In March 2019, the RSPO Board of Governors (BoG) endorsed the RSPO Governance Review for ‘Reorganisation of Standing Committees, Task Forces and Working Groups’  where the Assurance Standing Committee (ASC) is to be established, via a Terms of Reference (ToR) and work programmes of the RSPO Secretariat. 

It includes, but is not limited to, the development and/or revision of normative and relevant guidance documents related to the following:

  • Credible certification, verification and grievance
  • Ensuring Certification Bodies (CBS) are fit for purpose
  • Developing social auditing capacity
  • Ensuring the quality and consistency of audits
  • Ensuring Fresh Fruit Bunch (FFB) legality and traceability
  • Ensuring shared responsibility

The ASC, in accordance with ISEAL Alliance procedures  is also responsible for the following outputs:

  • Develop clear, mandatory guidelines on the minimum acceptable quality of HCV assessments;
  • Develop clear, mandatory guidelines on assessments of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) in the New Planting Procedure (NPP);
  • Develop and institute a transparent and robust system for monitoring the quality of assessments;
  • Monitor the quality and performance of Auditors and pursue suspensions or sanctions against underperforming or persistent offenders;
  • Monitor RSPO members’ adherence to required procedures and report all members that omit to submit NPP notifications before clearing land, to the RSPO Complaints Panel. 

The mandate of the ASC is as follows:

  • To oversee and provide the necessary recommendations and/or guidance during the development process of any relevant RSPO standards and/or guidances;
  • To ensure the development of RSPO standards and guidance complies with the appropriate procedures and best practices, including, but not limited to compliance with ISEAL Alliance Standards, and the RSPO Standard Operating Procedure for Standard Setting and Review;
  • To make the decision throughout the development process of the RSPO standards and relevant and/or associate documents; 
  • To ensure that all due process (i.e. balanced representation of stakeholders in the Working Group(s)/Task Force(s), RSPO Code of Conduct, the principles of the Theory of Change, compliance to ISEAL Alliance Standards etc.) are respected and adhered to;
  • To approve relevant RSPO document(s) for BoG endorsement.

The following composition is proposed for the ASC and strives for a balanced representation from stakeholder groups and global/regional presence.

Sector Division Total
Grower Malaysia 1
Indonesia 1
RoW 1
Smallholder 1
NGO Environmental 2
Social 2
Supply Chain Processor & Trader 1
Consumer Goods Manufacturer 1
Retailer 1
Financial Institution 1

Following best practices, independent experts and other key stakeholders may be invited to provide input. 

We wish to invite interested individuals representing the above-mentioned categories to join the Standing Committee. The ToR of the Assurance Standing Committee are available for download below.

The call for participation and/or nomination closes 5pm (GMT+8), 12 July 2019. Kindly contact Salahudin Yaacob ([email protected]) if you would like to participate , submit a nomination, or if you require further information.

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