Assurance Code Revision

The ISEAL Assurance Code of Good Practice was first developed in 2012 to provide a framework for assurance that supports standards systems to achieve their social and environmental objectives and to improve the effectiveness of their assurance models.

First Public Consultation Results

We would like to extend our gratitude to the wide range of stakeholders who participated in the first round of consultations.  The feedback that we received and our responses are available through this link.

The key issues raised during the consultation were discussed by the Steering Group on the 30th June 2017 leading to a revised version of the Code v1.2 being put to the Technical Committee on the 18th July 2017 and approved for public consultation.

Second Public Consultation

The second public consultation to the ISEAL Assurance Code v1.2 was opened on the 1st of August 2017 and is now closed.  ISEAL extends its sincere gratitude to all those that have participated and is now in the process of reviewing and consolidating the feedback into the next draft which will be put to the Steering Group on the 19th October for review and final comment.  ISEAL shall publish the consolidated feedback and revised draft for comment in advance of the ISEAL Technical Committee meeting on the 6th November and ISEAL Board Meeting at the end of November.

Consultation Resources

Assurance Code Draft V1.2

Assurance Code Desired Outcomes

Background and rationale for the new structure

Steering Group

Our Steering Group consists of 8 members who will steward the revision of the Assurance Code over the remainder of 2017, starting with an in-person session on 9 and 10 March to review the first draft for consultation.  Members of the Steering Group include:

  • Chisara Ehiemere, Field to Market, United States
  • Diana Kirsanova, SCS Global, United States
  • Evi Mateboer, Accreditation Services International, Germany
  • Fallight Xu, TUV Rheinland, China
  • Graham Bruford, Marine Stewardship Council, United Kingdom
  • Liz Forwand, Fair Trade USA, United States
  • Rituparna Majumdar, Etico Consultancy, India
  • Xinhua Sun, Permanent Mission of China to the WTO, China

Objectives

The 2017 revision process for the ISEAL Assurance Code aims to:

  • Maintain the rigour of the Assurance Code, referencing ISO normative guidance where appropriate and focusing more explicitly on areas that go beyond relevant ISO standards and guides;
  • Remove any duplication and inconsistencies in the language;
  • Enhance consistency and create synergies with the other two ISEAL Codes of Good Practice and the ISEAL Claims Guide, both in terms of content linkages and how the Code is structured;
  • Review and update the scope of the Assurance Code including better defining which assurance activities fall within the Code, how requirements apply to different models of assurance, and what types of sustainability tools the Code applies to;
  • Take account of stakeholder realities and assurance priorities in different regions of the world.  This includes consulting on key stakeholder perceptions of the credibility of proposed practices;
  • Aim for language and structure that support learning and continual improvement, particularly for new and small standards systems, and that allow for simple assessment of compliance with the requirements; and
  • Integrate learning from the Assurance Code compliance process, particularly in identifying areas where some standards systems have experienced challenges with compliance.

You can access the complete Terms of Reference for the 2017 Assurance Code revision here.

Proposed high-level activity timeline

Activity

Date

Receive expressions of interest for the Assurance Code Revision Streering Group To 10th February 2017
Recruit Assurance Code Steering Group Mid-February 2017
First draft published for 60 day consultation period Early April 2017
Stakeholder outreach events (North America, Europe, South America, Asia) April - July 2017
Second draft published for 60 day consultation Early August 2017
Final draft published for comment Mid-October 2017
Proposal to ISEAL Board for approval of the ISEAL Assurance Code V2 End November 2017

For full details on the process that ISEAL follows in Code development or revision, including details of its decision making process please read through ISEAL's Code Development Procedure.

If you have any questions or comments about the process or want to understand more about how you can be involved in the consultation, please email consultation@isealalliance.org.