Design and Implementation of the Assurance Framework
We will use this page to update you on progress in developing the Assurance Framework, Protocols, guidance and other materials.
Assurance Design and Implementation Working Group
The SDG Impact Team has established a working group to guide our work on the next stage of design and implementation of the Assurance Framework. The working group includes experts from each of the following stakeholder groups: assurance providers; assurance policy makers (e.g. members of assurance standard and guideline setting bodies) and technical experts on assurance from professional bodies; standards users; and academia. Across the group there is sector expertise in Bonds, Private Equity and Enterprises and knowledge of developed and developing markets. The working group is convened by Carol Adams.
Current work and progress
The SDG Impact Team has analysed a range of approaches to assurance of practice and their fit with the aims of the SDG Impact Standards along with assurance protocols and guidance for assurance against other non-financial frameworks and legislation.
The Assurance Design and Implementation Working Group has provided valuable input to discussing proposals informed by this analysis. It has been agreed that:
Accreditation as an assurance provider will be open to individuals with experience in different types of auditing/assurance engagements. They may range for sole practitioners to partners of large firms - provided they meet the accreditation requirements.
The scope of assurance will be specified. Assurance engagements with a more limited scope than specified will not be eligible from the award of the Seal.
Both limited (ISAE 3000) and normal (AA1000 AS) levels of assurance will be acceptable.
A "workbook" will identify the Practice Indicators for each set of Standards that will be indicative of completion of each stage. It will provide examples of evidence that assurance providers may seek to rely on. [Italics used to denote importance of assurance provider judgement]
Completion of the "workbook" by the standards user will be a form "management representation" and will enable the assurance provider to locate evidence sources. The assurance provider may also seek other sources of evidence or counter evidence.
The Seal will be licensed to the assurance provider who will be required to have professional indemnity insurance.
Accredited assurance providers will: meet experience, qualification and Standards training requirements; meet Continuing Practice Development requirements; and, agree to peer review and quality control requirements.
The ISEAL Assurance Code of Good Practice will inform the overall governance and management of the "assurance system" (which includes the Standards) including: handling of complaints; record keeping and information management; role of the Secretariat and governing bodies.
The SDG Impact Team, with guidance from the Design and Implementation Group, are currently developing:
The overall description of the Design, Implementation and Integration stages for each of the three sets of standards (Private Equity, Bonds and Enterprises).
Assurance protocols informed by ISAE 3000 and AA1000AS.
Accreditation requirements (including prior experience, qualifications and training) for individual assurance providers.
Continuing Practice Development requirements for individual assurance providers.
Tools for assurance providers including: examples of evidence of Practice Indicators; and, template guides for assurance reports and engagement letters.
A peer review process and other quality control measures.
Process for a periodic review by an assurance provider to maintain the Seal.
Assurance Design and Implementation Working Group Members
Head of Sustainability and Assurance, The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS)
Anne is a qualified accountant with over 20 years' experience in the profession. Anne's background is predominantly audit focused, working mainly with the charitable and SME sectors.
Previously an audit manager with Scott-Moncrieff, one of Scotland's leading charity advisors, Anne is familiar with the regulatory, financial and practical issues faced by the charitable sector and was responsible for the delivery of internal and external training on current and emerging issues.
General Manager, Pacific Corporate Sustainability
Sandra is General Manager of Pacific Corporate Sustainability (PCS), a consultancy firm with international coverage which has helped boost pioneering debt issuances in Latin America and the Caribbean. This includes issuing the first sustainability bond the informed by the UNDP SDG Impact Standards for Bonds and the verification of green and sustainability bonds certified by the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI).
Sandra has an MSc in Environment and Development from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), and did Postgraduate Studies in Corporate Sustainability at Universidad Complutense de Madrid, and Extractive Industries and Sustainable Development from Universidad Externado de Colombia. She has 12 years of experience implementing sustainability strategies with the private sector, governmental institutions and international cooperation. She is also a lecturer and researcher from Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP).
Head of Sustainable Finance - UK & Nordics, V.E
Ana worked as an ESG analyst in V.E for several years, led the ESG Research team in Chile and was responsible for the development of Sustainability Bonds and ESG loans in Latin America. Ana now leads Sustainable Finance services for the UK, Nordics as well as Sovereign issuers. Ana has participated in key transactions such as the Chilean Sovereign Green Bond and Latam's first Gender Bond from Banistmo.
Ana is a Chemical Engineer graduate of Universidad Nacional de Córdoba and has an M.Sc. in Chemical & Sustainable Processes Engineering from Politecnico di Torino, with a certificate programme in Innovation & Entrepreneurship from Stanford University.
