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 (TT)), Proctor U (host) and a live evaluator/interviewer.  
Part  
Format  
Mode  
Duration (hours)  
Multiple-Choice  
Online exam  
1
2
2
2
Written Case Study  
Simulated Interview  
Online exam  
3
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:  
. measure your ability to interface professionally and effectively, given a range of circumstances and  
personalities you might encounter during an audit;  
. assess how you manage these challenge; and  
. 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 (TT) 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”.  
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CONTENTS  
Exam Preparation  
Auditor Handbook  
3
3
Competency Framework/Code & Standards of Professional Conduct (Code)  
Test Your Equipment  
3
3
4
4
Review Prior Training Materials  
Conduct a Mock Interview  
Exam Strategies  
5
Tips for Success  
5
Exam Logistics  
6
6
7
Time Management  
Available Tools  
How Scoring Works  
Logging onto the Test Site  
8
8
Summary  
11  
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EXAM PREPARATION  
AUDITOR HANDBOOK  
COMPETENCY FRAMEWORK / CODE &  
STANDARDS OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT (CODE)  
You are encouraged to read both documents  
carefully.  
READ the APSCA Auditor Handbook and the  
Glossary of Terms in its entirety:  
The Competency Framework highlights the areas that  
the exam may cover, which includes Foundational  
Skills and Functional Knowledge Areas.  
handbook-d-019/  
terms-d-031/  
framework-d-011/  
Information within the Auditor Handbook includes:  
The Code & Standards of Professional Conduct  
includes areas of ethics & integrity that you are  
expected to know and understand as an APSCA  
Member Auditor.  
. Information specific to the Part III exam  
. Allowed (and non permitted) resources  
. Tips on the format used throughout the exam  
. Examination cost and integrity  
. Guidance for testing your equipment  
TEST YOUR EQUIPMENT  
You would have tested your equipment for the Part I and Part II exams. However, technology for the Part III  
exam is somewhat different as well as updates to your operating system happen on a regular basis, therefore  
ensuring you test your equipment for this exam is essential. ProctorU enhanced the testing process, as  
described in the Auditor Handbook. 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 (GTM). You must access and test GTM 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. It is also helpful  
to ensure you completely close down your system and reboot prior to starting your Part III exam.  
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 may assist:  
2. Review FAQ’s  
3. Watch the video about joining a session:  
https://support.goto.com/meeting/help/join-help-and-faqs-g2m050007  
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. Note: there is no need to obtain a  
subscription to GoToMeeting to sit the exam. ProctorU will open GoToMeeting for you on the day.  
6. Conduct some practice calls see how the platform works. https://www.gotomeeting.com/try  
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Note: GTM is a third-party organization and APSCA does not have knowledge of enhancements that may be  
made to their systems. The information provided above is made with the current knowledge available.  
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:  
Steps for conducting an audit:  
Interviewing management  
Greeting and introduction on arrival  
at the facility  
Interviewing third party contractors  
(cleaning, cafeteria, security)  
Conducting an opening meeting  
Facility walkthrough  
Pursuing/investigating/validating  
areas of concern  
Corroborating evidence from  
different sources  
Interviewing workers  
Interviewing supervisors  
Conducting a closing meeting  
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).  
General topics which you may want to review  
health and safety, including root cause  
(refer to the Competency Framework):  
analysis  
hiring/termination practices  
discrimination (occurrence and prevention)  
working hours and overtime  
grievance procedures  
unions and collective bargaining  
migrant workers  
For additional topics see the Competency  
Framework – working with your training  
team, particularly on areas which may occur  
infrequently in your own geographic region  
forced labor  
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 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  
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 is to ensure  
that the volunteer does not act “too nice.”  
Be sure you request assistance from someone who is willing to challenge you.  
Record a video of the role play and critique yourself. Focus on: Professionalism, ability to deflect difficult  
situations, clarify communications, all while ensuring that you cover the main points and complete one step  
before moving on to the next. Strive for effectiveness in your interactions with the other person. This method  
could be particularly useful if you do not have a partner to practice with.  
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Option 2  
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, with 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.  
The written questions will ask you to note 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 identified during the interview, even those that require further  
investigation, making a note that additional investigation is required.  
The exam has space on the screen where you type your notes as you conduct your work. Those notes are  
intended to be used to assist in structuring your interview as well as answering the final question at the end of  
the scenario. 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.  
We suggest allocating between 2 to 5 minutes to answer the written question.  
TIPS FOR SUCCESS  
The following are recommendations based on feedback from previous test takers (TT) and observations from  
the interviewers.  
It is better to understand a few issues thoroughly than to move  
quickly through a checklist. Failure to investigate thoroughly  
and ask relevant follow up questions (see point 5) may result in  
reduced points.  
Investigate thoroughly  
and avoid rushing the  
interview process.  
1
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.  
Read the background and  
law information carefully.  
