ASCA: Associate Social Compliance Auditor (ASCA) is an auditor who has been signed off by a Member Firm as  
meeting the criteria noted within the Competency Framework; has been enrolled with APSCA; and is working  
towards sitting the CSCA exam.  
Audit Firm: Companies or organizations providing independent social compliance services. This definition  
does not include internal audit functions.  
Audit Firm Personnel: Auditors and all personnel who are involved in the management and supervision,  
coordination, report writing and report quality review of social compliance services.  
Audit the Auditor: A risk-based confirmation of audit results for a sample of executions by reperformance of  
audit procedures by another auditor or detailed review of audit working papers.  
Auditee: The facility at which the audit is being executed.  
Auditor: Any individual who conducts social compliance services including an employed, freelance, or  
subcontract auditor.  
Client: The organization that has requested the social compliance service and / or the organization that is  
owed the duty of care.  
Code: APSCA Code and Standards of Professional Conduct.  
Code of Ethics Agreement: Industry standard agreement to be executed in connection with all social  
compliance services outlining the key requirements of the Member Firm’s integrity program and requiring  
reporting of all solicitation or offers of bribes.  
Collaborative Program: A program that manages a social compliance audit as part of a larger system of  
social compliance improvement. The program is managed by an organization which includes stakeholder  
members who support the development of and enhancements of the program, These programs may also be  
known as schemes or initiatives.  
Competency Framework: APSCA’s compendium of demonstrated competencies for practitioners and the  
basis for consideration as an ASCA or CSCA.  
Complaints: Reporting, whether on an identified or anonymous basis, of alleged non-compliance with the  
Code or Standards.  
CSCA: Certified Social Compliance Auditor (CSCA) is a designation signifying that an auditor demonstrates  
specific experience, knowledge and skills within the field of social compliance auditing. Through a rigorous  
certification process - including experience, education, examination and assessment - the CSCA candidate  
must demonstrate the core competencies relevant to the profession.  
Facility: An operation that is the subject of the social compliance services. Generally, these operations would  
be a specific geographic location and have a unique business license. This can include any location where  
products are produced, grown, distributed or sold.  
Freelance Auditor: – see Subcontractor.  
Independence: Being independent and being perceived to be independent is necessary for an APSCA  
Member Firm to deliver independent social compliance audits that provide confidence. It is important that all  
audit firm personnel are aware of the need for independence to conduct social compliance audits.  
It is recognized that the source of revenue for an APSCA Member Firm is its client paying for social compliance  
audit services, and this is a potential threat to independence.  
It is essential that an APSCA Member Firm’s decisions be based on objective evidence obtained by the  
Member Firm through Member Auditors, and that its decisions are not influenced by other interests.  
Threats to independence may include, but are not limited to, the following:  
ƒ Self-interest: a Member Firm and/or Member Auditor acting in their own interest, including financial  
interests and interests relating to the provision of social compliance audit services to clients where other  
services are also provided.  
ƒ Self-review: a Member Auditor reviewing the work done by themselves or another member of the same  
firm; e.g., auditing the management systems of a client for whom the Member Firm and/ or Member  
Auditor provided management systems consultancy on related topics.  
Document Name:  
Version & Date  
APSCA Glossary of Terms D-031  
Version 4 – May 2022  
Version 3 - January 2021  
This document is no longer version controlled once printed.  
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Authorized by:  
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APSCA Executive Board  
ƒ Familiarity (and trust): a Member Firm and/ or Member Auditor being too familiar with or trusting of  
another person instead of seeking audit evidence.  
ƒ Intimidation: a Member Firm and/ or Member Auditor having a perception of being coerced openly or  
covertly, such as a threat to be replaced or reported to a supervisor.  
Management of Independence  
Social compliance audit services shall be undertaken independently. All audit firm personnel, who could  
influence social compliance audit services, shall act independently and shall not allow commercial,  
financial or other pressures to compromise their independence.  
The Member Firm shall have top management commitment to independence in social compliance  
audit services. The Member Firm shall have a policy stating that it understands the importance of  
independence in carrying out its social compliance audit services, manages conflicts of interest  
and ensures the objectivity and effectiveness of same. The Member Firm shall require all audit firm  
personnel to reveal any situation which can present them or the Member Firm with a conflict of interest.  
Member Firms shall record and use this information as input to identify threats to independence raised  
by the activities of audit firm personnel or by their relationship with organizations that commission  
their services.  
The Member Firm shall have a process to:  
ƒ Identify, analyze, evaluate, treat, monitor, and document the risks related to conflict of interest  
arising from provision of social compliance audit services including any conflict which arises from its  
relationships on an ongoing basis. Sources of threats to independence of the Member Firm can be  
based on ownership, governance, management, personnel, shared resources, finances, contracts,  
training, marketing and payment of a sales commission or other inducement for the referral of  
new clients.  
ƒ Where there are threats to independence, the Member Firm shall document and demonstrate how it  
eliminates or minimizes such threats and document any residual risk. The demonstration shall cover  
all potential threats that are identified, whether they arise from within the Member Firm or from the  
activities of other persons, bodies or organizations.  
