for Intervieꢁer, please ꢁait  
If you see this screen, please wait for the interviewer – the exam will open shortly.  
As soon as the interviewer has completed the necessary steps, the exam will appear. Once the interviewer is  
ready he/she will speak to you for a moment, and ask you if you are ready to begin.  
Please note: as soon as the exam opens, the timer starts! It is important that you do NOT attempt to rush the  
interviewer.  
The first scenario will show on your screen – you will note the following:  
Scenario 1 Scenario 2 Scenario 3  
Opening Meeꢀing  
Definiꢀions:  
I, Example Name, confirm I am completing this  
Tesꢀ Tker / TT / Auꢂiꢀor mꢁꢃ be useꢂ ꢁnꢂ ꢁre referring ꢀo ꢀhe  
sꢁme person, e.g. ꢃou  
exam on May 21st 2020, on behalf of myself and  
ithout any unauthorized assistance from any  
person, materials or device.  
Non-conformꢁnce, non-compꢄiꢁnce ꢁnꢂ ꢁuꢂiꢀ finꢂings mꢁꢃ  
be useꢂ inꢀerchꢁngeꢁbꢄꢃ ꢁnꢂ refer ꢀo ꢀhe sꢁme ꢀhing.  
Notes  
Insꢀrucꢀions  
This scenꢀrio incꢁuꢂes ꢃhe foꢁꢁoꢄing sꢃeps:  
1. Prepꢁre for ꢀhe inꢀervieꢂ:  
o Informꢀꢃion regꢀrꢂing ꢃhe scenꢀrio is proviꢂeꢂ beꢁoꢄ ꢃhe  
insꢃrucꢃions.  
o Reꢀꢂ ꢃhe conꢃenꢃ cꢀrefuꢁꢁꢅ ꢃo prepꢀre for ꢃhe inꢃervieꢄ.  
o On ꢃhe righꢃ-hꢀnꢂ siꢂe of ꢃhe screen ꢃhere is ꢀ pꢁꢀce ꢃo  
ꢃꢅpe ꢅour noꢃes. ꢆriꢃe ꢂoꢄn ꢅour ꢃhoughꢃs ꢃo heꢁp ꢅour  
prepꢀrꢀꢃion for ꢃhe inꢃervieꢄ ꢀnꢂ ꢀnsꢄering ꢃhe shorꢃ  
ꢀnsꢄer ꢇuesꢃions ꢀꢃ ꢃhe enꢂ. These noꢃes ꢀre noꢃ kepꢃ  
or shꢀreꢂ.  
o The ꢀverꢀge ꢃime spenꢃ on ꢃhis sꢃep is 5 minuꢃes.  
Next Scenario  
Autosave  
Time remaining: 00 : 29 : 42  
The system will auto save  
- you do NOT need to click  
this button at any time.  
Read the statement and  
check the box to confirm  
you have read and  
Place to type “Notes”  
understood the statement.  
Do NOT click the next scenario button until Timer at the bottom  
instructed by the interviewer (Note: you CANNOT go back!) right hand corner  
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Part III Exam – Guide For Success  
SUMMARY  
ƒ Read and follow the guidance within the Auditor Handbook  
ƒ Read this document  
ƒ Listen to the Webinar (https://www.theapsca.org/apsca-newsletters/)  
Don’t be scared…. be prepared!  
Good luck! If you have any questions, email us at director@theapsca.org.  
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