The Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS) is a voluntary and measurable standard, which means its application can be objectively assessed. The CHS Verification Scheme allows organisations to measure the extent to which they have successfully applied the CHS requirements, and allows them, if they so wish, to demonstrate that they have done so.

What is the added value of verification for organisations?

Each of the verification options provides valuable information on an organisation’s strengths and areas for improvement against the CHS. They are therefore an important means to support organisational learning, continuous improvement and capacity strengthening. The verification process also generates comparable data at the sector level that will allow the CHS Alliance to report on overall trends, successes and challenges in the implementation of the CHS. This will help the organisation to continuously improve the standard and contribute to building an evidence base on the impact of the CHS on aid quality, accountability and effectiveness.

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 the 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 self-assessment are common to all four options.

We encourage you to watch a short four-minute video animation below that gives an overview of the benefits of verification, the CHS Verification Scheme and the four options available for verification. The animation is available in Arabic, English, French and Spanish.

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

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 have been turned into 62 indicators. This is to allow organisations to objectively determine the extent to which they are applying the standard.

Changes will be brought to the framework any time experience shows it can be significantly improved. These changes will automatically be reflected in the other documents and tools derived from the framework. 

What is the CHS self-assessment tool?

The CHS self-assessment tool is used to collect data and feed it into the verification framework. The self-assessment tool is available on the CHS Alliance website. Individuals, organisations, coordinating bodies, consortia and other CHS stakeholders interested in assessing their degree of application of the CHS can use the tool. It helps ensure there is evidence that an organisation has the policies, systems and practices in place to support learning and continuous improvement against the aims and commitments of the CHS.

The self-assessment tool can be used to assess CHS implementation in projects and programmes, organisation-wide, or at the cluster or country level. As such the whole system offers a coherent framework to orient:

  • Organisational self-evaluations
  • Monitoring and reporting
  • Evaluation exercises
  • Independent verification
  • Certification
  • Capacity assessment and capacity-strengthening activities
  • Continuous learning and improvement

Members of the CHS Alliance will be expected to self-assess using the CHS assessment tool. If they decide not to do so, they will be required to fill the CHS Alignment Statement, in order to inform the CHS Alliance of their efforts to implement the CHS, and start the discussion on how the CHS Alliance can support them.

For more information about the CHS Verification Scheme, please contact Bonaventure Sokpoh.