After completing the B Impact Assessment, eligible companies interested in pursuing certification undergo a review process with B Lab to determine if they meet the 80-point bar for Certification. 


This article explains the Review Process, which typically applies to all small and medium businesses, and may also apply to larger companies depending on their structure. The Review process is intended to get you quickly and efficiently through verification according to the specific characteristics of each business!


Review Process 


The review process is central to the B Corp Certification and Community - it is our process to ensure that B Corps are stewards in creating a positive impact and meet the highest standards of social and environmental performanceBefore the Review process your company’s assessment score reflects a self-reported and unverified score. Not all questions in the B Impact Assessment are straightforward to understand. Our goal for this process is to learn more about your business and to arrive at a verified score that applies the standards according to their intent and consistently with how they have been applied across the B Corp community. This is meant both to preserve the credibility of the certification and to support companies in designing a road map of what they want to measure and improve upon.



Stage of Review Process

B Lab action items


Company action items


Timelines


Companies pass through 3 stages to prepare for the Verification process with the Evaluation Team. 


Evaluation Queue


Confirm company eligibility for B Corp Certification


Complete Eligibility Documentation template & B Corp Statement, if required, & upload to corresponding Task 


Company deadline of 12 weeks to upload the eligibility documentation 


Waiting period in the Queue to start Evaluation is up to 5 months after the eligibility documentation is uploaded.  







Evaluation




The Evaluation Team reviews the eligibility spreadsheet  to confirm key aspects of your BIA, such as the assessment track and a preliminary score screen, to determine next steps. A more detailed description of this process can be found here


Complete other requests from the Evaluation team. These may include updating the BIA, and clarifying company structure as well as business model to confirm the company's path to certification



On average the Evaluation stage may take 2-4 weeks. It can take more depending on the complexity of the company or its industry.







Verification Queue


Once the company has completed the preparation for Verification it will be allocated to a Standards Analyst and the cohort field will indicate the Monday of the week your Verification process starts. 


To be eligible to start Verification, requested tasks (e.g. completed templates, comments) must be provided in the BIA platform. 


Up to 30 days after required tasks are completed, the Verification stage begins. 



The Verification process has 4 Rounds, with each round taking 1-3 weeks.  Your Standards Analyst will provide specific deadlines for each round. 

Stage of Review Process

B Lab action items


Company action items


Timelines

Round 1 


Verification: 

- Review Prep

- Standard Documentation Review

-Operational Highlights


Your Standards Analysts customizes the Verification Report.



Log in the BIA Platform and attend to any notifications that require action. 



Company Deadline:

Typically 1 week from the day that the Standards Analyst created your Verification Report & sent Round 1 Communication

Send invitation for call to take place in Round 1 or Round 2


Schedule Review Call 


Round 2 

Verification:

Operations & Impact Business Model Documentation Review

- Review Call

Review comments and documentation to questions marked in Round 1 in the Verification Report and post follow-up questions on the Impact App (if needed)


Attend to all the requested follow up in the Verification Report (see Round 1 deadline)


Company Deadline:

Typically 1 week from the day that the Standards Analyst sent Round 2 communication

Conduct 30 to 90 min call, if not completed in Round 1


Participate in 30 to 90 min call, if not completed in Round 1


Round 3

Verification:

- Final Assessment Check

- Legal Requirement Review

Make adjustments to BIA based on follow-ups


Upload final follow-up comments or documentation 


Company Deadline:

Typically 3 days from the day that the Standards Analyst sent Round 3 communication 



Submit company’s assessment for an internal peer review for quality check. This process may trigger further follow up requests and answer adjustments


Upload completed legal requirement, if required before certification


Round 4


Verification:

- Completed

Review follow-up items provided and make final adjustments after internal peer review (if needed)


Review and acknowledge any final adjustments needed to assessment responses



Post Verification

If the final verified score is above 80 points,  Send B Corp Agreement. 




Sign B Corp Agreement & Declaration of Interdependence and 

pay Certification fee, if prepayment is required




Review Closed

Once Post Verification steps are completed, you will receive an email welcoming you to the B Corp Community,   which will officially conclude your certification process. 


Complete Onboarding page in the platform and make announcement plans



Additional Round(s) 

Improvement 


If the final verified score is below 80 points, the review progresses to the Improvement stage



Reference the Improvement reports and resources within the App and re-Submit after your company has made improvements that bring your score above 80 points! 


Companies typically submit improvements for their standards analysts’ review 30-90 days after this stage has begun.




* Verification will happen within the B Impact Assessment through the Verification Report which you can find under Reports, on the left-hand panel. This is the subset of questions that will be discussed during the verification process. The questions selected are all high scoring or requiring particular attention.


  • This icon indicates questions that are “Marked for Discussion, ” which only requires a comment to confirm the answer options 

    • Comments should be rationales, explanations, clarifications, and examples of why answer options selected apply to the company. 

    • Please provide comments with information that you would feel comfortable in backing up with documentation if you were requested. Comments are to be specific to each of the answer options selected - use bullet points and refer to which answer option they are intended to support, following the scheme:

      • A#1:....

      • A#2:...

      • etc  

  •  This icon indicates questions that are “Marked for Documentation,” which require a document to verify the answer options

    • Documents should be policies, reports, web links, powerpoint presentations, agendas or even pictures of why answer options selected apply to the company. 

    • Only one document can be uploaded per comment. Please leave multiple comments to upload multiple documents. 

    • In your comments, indicate the pages within the uploaded document in which topics related to each answer option can be found and, if possible, provide a brief summary of what is stated in the document and why the document is relevant for the specific answer option selected. 

    • For these questions, additional Documentation Instructions appear in the comment section, please always use this to understand the document requirements and download templates when available.

    • Be transparent about what documentation you have available. This can prevent unnecessary work, especially if you have a review score above 80 points. 

  •  This icon indicates that the answer options selected in the question have been verified

    • By the end of this process, all questions in the Verification Report will need a Green Checkmark, signifying that they have been fully verified.

    • In order to consider a question verified, each answer option selected needs to be verified. This means that supporting evidence in the form of comments or documentation has to be provided for each of the checkboxes selected within a question, not just one (or some) of them. Answer options for which no evidence/comment is provided will be deselected, assuming that the particular option does not fully apply to the company at this time. 


How to know if your verification process has begun:

  • Please check your Review page. The cohort field will indicate the Monday of the week the “Verification” stage begins for your company. You will be receiving an email from your Standards Analyst that week with more specific instructions. If no date is populated in the Cohort Field, this means we are still waiting for documentation and/or comments from you before we can allocate you to a cohort OR we are waiting until a Standards Analyst has availability to work with you.

  • Once the verification process begins, please note you will be expected to provide documentation and comments directly in the Verification Report. Ensure that you can dedicate 4-6 hours for the review process each round of the verification process. If you will not be able to dedicate this time in the next month and would like to schedule your verification process for a future date, please leave a comment in the Task “Upload Standard Documentation” or “Operational Highlights.”

 

Please review this article for more tips to a successful review.

 

If you have any questions, please send a ticket to our support team!


Thank you for your commitment in joining the B Corp community! Independent of the final result,  your company has taken important steps on the journey of measuring, comparing and improving your company’s social and environmental performance.