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. Following ISEAL Code revision procedures, in 2017 we have undertaken to review the Code and are now in our first period of public consultation on draft v1.1 commencing the 5th April 2017 and running until the 6th June.

How you can participate

The table below lists the resources that have been developed for the consultation.  We will add to this list as the consultation evolves in response to specific topics that we anticipate emerging and would encourage you to regularly visit this page to keep abreast of new resources.

Reference Resource
ISEAL Assurance Code Draft v1.1
ISEAL Assurance Code Draft v1.1 text comparison with v1, referencing relevant ISO clauses
ISEAL Assurance Code Draft v1.1 and how ISO standards are reflected

We also have a range of opportunites to provide input into this consultation: 

Our comment submission form allows you to refrence particular clauses in draft v1.1 of the code and highlight what you like or what you would like to see further developed.  It also allows for suggestions on how the clauses might be revised.  Please email completed forms to consultation@isealalliance.org.

Our online survey allows participants to provide critical feedback on the structure of draft v1.1 of the Code and particular thematic areas that it seeks to address.  We anticipate it taking no longer than 20 minutes.

We also have a series of upcoming public consultation workshops where you will have the opportunity to discuss the revision to the Code with your peers as well as with ISEAL staff.  They are free of charge and to register your interest for any of these events, please email consultation@isealalliance.org.

USA Workshop - Washington DC
  • Date: 21 April 2017
  • Location: U.S. Green Building Council, 2101 L Street NW, Suite 500 Washington, DC 2003
Indonesia Workshop - Jakarta
  • Date: 5 May 2017
  • Location: Jakarta, Indonesia, Menara Thamrin Building (MTB)
Europe Workshop - Bonn, Germany
  • Date: 18 May 2017
  • Location: Forest Stewardship Council Office, Charles de Gaulle Str. 5, Bonn, 53133, Germany

Steering Group

We have confirmed 8 Steering Group 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 Mid-July 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.