Pathway to ISEAL membership

Washing bananas, Costa Rica © Rob Goodier, 2006, Rainforest Alliance
Washing bananas, Costa Rica © Rob Goodier, 2006, Rainforest Alliance
Each organisation may take a different path before deciding to apply for ISEAL membership. This is an example pathway to ISEAL membership:

Step 1: Join the Community

Most organisations begin their journey by joining the ISEAL Community as a subscriber to access resources, training and networking opportunities. Public training workshops are a great opportunity to build internal staff capacity to understand and implement new and improved practices.

Step 2: Read the member requirements

Another good place to start is to read the ISEAL Member Requirements to check if your organisation meets the Eligibility Requirements and can continue to meet the Member Requirements if your application is successful.

Step 3: Read ISEAL’s Codes of Good Practice

Our Codes provide guidance on how to build stronger, more effective and impactful standards systems. To join the membership, applicants must demonstrate that they comply with baseline requirements in the Codes, and commit to meeting the improvement criteria within a set timeframe. For more information read Code Compliance Requirements for Standard-Setting Members.  

Step 4: Do a self-assessment

Specific reporting documents are used by ISEAL members and member applicants to demonstrate compliance with ISEAL’s Codes. These reporting documents include a Code Compliance Scorecard & Checklist for each Code and a Public System Report for each Code. Most organisations start with just the scorecard to get an overview of likely compliance. Our resource tables are particularly useful to organisations preparing a membership application.

Step 5: Improve your organisation’s performance

After an initial self-assessment organisations may identify weaknesses that they need to address, which can take a few months or a couple of years. Throughout this period, ISEAL has experts available to answer technical questions and provide tailored training to staff and stakeholders. Technical support of this kind starts at around €500 per half day. Support can be purchased as a block of time or in the form of a tailored service such as a webinar or workshop.

Step 6: Complete your application

Organisations are required to submit a completed application form and checklist and provide evidence that the eligibility requirements are met, in addition to Code compliance reporting documents and supporting documentation, as outlined in the application checklist.

Step 7: Inform us that you want to apply

When your organisation is ready to apply for membership, email and we’ll open an application portal for you to submit your application documents. Our Membership Application Procedure for Standard-Setting Organisations outlines the process for submitting a membership application, how it will be evaluated and the steps taken to make a final decision on the outcome of the application.