Assurance Model Options

What’s the best model for an international assurance programme? What are the options? What are the differences between those options? Is it better to set up your own assurance programme, or work with independent certification bodies? What makes best sense in your own situation?

Every standards scheme will need to ask, and answer, these questions for itself at some point. OneWorldStandards’ Director Matthew Wenban-Smith was responsible for setting up the FSC Accreditation Programme in 1994, and ran the Soil Association’s Woodmark certification scheme from 1998 through to 2001. Since setting up OneWorldStandards in 2006 Matthew has helped many schemes think through their options, and work out which approach makes best sense in their own circumstances.

Clients have included the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN), the Basel Action Network (BAN), the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA), Cornerstone Standards Council (CSC), and the Sustainable Eel Group (SEG). All have gone on to establish new assurance programmes, or modify their existing assurance architectures, with the confidence that they understand the options and the choices they are making, based on OneWorldStandards’ advice.

“Matthew Wenban-Smith came highly recommended, and provided our non-profit with a great deal of very valuable wisdom and guidance during our start-up phase in creating a new certification program. He has a depth of experience, an ability to focus on the key issues, and a respectful, constructive way of working that we found extremely valuable. Thank you, Matthew!” – Sarah Westervelt, e-Stewards certification program

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    “OneWorldStandards was highly responsive, professional and flexible. They were able to present the information in a clear and accessible manner, while providing constructive and insightful recommendations.” – Christopher Wunderlich, United Nations Forum on Sustainability Standards (UNFSS) Coordinator