Sustainability Director, SMS Latam
Julian's previous positions include: Founder of "Impacto+" (consulting firm developing projects that have a positive social and environmental impact); Co-Funder, Board member and Senior Manager of Emprenda (a microfinance institution); Executive Director of the foundation "Ambiente y Desarrollo"(NGO improving the practices and communication of the Forestry Sector); President and Vice President of "Red Argentina de Entidades de Microcrédito" (RADIM) (Argentinian network of microfinance institutions); Board Member and program manager at "El Ceibal" (NGO), in charge of the program "FIS (Fondo de Inversión Social) Microcrédito"; Manager of the Transference Pricing Department of PWC; and Senior Consultant, Corporate Finance department at Coopers & Lybrand.
Associate Director in KPMG New Zealand's IMPACT Assurance practice
Ian supports KPMG clients on all aspects of their business reporting requirements. Ian has a specific focus on the application of leading practice frameworks and standards, such as the International Integrated Reporting (IR) Framework and GRI Standards, across all sectors.
Ian Jameson was seconded from KPMG in South Africa to the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC). Ian was part of the IR team at Eskom and served on Eskom's Integrated Reporting Steering Committee, which was established to drive IR throughout the business. Ian was the Programme Lead of the Corporate Reporting Dialogue "the dialogue", an initiative designed to respond to market calls for greater coherence, consistency and comparability between corporate reporting frameworks, standards and related requirements. He was also the Region Lead for Africa, supporting institutional partners with the development and adoption of IR on the continent.
Managing Partner, Tideline and CEO, BlueMark
Christina is CEO of Tideline's new verification business, BlueMark, with responsibility for leading all aspects of the business strategy, new product development, and external relations. Christina supervises the BlueMark team and has directly led over 20 verification assignments across an array of investor types and asset classes. As a Managing Partner at Tideline, she also oversees the firm's strategy and operations and has led many of the firm's consulting engagements with leading foundations, some of the world's largest financial intermediaries, and select ultra-high-net-worth family offices and non-profits.
Christina was previously Managing Director at J.P. Morgan leading a ratings business and several risk management groups. She created J.P. Morgan's Social Finance business, a novel investment banking unit that published seminal research on impact investing, made proprietary investments in impact funds, and structured and distributed innovative impact products to clients, such as the Global Health Investment Fund, a $100+ million impact investment fund backed by the Gates Foundation.
Business Reform Leader, Advocacy and Professional Standing Team, Chartered Accountants
Karen is responsible for shaping and influencing business reform issues of relevance to Chartered Accountants, including insolvency, corporate governance, anti-money laundering, corporations law and sustainability matters.
Karen represents CA ANZ on the Global Compact Network Australia Board, the ASX Corporate Governance Council, the Advisory Board of the Deakin Centre for Integrated Reporting and as chair of the financial committee of the Climate Measurement Standards Initiative.
She is a Fellow Chartered Accountant with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, a member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and holds a Master of Arts in Mathematical Sciences from the University of Oxford.
Project Director, South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA)
Loshni is responsible for sustainability, integrated thinking, and integrated reporting. Her role is to support members, the broader finance community and society on topics related to these areas through education, engagement, advocacy and thought leadership.
She chaired the IRBA's task team that drafted the practice statement dealing with guidance relating to rational purpose, appropriateness of underlying subject matter and suitability of criteria. A current area of focus is improving the buyer's understanding of sustainability assurance.
Loshni began her career as a chemical engineer and worked for several years in the production and project environments; mainly in mining and chemicals manufacturing. Later, she moved into the accounting and finance fields, where her focus was on providing integrated reporting, and sustainability advisory and assurance solutions to a diverse array of organisations.
Director, Social Value International (SVI)
Jeremy is a Director at Social Value International (SVI), a membership organisation for organisations accounting for social and environmental impact. SVI supports a principle-based approach and an assurance standard against those principles and a process based certification. SVI have been supporting the UN SDG Impact team. He is a member of the PAP for the IAASB Guidance on EER and was the Chair of Accountability during the development of AA1000AS.
Jeremy is a director of the FRC Group (a business based in the UK) which produces an annual integrated report, where the directors' report is assured against ISAE3000 and AA1000AS. He is an ambassador for the Capitals Coalition, currently working on a discussion paper on further disclosure of impacts under existing accounting and auditing standards. He originally qualified as a chartered accountant with PwC.
Member, International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board
Roger is a current member of the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board and until recently was Chair and CEO of the Australian Auditing and Assurance Standards Board. He is also an Emeritus Professor of Accounting at UNSW Sydney. He is recognised as a leading international auditing and assurance researcher whose interests include improving the measurement and assurability of both financial and nonfinancial disclosures. Roger has been involved in the development of a number of assurance frameworks for various international groups. His contribution to academia and the profession have been widely recognised, including being a recipient of the Order of Australia.