All steps in the standards and certification process, including standard-setting, impact evaluation and assurance (certification and accreditation) have a role to play in the effectiveness of a system. ISEAL builds understanding of good practices for standards systems and sets internationally applicable good practice guidance for the implementation of credible standards systems. These Codes of Good Practice are applied by leading standards systems and compliance is an ISEAL membership requirement. Review and revision of the ISEAL Codes is managed by a Technical Advisory Committee made up of outside experts. The ISEAL Board of Directors do not have a role in Code content development.
The globally supported ISEAL Credibility Principles articulate the practices that define credible sustainability standards systems. These concepts, such as transparency, engagement and improvement underpin our Codes of Good Practice.
The ISEAL Codes of Good Practice are effective screens for assessing the credibility of sustainability standards. Institutions and companies make reference to and use the Codes in a variety of ways for purchasing and policy. Recent references to the Codes include:
- FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Report, 2010 (PDF format)
- UK Government Timber Procurement Policy, 3rd edition, 2010 (PDF format)
- Best practice guidelines for the operation of certification schemes relating to agricultural products and foodstuffs, 2010
- European Commission, Communication on Fair Trade, 2009