After completing the B Impact Assessment, eligible companies interested in pursuing certification undergo a verification process with B Lab to determine if they meet the 80-point bar for Certification.
This article explains the Verification Cohort Process, which typically applies to all small and medium businesses, and may also apply to larger companies depending on their structure. The Cohort process is intended to get you quickly and efficiently through verification!
Verification Process Cohort
If your company is in a Verification Process Cohort, it means you are working directly with a Standards Analyst from B Lab staff and are paired with companies of a similar size going through the certification process together on the same timeline.
The verification 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 performance. Before the Verification 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.
* 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:
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 you are in a “cohort”:
To check that you have been approved to join the cohort, 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.
Once a cohort 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 week of the cohort. If you will not be able to dedicate this time in the next month and would like to schedule your cohort 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.