FAQs on verification

The following frequently asked questions have been developed to help organisations, interested parties and other stakeholders find out more about the CHS Verification Scheme. We haven’t answered your questions? Then email us at verification@chsalliance.org so we can answer you and add your questions to the FAQs.

If you would like to hear from the experience of CHS Alliance member organisations who have already done the CHS self-assessment, a recording of our 6 June 2017 webinar is available under the CHS Alliance resource webpage.

Peer exchange on the self-assessment is also available on our online community of practice.


1. Who is responsible for establishing the rules for verification against the CHS?
2. What is the CHS Verification Scheme?
3. What are the different options for CHS verification?
4. What is the CHS Verification Framework?

5. What is the CHS self-assessment tool?
6. Will certification against the CHS be mandatory?

 

1. Who is responsible for establishing the rules for verification against the CHS?
By agreement of all stakeholders involved in the development of the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS), CHS Alliance, formed by the merger of the Humanitarian Accountability Partnership (HAP International) and People In Aid, has been designated as the lead agency for issues around verification of the CHS. As such, the Alliance is developing policies, tools and guidelines on verification to make sure the integrity of the whole standard system is not compromised by unfounded or misleading declarations of implementation of the standard (see CHS page 7, section iv. Claims). These policies will provide clarity on how an organisation may publicly declare its relation to the CHS for any specific benefit (publicity, funding access, etc.).

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2. What is the CHS Verification Scheme?
Verification is a structured, systematic process to assess the degree to which an organisation is working to achieve the CHS. The Verification Scheme is managed by CHS Alliance. It sets out the policies and rules of the verification process to ensure it is conducted in a fair and consistent manner for all participating organisations.

The Scheme offers four verification options with different degrees of rigour and confidence in the results. These are self-assessment, peer review, independent verification and certification. Although each option is stand alone, the indicators used in the verification framework are common to all four options.

To avoid potential conflicts of interest and following international good practice, for independent verification and certification, the audits are undertaken by a body especially established for this purpose and totally independent from CHS Alliance, the CHS standard setting process and the organisations it audits. Currently the only such organisation is the Humanitarian Quality Assurance Initiative (HQAI).

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3. What are the different options for CHS verification?
There are four options in the CHS Verification Scheme:

  1. Self-assessment
  2. Peer review
  3. Independent verification
  4. Certification

More information about each of these options can be found at: www.chsalliance.org/what-we-do/verification.

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4. What is the CHS Verification Framework?
To ensure the coordination of verification tools and the comparability of the data they produce, they all are derived from the CHS Verification Framework.

The CHS Verification Framework is a key part of the Verification Scheme. It ensures there is a harmonised approach to monitoring, evaluating and reporting the application of the CHS from which it is directly derived. The indicators included in the Verification Framework are taken directly from the requirements of the Nine Commitments of the CHS i.e. the 36 Key Actions and the 26 Organisational Responsibilities described in the CHS, making a total of 62 indicators.

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5. What is the CHS self-assessment tool?
The CHS self-assessment tool provides guidance and advice for organisations going through a self-assessment against the CHS, as well as templates allowing them to collect information, document evidence, and present results. At the end of this exercise, organisations will have a comprehensive picture of their strengths and weaknesses, and a solid basis to focus resources where they are most needed. After the exercise is repeated, organisations will also be able to measure progress and the impact of capacity development efforts. Self-assessments are meant to identify and recognise good practice as much as they can help identify and address issues, and are intended to be a learning tool.

While any organisation can freely use the tool, conducting a CHS self-assessment forms part of CHS Alliance membership requirements and follows a two-year cycle. When a member undertakes a self-assessment, it is asked to communicate any learning linked to the self-assessment tool to the Alliance. In the year after the self-assessment was conducted, members then report on progress made against an improvement plan (reporting is due at the end of that year). Two years after the initial self-assessment, members perform another self-assessment. When they submit the new self-assessment, they are asked to analyse and highlight differences and progress made in between the two most recent self-assessments.

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6. Will certification against the CHS be mandatory?
The CHS remains a voluntary initiative and independent verification or certification will not be mandatory.

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