The Future of Assurance: models for sustainability standards (San Francisco)

Assurance is evolving due to increased collaboration among sustainability organisations and the growing availability of information and new technologies which enable alternatives to audits. Traditional assurance has focused on effective management and oversight of the entities and processes that make up credible certification and verification. But what if collaboration and sustainability data could fuel more effective and efficient assurance models? What does this mean for your assurance programme? This workshop will explore how traditional assurance approaches are evolving as a result of current trends and new tools. We will review the requirements of the revised Assurance Code and how they can support your assurance programme.

What is the workshop about?

(provisional outline - subject to change)

The training workshop, delivered by global experts in sustainability standards and certification, will provide participants with a deeper understanding of the practices required to deliver credible and effective assurance for sustainability standards systems.

This  workshop is comprised of 4 sessions:

The evolution of effective assurance

This session will provide an introduction to the day and overview of what good assurance for sustainability standards looks like. We aim to stimulate discussion on the concepts and actions that underpin effective assurance, based on a set of assurance desired outcomes and ISEAL’s Credibility Principles - a set of core principles that define the foundation of credible standards. This session is an opportunity to learn more about ISEAL’s new Assurance Code version two, which aims to increase the value and accessibility of assurance in certification and accreditation. Latest thinking will be presented on how sustainability standards can benefit from trends impacting assurance practice.

How information demand and availability impacts assurance

This session will give an overview of how data availability and new technologies are impacting good practice for assurance. It covers the new information management requirements in Assurance Code version two, with a focus on risk management, learning and improvement, and information management systems.

Assurance models for the future

What does it mean to implement an assurance system that is responsive and enables agile detection of improvements to increase credibility and value to stakeholders? This session will cover how data from the assurance process can strengthen the backbone of assurance and how to use it effectively, from governance to practitioner training to data-sharing with stakeholders. These questions will be explored using practical examples from sustainability standards and beyond.

Risk management in assurance

This session will explore what risk management is an what it means for different levels of the assurance process. It covers risk management concepts from the organisational level to the level of risk-based audit approaches. The session includes an exploration of Assurance Code version two guidance note on risk management. A practical exercise using different sources of external data to support risk approaches will bring risk management concepts to life.

Who is the workshop for?

This workshop is open to all organisations and individuals working in the sustainability sector and interested in learning about key elements of effective assurance practice. It is well suited for staff of standard systems and particularly assurance and monitoring & evaluation practitioners who are interested in learning about how assurance systems are changing and can be strengthened. Please note that this workshop requires some basic prior understanding of standard systems and assurance. For new staff or staff of emerging standard systems, it is recommended to attend ISEAL's Sustainability Standards Essentials training workshop prior to this workshop. It will also be valuable to businesses and other organisations engaging with sustainability standards.

More information

For more information email ISEAL's Membership & Services team at  

Space is limited so please book early to avoid disappointment.  

Terms & Conditions

Please review ISEAL's Training and Events Terms & Conditions before booking a workshop.