Programme Assurance was created to provide stakeholders confidence that the ASC Standards are effectively implemented and audited. Members of the team are based in and near key areas including the Netherlands, the United States of America and Vietnam to cover the global scope of the programme as they perform their core duties, which include:
- Continuously improving ASC Certification and Accreditation methodologies to add more value to stakeholders
- Training auditors to deliver audits that meet ASC intent and the market demand
- Closely collaborating with ASI to effectively and efficiently oversee performance of accredited certification bodies and their auditors
- Closely collaborating with the MSC – who runs the ASC Chain of Custody certification programme – to ensure product integrity
- Constantly developing, implementing and improving tools and methodologies to deliver the above services.
Variance Request processes
Variance Requests (VR’s) are requests to adapt an ASC standard requirement to a local context while continuing to adhere to the original intent of the requirement. ASC has two processes for Variance Requsts – VRs to the ASC standards and VRs to the Certification and Accreditation Requirements (CAR).
Variance Requests are publicly available to improve consistency in understanding and application of ASC standards and CAR. The Interpretation platform is a searchable database of all Variance Requests and Questions for Interpretation (QA’s) submitted to the ASC.
Key Data Element (KDE) project
In line with the ASC’s continuous improvement commitment, the Programme Assurance team has embarked upon a project aimed at introducing the use of technology to improve the digital traceability of ASC certified products. The project involves using and/or developing software to capture and convey key data elements (KDEs) from certified farm origin throughout the supply chain to end consumers. More details about:
- KDE project (April 2022 update)
Supplier monitoring tool
We are using a new web-based tool to collect certified product antibiotic test result data from a range of sources, including certificate holders, government databases and our own sampling. Submissions are made confidentially into the online reporting tool by responding to several simple questions about the product tested and any antibiotic residue detected.