The Member Firm shall not conduct an audit when the Member Firm (including, but not limited to,  
owners, managers, or auditors) has a business interest in the outcome of the audit (this includes, but is  
not limited to, fees or other business contingent on the outcome of the audit).  
The Member Firm shall not perform social compliance audit services at any facility where the Member  
Firm, its owners or managers have provided social compliance consultancy within the preceding  
two (2) years.  
To ensure there is no conflict of interest, audit firm personnel who have provided consultancy,  
including those acting in a managerial capacity, shall not be used by the Member Firm to take part in  
a social compliance audit or other social compliance audit services if they have been involved in social  
compliance consultancy for the client in the preceding two (2) years.  
Independent Translator: An individual with language skills allowing for communication with workers or  
management and the auditor. In all cases, the individual shall have no relationship with either the facility or  
the local authorities and will have executed a non-disclosure agreement.  
Member Auditor: An auditor who is enrolled and in good standing with APSCA in either an ASCA or  
CSCA capacity.  
Member Firm: An audit firm that is a member of APSCA and provides Social Compliance Audit services.  
Members: Member Firms and Member Auditors.  
Owners: Those with an ownership interest as follows:  
ƒ Public Company: any level of ownership requiring legal disclosure under applicable securities laws  
ƒ Private Company: any level of ownership  
Document Name:  
Version & Date  
APSCA Glossary of Terms D-031  
Version 4 – May 2022  
Version 3 - January 2021  
This document is no longer version controlled once printed.  
Page 3 of 4  
Authorized by:  
APSCA President & CEO  
APSCA Executive Board  
Partner: An organization that is independent from an APSCA Member Firm and is used to conduct  
assessments, audits, or other work. They could operate under the Member Firm name or not, however they  
do not share and / or have the same ownership and / or policies.  
Registered Level Auditor (RA): A temporary designation for an auditor who has been signed off by a Member  
Firm as meeting the educational and experience requirements of a CSCA during APSCA’s initial deployment  
of the certification regimen, and is going through the CSCA examination process. During the initial period,  
Registered Level Auditors have the rights, responsibilities and obligations of a CSCA.  
Social Compliance Audit: A social compliance service requiring consideration of each of the sections in the  
Competency Framework with the capture and evaluation of sufficient evidential matter to assess performance  
relative to each section by a CSCA. Competent capture of sufficient evidential matter includes at a minimum:  
ƒ Observations of conditions in the facility, which include the work area and any other relevant areas  
ƒ Review of records and policies related to Code of Conduct sections  
ƒ Management interviews  
ƒ Worker interviews  
ƒ Triangulation of all information  
CSCA’s and Member Firms have the responsibility to ensure that appropriate time is spent on site to  
competently achieve these tasks. Appropriate time is a function of many factors, including but not limited  
to the number of workers and physical size of the facility. Industry standard practice indicates that effective  
consideration would generally require a minimum of one auditor day on site for small facilities (e.g. less than  
100 workers), whereas for larger facilities with more workers, two or more auditor days will be required on an  
incremental basis based on the number of workers and the physical size of the facility.  
Social Compliance Consultancy: Any form of assistance with the implementation of any processes or  
management systems that relates to the requirements of a social compliance service. This includes, but is not  
limited to, tailored training, document development or provision of advice that would specifically assist an  
entity to work towards meeting requirements or to achieve compliance.  
Social Compliance Consultancy does not include:  
ƒ The customary exchange of information at the conclusion of or following an audit including clarifying  
requirements or explaining findings either to an entity undergoing an audit or to an organization  
commissioning an audit  
ƒ Corrective Action Plan management or administration that does not involve the provision of specific  
direction to address or remediate identified issues  
ƒ Training open to the public, not specific to a client and held at a public forum  
Social Compliance Service: An engagement to evaluate, measure, understand and report an organization’s  
social and ethical performance. A social compliance service is intended to support a larger system to improve  
labor conditions.  
Subcontractor: Any individual auditor that is not under the direct employment of the Member Firm and  
has been contracted to conduct a social compliance service on behalf of a Member Firm and for whom the  
Member Firm is responsible.  
Takes Responsibility for the Overall Process: The Member Firm who has the relationship with the client and  
is responsible for the scheduling, execution, and quality review of the Social Compliance Audit, and applies its  
audit integrity policies and procedures to the process and the auditor.  
Training Outcomes: Evidence of successful completion of training, including the results of examinations or  
evaluations from the trainer(s).  
Worker: Individuals present in a facility where a social compliance service is being performed including direct  
employees, contractors, temporary workers and all other persons on-site.  
Document Name:  
Version & Date  
APSCA Glossary of Terms D-031  
Version 4 – May 2022  
Version 3 - January 2021  
This document is no longer version controlled once printed.  
Page 4 of 4  
Authorized by:  
APSCA President & CEO  
APSCA Executive Board