At its 5 April 2023 meeting the ASI Board adopted as ASI By-Laws the updated ASI Performance Standard Guidance V3.1, ASI Chain of Custody Standard Guidance V2.1, ASI Claims Guide V3, and ASI Glossary V1.1 documents, developed in accordance with ASI Standards Setting and Revision Procedure (December 2022). The updated documents will be available on the ASI website on 12 April 2023.
The 2023 ASI Strategy articulates a commitment to carry out regular updates of ASI Guidance, within the overall five-year Standards Revision frequency described by the ISEAL Code of Good Practice for Setting Social and Environmental Standards (at least every five years). This iterative development approach allows ASI to:
- Reflect quickly fast paced changes in the sustainability space in ASI Guidance, in particular related to ASI long term climate (e.g. 1.5 degree sectoral methods), nature (e.g. incorporation of developing frameworks such as TNFD), circularity (e.g. recycled content methods) and social (e.g. IPAF developed guidance) goals;
- Embed lessons learned from ongoing certifications, Entity and Auditor experiences, including timely case studies, while maintaining the stability of normative documents (ASI Standards), which continue to follow a slower revision frequency;
- “Crowd-source” error identification, conflicting Guidance and sense checking and act to correct issues identified by users quickly;
- Take time to systematise, re-structure and streamline Guidance, tasks which were identified in the revision process but which were de-prioritised in lieu of substance/text changes;
- Socialise issues that one might expect to see incorporated in future normative documents, allowing an evolution towards Standards revision, rather than sudden introduction and accelerated discussion. The latter can be challenging to manage and, during formal revision periods, public consultation processes cover a wide range of topics;
- Address issues in planned waves of priority, rather than load all work into compressed cycles at the back-end of revision periods. This can spread the workload for the team, successive Standards Committee representatives, and Working Group participants (as applicable).
The ASI Standards Committee has undertaken to update ASI Guidance documents, in alignment with the procedure, at the following frequency, reflecting the rate of change of information therein:
- ASI Performance Standard Guidance 6 months (Q2 and Q4)
- ASI Chain of Custody Standard Guidance Annually (Q2)
- ASI Assurance Manual Annually (Q4)
- ASI Claims Guide Annually (Q2)
- ASI Glossary 6 months (Q2 and Q4)