Verification is an independent and objective assurance that one or a group of organisations are making demonstrated, continuous and measurable progress applying the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS), good practices or commitments.
The requirement is that the most serious weaknesses in the application of the standard are eliminated within a four-year cycle.
Independent verification (sometimes referred to as third party verification) attests that an organisation is engaged in a process of on-going improvement in the application of the CHS.
The verification process is conducted by HQAI’s qualified auditors. The assessment looks for in-depth documentation and information from key stakeholders, including communities and people affected by crisis, in order to build evidence on how the CHS is applied across the organisation.
Unlike certification, this service assesses continuous improvement, according to an agreed upon action plan and is not a pass/fail test of compliance with the standard.
Let's have a closer look at how HQAI proceeds for a verification:
Step 1: Initial audit and development of the work-plan
Includes site visits at the head office and at a sample of country programme site(s). The feedback of vulnerable people and communities is collected on project sites. A report is produced identifying strengths and weaknesses in the implementation of the standard requirements.
Based on the audit findings, the partner organisation develops a 4-years work-plan which shall aim at the elimination of identified major weaknesses in the implementation of the standard requirements.
Step 2: Maintenance Self-Assessment
Within 1 year after the initial audit report is finalised, the partner organisation undertakes a maintenance self-assessment using HQAI tool and reports back to HQAI on the work-plan implementation and progress towards the application of the standard.
Step 3: Mid-term Audit
The mid-term audit is conducted by HQAI auditors and focuses on country offices and project sites. It includes, but is not limited to, a review of the measures taken by the organisation to resolve its identified weaknesses, and the continuity of the implementation of the standard at field level. The partner organisation amends as relevant the initial work-plan.
Step 4: Maintenance Self-Assessment
(See step 2)
Step 5: Final or renewal Audit
Within 4 years of the start of the verification cycle, the organisation can choose between three options:
- End the verification cycle;
- Renew the verification cycle;
- Transfer to a another scheme. (For more information on transfer opportunities, please consult HQAI’s Third Party Quality Assurance Policy and Procedure).
Detailed information and application requirements
For more information about HQAI's CHS Certification service, including details about the procedure, application requirements and cost, please consult our Application page.