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What is an audit?
The area is confusing and here is a simple introduction of corporate social responsibility. An audit is a commonly used term describing the official inspection of an organization.
There is an ever growing variety of assessments that emerge to inspect companies and the most common types of audits are: compliance audits, financial audits, internal or external audits, tax audits, operational audits, information system audits, payroll audits, technical audits, quality audits, etc.
What is a compliance audit?
What is a Corporate Social Responsibility Audit? 1
What is an audit scope?
What is a CSR audit process?
All social responsibility audits follow similar protocols, confirming employees’ wellbeing in the workplace. The CSR audit process includes five sections:
- The opening meeting with the auditor and the auditee’s management team;
- The facility tour of indoor and outdoor facilities chaperoned by manager(s);
- Employee interviews including about 10% of the workforce;
- Document review with the management team and departments heads;
- The closing meeting when the auditor presents the conclusions and the next steps.
The rising interest for CSR
The seven core subjects are:
- Ethical behavior,
- Respect of stakeholder interest,
- Respect for rule of law,
- Respect for international norms of behavior, and
- Respect for human right.
The year 2020 provided ample examples of global distress, underlining the unsustainability of the current state of affairs. Various initiatives at national and international levels emerged to sensitize populations in ways to modify wrongful habits while implementing more respectful plans.
The rising importance of ethics
- Effective abolition of child labor6,
- Elimination of discrimination at work,
- Elimination of forced labor, and
- Freedom of association and the right of collective bargaining.
The benefits of a CSR audit
Audits are usually considered a burden because they require preparation and cause apprehension and unease among auditees. However, it is important to underline their positive connotations:
- Certifications are a ‘stamp of approval’ showing compliance with mandatory requirements, legal procedures or industry-specific requisites;
- The audit process leads to improvements that would otherwise not be addressed;
- The auditor’s expertise opens new opportunities.
Building CSR within a management system
- Define internal goals within industry-specific CSR requirements;
- Evaluate the interest of employees, customers, stakeholders and suppliers;
- Build a CSR department;
- Monitor the implementation of new procedures;
- Apply lessons learned to improve ROI7.
Where to start?
This short introduction to the social responsibility audit context is further presented in Journal of a social auditor written during the 2020 confinement. Based on research and personal experience, the book narrates the auditing processes spanning a range of industries in the Americas and Western Europe. It provides answers to the auditing frequently asked questions; further information about the book can be found at Imago Editorial
Writing Journal of a social auditor increased my awareness on the complexity of the auditor’s role and the attention to detail required in this line of business. Forthcoming articles will address sensitive issues arising in the auditing world from both the auditor and the auditee’s perspectives. Should you wish to share a particular subject of concern, contact us at email@example.com.
IMAGO.AUDITING builds a bridge among auditors and auditees around the world with the mission to offer a global and multilingual platform for exchanges among people willing to improve psychosocial and conflict-resolution skills.
After five years on the road, the pandemic stopped my busy schedule and gave me ample time to explore ways at building a link among auditors and auditees around the world. After describing the content of this new webpage, I share some of my successes and failures.
What is the relation between IMAGO.AUDITING and the photograph?
First came the idea of writing a book about my auditing experience and Journal of a social auditor kept me busy for several months during the 2020 confinement. It is a tale of audits from which lessons learned emanated and I built a toolbox useful for any auditor or professional involved in audits. The book is now available in English and French on Amazon and Apple Store; it will be available in Spanish in Spring 2021.
Then, based on Journal of a social auditor, ideas of articles and webinars emerged, addressing issues arising in this field of work, with a focus on psychosocial skills and conflict resolution techniques that are seldom addressed during training programs. Imagoblog is the platform that allows exchanges about auditing experiences.
Why join IMAGO.AUDITING?
Facing setbacks or rejection during an audit is an experience that all auditors have gone through. The art is in the auditor’s behavior because s/he may prevent complications during the presence onsite. Whether you are experienced or starting an auditing career, solutions are suggested throughout my articles and webinars. Auditors usually work as a team of one and certification bodies seldom have group discussions regarding difficult audits.
IMAGO.AUDITING introduces approaches to deal with questionable behaviors and prevent difficult interactions.
Why trust me?
With extensive experience as a multilingual therapist and five years of auditing work in three continents, I learned to use social skills, sometimes the hard way.
My education and background in multi-cultural settings offered an awareness which is shared through articles and webinars, offering tools and solutions to professionals willing to expand their psychosocial and negotiation skills.
IMAGO.AUDITING offers different perspectives whether you face difficult contexts or behaviors.
More information > Who we are
Introducing Journal of a social auditor
I received ample technical training to be able to practice: yet few included social skills indispensable to become a successful auditor.
Journal of a social auditor addresses these ‘implicit’ core values. My knowledge about human behavior was acquired through practice on the road and real-life examples describe unusual situations, to understand behaviors and how to deal with unexpected situations.
Social responsibility and ethics have progressively shifted the corporate focus on human capital. Important changes took place in the last decade, modifying employment conditions. Auditors adjust by mastering demanding technical situations with little or no attention given to delicate human contexts.
Journal of a social auditor and IMAGO.AUDITING offer a communication channel for auditors and auditees around the globe.
More information > Editorial
Introducing Imago Webinars
Convert your knowledge into social skills.
Each webinar introduces one psychosocial skill with tips and guidance, illustrated by live examples. Negotiation techniques are included when needed. The benefit of the webinars is the easy-to-grasp skills that help deal with complex situations: knowledge and practice improve self-satisfaction and work quality. Each webinar introduces one psychosocial skill with tips on how to use it.
More information > Webinars
Imagoblog assists auditors with their questions: often working as a team of one, we auditors seldom share experiences and seldom receive feedback and support from others.
Imagoblog is a channel without borders for exchanges among auditors and professionals around the world, where ideas and experiences are shared to expand knowledge among cultures.
More information > ImagoBlog
This program is not related to auditing. However, it is related to conflict resolution and its description is included on the website because of its relevance.
Paz Escolar is the translation and adaptation of an American educational program called “Connected and Respected” created by Educators for Social Responsibility based in Cambridge, USA. In 2011, I was granted the rights to translate the program into Spanish and the project was carried out with a group of students from an interpretation school in Mendoza, Argentina. The pilot program was carried out in three elementary schools of Lima, Peru in collaboration with CEDRO (www.cedro.org).