2
3
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 TT asks a question which requires a “yes/no” answer  
(i.e. a closed-ended question), you may be preventing the  
interviewer from revealing new facts to you. Ensure your questions  
are open ended, e.g. start with “how,” “describe” or similar phrases  
that cannot be answered with just a yes or no.  
Ask open-ended  
questions.  
4
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Ask follow-up questions  
(what, who, when, where,  
why, how).  
Explore all issues thoroughly to determine the specifics and  
severity of potential findings.  
5
6
Interviewers are trained to keep the TT 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 interviewer  
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.  
Reconfirm your  
There may be technical issues, such as pauses or glitches  
in the audio transmission, that affect your ability to hear the  
interviewer (or vice versa). The interviewer understands 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.  
understanding of what  
the interviewer said – or  
if you do not think the  
interviewer heard you  
correctly, restate the  
comment.  
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 2.5 to 3 hours to ensure 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 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.  
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In each section, ensure you:  
Take Time to plan the interview prior to starting.  
Read the instructions (identify if there is a  
question at the end) and the scenario.  
With the assigned topics in mind, recall the  
standard interview questionnaire you would use  
in a typical workplace audit.  
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.  
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  
of the relevant 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 examiner plays 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. Ensure that you  
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:  
. 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: Note the points listed in the scenario that you are to cover during your interview (they are a set  
of bullet points and are presented and 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.  
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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:  
. evaluate, investigate, and triangulate  
. raise relevant questions, provide appropriate answers  
. persuade handle, overcome and communicate challenging situations  
. identify potential findings based on the scenario content and interview outcome  
. organize an interview in its entirety with the proper opening and/or closing statement,  
. manage time efficiently  
. 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. Please be sure to check your email spam/junk folders for  
the email from our Exam Team (noreply@theapsca.org). If you are past the 14 business day window, please  
feel free to contact the Exam Team at exam@theapsca.org or director@theapsca.org with a follow up inquiry  
quoting your APSCA Membership Number and the date of your exam.  
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  
Welcome, please select your exam type  
Exam type*  
Test Taker’s Name  
Video of the Auditor/Test Taker  
Video of the  
Interviewer  
Exam  
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. If you have requested a translator, choose English and you will then use the  
right click translate function to review in your language - https://theapsca.org/resources/how-to-use-online-  
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Welcome, please select your language  
Chinese Simplified  
CONTINUE  
Language selection  
Ensure you double check that ALL information is entered correctly, as errors can slow down your exam start  
or when receiving your results.  
Common errors include:  
Membership Number: 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 into the  
APSCA exam site it may cause a delay. If your name has changed, 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  
APSCA’s data system do not carry across automatically to the Exam Site. Let us know before the exam if your  
name has changed.  
Email: This email is the address that your results will be sent to. If you mistype your email, your results will  
be delayed. The exam site, ProctorU and APSCA data systems are NOT linked – so if you do not input the  
information accurately, your results will take longer. 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.  
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Welcome, please enter your details to begin the process.  
Membership Number  
216012345  
First Name *  
First Name  
Last Name *  
Last Name  
Telephone *  
Email *  
Select Gender you identify with *  
Last Name  
Country of Residence *  
Australia  
Female  
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 – the time you take reading through this section does NOT count towards your exam  
time. The evaluator/interviewer needs to perform a couple of steps their side 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.  
Waiting for Interviewer, please wait  
If you see the message above, wait for the interviewer, the exam will commence as soon as the interviewer  
has completed the necessary steps. 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.  
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The first scenario will show on your screen – you will note the following:  
Scenario 2  
Scenario 1  
Scenario 3  
Opening Meeting  
Definitions:  
Test Taker/TT/Auditor may be used and are referring to the same person,  
e.g. you  
I, Example Name, confirm I am completing this exam on May  
21st 2020, on behalf of myself and without any unauthorized  
assistance from any person, materials or device.  
Non-conformance, non-compliance and audit findings may be used  
interchangeably and refer to the same thing.  
Notes  
Instructions  
This scenario includes the following steps:  
1. Prepare for the interview:  
o Information regarding the scenario is provided below the instructions.  
o Read the content carefully to prepare for the interview.  
o On the right-hand side of the screen there is a place to type  
your notes. Write down your thoughts to help your preparation  
for the interview and answering the short answer questions at  
the end. These notes are not kept or shared.  
o The average time spent on this step is 5 minutes.  
Next Scenario  
Autosave  
Time remaining: 00 : 29 : 42  
Place to type “Notes”  
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  
understood the statement.  
Do NOT click the next scenario button until instructed by the  
interviewer (Note: you CANNOT go back!)  
Timer at the bottom  
right hand corner  
SUMMARY  
. Read this document  
. Read and follow the guidance within the Auditor Handbook  
Don’t be scared… be prepared!  
Good luck! If you have any questions, email us at director@theapsca.org.  
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