The Updated CHS: FAQs

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Watch this short video for an overview of updates made to the CHS:

CHS Verification

1. Can I verify against the CHS 2024 edition?

Yes, there is a transition period allowing organisations to gradually change to become verified against the updated CHS.
 CHS 2024 edition: verification timeline

  • 21 March 2024 – Public launch of CHS 2024 edition.
  • June 2024 – Updated CHS verification framework published.
  • July 2024 – Updated CHS verification guide published.
  • November 2024 – Updated Self-Assessment guide published.
  • April 2025 – Independent Verification and Certification audits switch to the updated CHS.

2. How does the CHS revision affect Self-Assessment?

While the structure of the updated CHS has changed, the core elements remain with a renewed emphasis on putting people at the centre of all we do. Conducting your verification against the current CHS provides an important learning and improvement tool. By the end of November 2024, the self-assessment survey and tools will have been transitioned to the CHS 2024 edition. Organisations currently in self-assessment or starting the process before then will continue using the current CHS until their next renewal.

3. How does the CHS revision affect Independently Verified and Certified organisations?

CHS Alliance has been working closely with HQAI to manage a smooth transition for the organisations they audit. To ensure enough time is given to all partners for adjusting to the updated standard, and to upgrade all HQAI processes, both initial and renewal audits undertaken before end of March 2025 will continue using the current CHS. After April 2025, HQAI will be auditing against the CHS 2024 edition. If you have any questions on your situation, please contact us or reach out directly to HQAI.

CHS Revision process

4. Why was the CHS revised?

The global context had changed significantly since the CHS was launched in 2014. The number of people in need of assistance and protection across the world was increasing year on year, exacerbated by protracted conflicts, the climate emergency and the COVID-19 pandemic. Addressing these challenges, while tackling unequal power dynamics and safeguarding concerns, are critical elements for organisations that exist to work with and support people facing situations of crisis and vulnerability. The revision was designed to ensure the CHS remains a relevant, accessible and practical framework to make aid more accountable to affected people.

5. What was the revision process?

The revision process and timetable can be summarised as follows:

  • First round of consultations and feedback (May to December 2022)
  • Analysis of feedback and seven years of learning through application of the CHS
(January to May 2022)
  • Feedback on proposed updated draft (June to September 2023)
  • Finalisation of updated Standard (end of 2023)
  • Roll out (2024)

The revision process was governed by the CHS Management Group, consisting of the three CHS Copyright Holders (CHS Alliance, Groupe URD and Sphere) and accompanied by the CHS Steering Committee.

6. What were the aims of the revision?

The CHS revision was designed to meet the following six Revision Criteria and to ensure that the proposed changes answer one or more of these criteria:

  1. Reaffirm and reinforce the standard as a people-centred framework for quality and accountability.
  2. Address the most important issues that affect quality and accountability.
  3. Clarify concepts, simplify language, and make it more accessible for users and stakeholders.
  4. Reinforce the measurability of the Standard.
  5. Reinforce coherence and alignment with existing quality and technical standards and good accountability practices.
  6. Have the potential to increase adoption and use of the Standard by a wider number of stakeholders, particularly local and national actors.

7. How were people and communities involved in the revision process?

During the first and second rounds of consultation, community consultations took place in a number of countries, which were designed so that communities could express their views on how far the CHS Commitments are relevant to them or not and why. This feedback helped shape the strengthened standard.

8. How many people contributed to the CHS revision?

More than 4,000 contributors from across 90 countries engaging in the consultations during 2022 & 2023. This high the level of feedback and engagement reflects the strong position of the CHS globally, as well as the ongoing commitment and dedication to quality and accountability among individuals and organisations worldwide.

9. How are cross-cutting themes like diversity and inclusion, localisation, environment and climate change reflected in the CHS?

Several important cross-cutting themes that affect quality and accountability were identified in the stakeholder consultation process. These include imbalanced power dynamics, equity, diversity and inclusion, safeguarding, the humanitarian-development nexus, the environment and climate change, and emphasis on participation, community engagement and support for locally led efforts. These themes have been reinforced and included in the updated CHS, balancing their inclusion with the strong message from stakeholders to simplify the standard.