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Certification, verification, assessment

ISO 26000 provides guidance using ‘shoulds’, and not ‘shalls’ as the certifiable standards. This was intentional both when initiating and drafting ISO 26000. The main reason was to allow the standard to offer more detailed operational guidance and less general management.

Annex A if ISO 26000, “Examples of voluntary initiatives and tools for social responsibility”, contains more than 100 examples. Some of these initiatives are certifiable/verifiable tools (ISO and non-ISO) but this does not create barriers for trade: ISO 26000 is voluntary to use and the Annex is only a list of examples of other voluntary tools.

International standard

CertificationISO 26000 is an International Standard related to management and many users expect the standard to be certifiable. The standard is not certifiable as for example ISO 14001 Environmental management system and ISO 9001 Quality management system. ISO 26000 is however written in a way that makes it easy to use with management system standards.

Cases of misuse of the standard

There are some cases of misuse of the standard. Some consultancies offer to “certify companies to ISO 26000” and some organisations claim to be “working in accordance with ISO 26000”. PPO has issued recommendations for communication related to ISO 26000. In short, a company/organization should explain how they have used ISO 26000 recommendations. If an organization wants to prove performance in a certain disciplines they should use other tools/standards that contain requirements.

If the PPO is made aware of cases of misuse, it contacts the organisation to offer assistance. In certain cases PPO asks ISO or the NSB to step in. Less than 40 cases have been identified and consequently acted upon.  Please communicate such cases to the PPO Secretariat.

How to make more correct claims

An individual organisation can use any document, including ISO 26000, and formulate their own requirements. The organisation can use audit/verification of compliance against these self-imposed requirements, and communicate the results to stakeholders. Self-declaration is not the same as being internationally ISO-certified as such certification requires a third-party audit by a certification body/company that is accredited by the national accreditation agency.

Some countries have developed national management system or self-declaration tools based on ISO 26000. To date, no stakeholder or NSB has proposed to make any of these tools into international ISO-deliverables. The table below lists some of the initiatives related to national certification or verification. Feel free to update the information in the table.

FranceXP X 30-027: Enhance credibility of an ISO 26000-based social responsibility approach,Verfiable management system, 400+ users?
SpainUNE 165001:2012 Socially responsible financial products. Requirements for investment products, UNE 165010:2009 Companies Social Responsibility management system, PNE 165002 Social Responsibility and childhood. Guidance on good practices for the organizationsCertifiable management
SwedenSP 2: 80 questions for self-declaration of how ISO 26000 has been applied. SP 3: criteria for 3rd party auditors of the
The NetherlandsNPR 9026+C1:2012 nl Handleiding zelfverklaring NEN-ISO 26000, NPR 9036:2015 en MVO - Handleiding voor de integratie van due diligence in bestaande risicomanagementsystemenSelf-declaration, 100 self-declared?
BrazilABNT NBR 16001:2012 (Social responsibility — Management system — Requirements) and ABNT NBR 16003:2015 (Social responsibility - Management system - Guidelines for conducting audit)Certifiable management system, 200+ certified?
PortugalNP 4469-1:2008 Social responsibility management system. Part 1: Requirements and guidlines for its use NP 4469-2:2010 Social responsibility management system. Part 2: Guidlines for its implementationCertifiable management
DenmarkDS 49001 Social responsibility management system DS 49004 Guidance on social responsibilityCertifiable management
ColombiaGTC 180 - Social ResponsibilityFrom
Czech RepublicČSN 01 0391 Corporate social responsibility management system - RequirementsCertifiable management
Costa RicaINTE 35-01-01 Requisitos para un Sistema de Gestión de Responsabilidad SocialCertifiable management
AustriaONR 192500:2011-11, Social Responsibility of organisations (CSR)Certifiable management
United KingdomBS 8900, Guidance for managing sustainable development BS 8902, Responsible sourcing sector certification schemes for construction products - Specification BS 8903, Principles and framework for procuring sustainably - Guide BS 8904, Guidance for community sustainable development BS 8905, Framework for the assessment of sustainable use of materials - Guidance BS 8909, Specification for a sustainability management system for filmCertifiable management
IQ NETIQNet SR 10 is an specification, developed by IQNet Association and its Partners based on the RS10 specification issued by AENOR SpainCertifiable management