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6 March 2023

With nearly 250 ASI Certifications issued since the first one in early 2018, it’s timely to reflect on what ASI Certification is (and isn’t). 


ASI Certification is… ASI Certification is not…
Independent assurance of an entity’s conformance levels for applicable criteria in an ASI Standard A review of performance outside the scope of the Standards and assurance process
A snapshot of an entity’s systems and conformance at a given point in time A guarantee of future performance
About continuous improvement Proof of perfection
An important element of supply chain due diligence The only thing needed to demonstrate due diligence


ASI Certification is the result of an entity voluntarily submitting itself to be audited by an independent third-party ASI Accredited Audit Firm. ASI audits are conducted against the applicable criteria and requirements of ASI Standards. The Audits are therefore not all encompassing as they are bound by the scope of the Standard’s criteria. 

Supply chain due diligence is a rapidly growing expectation from customers, regulators and broader stakeholders.  It is important to understand that while the Performance Standard has a number of criteria that relate to due diligence processes, the ASI audits in themselves do not equal due diligence by an entity.  Auditors do not do the direct work of supply chain mapping or risk identification during the audit – that is the responsibility of the entity, as part of an ongoing proactive and reactive process.  Auditors seek to verify that the entity has systems in place to carry out this work, in accordance with the standard’s specific requirements.  

Audit reports summarise the auditors’ findings and how they determined conformance levels.  Published audit reports are not designed to disclose detailed information that may be sensitive (commercial, legal, competition, privacy etc), nor to the level of a research paper. They are a written summary of the auditor’s work at a point in time. 

There is understandably increasing appetite for stakeholders to want to know more about an entity’s performance and risks.  An ASI Certification can contribute to this, and indeed is a driver for and link to disclosure of more detailed information such as policies, plans, targets and progress, consultation opportunities and incidents across a range of topics.  Beyond this, direct engagement with the entity is an important avenue. 

ASI continues to work on digital initiatives, including the development of a new and improved version of elementAL (ASI’s online assurance platform) and website upgrades for member pages.  The aim is to significantly enhance the accessibility, comparability and analysis of ASI Certification information – enhancing data flow.  There is valuable high-level information in ASI Certificates that can inform supply chain due diligence processes in a more streamlined way.    

If you have suggestions or requests, please let us know. Contact Chinelo Etiaba, Director of Membership. 


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