The corporate social responsibility audit, as a service offered by The CSR Company, is an independent and objective process, based on the comprehensive ISO 26000 CSR Standard.
Undergoing the audit, our clients will get important information, instrumental in fine tuning their social responsibility policies, in the strategic piloting and control of social, environmental and governance risks and also in enhancing the social responsibility relevance of the operational objectives of their organizations and also of their managerial choices:
By taking the audit, our clients will:
- have information on their level of maturity with regard to the guidelines of the ISO 26000 standard;
- be provided with information on the degree of commitment regarding the social responsibility objectives set by their strategies and expected to fulfill
- be helped in identifying gaps and miss-matches in their current social responsibility strategy
- be assisted in evaluating the quality of certain internal activities, susceptible to generate potential or emerging risks but also seen as essential in achieving successful CSR, as follows:
- the effectiveness of the operating framework for CSR strategy, policies, programs development, implementation and monitoring (good corporate leadership in the CSR area, great priority for CSR at board level, the integration of CSR into corporate policy)
- the effectiveness of implementation and reporting for specific, large CSR projects
- the adequacy of internal control and review mechanisms in relation with the CSR area
- the reliability of the KPI's in the CSR area
- the management of risks associated with external factors like regulatory compliance at domestic and international level, stakeholder engagement (the active involvement of and good coordination between government, business and civil society) and external communication related to social responsibility
At the end of the assignment, our clients will be provided with a comprehensive evaluation of their entire CSR activity in terms of content, the accuracy of processes, adequacy of resources, level of monitoring, quality of stakeholder engagement and reporting and external visibility.
The audit methodology
Our audit methodology:
- is based on the ISO 26000 CSR standard - the internationally approved and recognized framework to which companies and stakeholders around the globe can refer to, and that is aligned with various recommendations, conventions, guidelines, certificates or labels issues by international bodies such as OECD, ILO, GRI, or UN
- looks at commitments (expressed by policies), policies (in terms of relevance), implementation process (in terms of consistency and coherence) and results (in terms of their effectiveness)
- uses a five level evaluation scale from -2 for little or no evidence of commitment, to 0 in case of a not applicable commitment and to +2 for a demonstrated commitment
- can provide, for recurrent audit assignments, also a trend indicator that shows changes in the level of a commitment between two recurring assessments
- requires quality control checks at each stage of the audit.
The audit assignment
The length of an audit assignment is determined by its scope and depth, but a comprehensive audit takes an average of 90 working days. The time span over which the 90 working days are distributed is then agreed with the client.
The audit assignment is conducted by our team of experts, that usually has the following structure: one Project Manager, one or two Senior Consultants, and two to three Junior Consultants (numbers differ depending on the size of company and estimated volume of work). The client will also assign a counter part with the role to facilitate the work of the consulting team.
The audit assignment is structured in the following stages:
- Assignment proposal submission, discussion and approval - this stage is critical for the proper start of the assignment; the consultants together with the client agree upon the scope, the depth and the objectives of the audit, its duration and completion timeframe as well as other working procedures related aspects
- Data gathering - this stage comprises of interviews, questionnaires, documents gathering, media and publicly available documents review, with the purpose to enable the analysis and recommendations made by the consultants
- Analysis - in this stage all the information gathered in the previous step is assessed in the framework of the ISO 26000 CSR standard, resulting in identified gaps and recommendations to address them; findings together with recommendations are incorporated in the draft audit report
- Delivery - during this stage the client receives the draft audit report and he is expected to make its own comments in the managements response section of the report; the final report is then issued and it incorporates both consultant and client observations.