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 for Small-Medium Enterprise Approach companies, which typically applies to companies with more than 50 full time equivalent employees or earning more than USD 5MM in revenue. The Review process is intended to get you quickly and efficiently through verification according to the specific characteristics of each business! Learn more about the different Review Approaches and which one applies to you here


Find the process schedule for companies on the Small Enterprise Approach, typically companies with less than 50 full time equivalent employees and earning less than USD 5MM in revenue here


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  and Review Approach 




Learn more here about our current evaluation wait time







Evaluation




The Evaluation Team reviews information in the Company Details page 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 Verification Queue task(s) for Verification, B Lab will Assign an Analyst to the company.  


Upload Standardized Documentation to the corresponding task, which includes completing a spreadsheet template with information on workers & suppliers, your P&L statement, employee handbook (if you have one), and supplier code of conduct (if you have one)


View video instructions here 


Once you complete this task, we will assign you to an analyst within 45 days on average depending on the length of the queue to begin the Verification stage. 


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


Your Standards Analyst customizes the Verification Report* as a part of the Review Preparation task and completes the Standard Documentation Review.




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

Schedule Review Call 


Round 2 

Verification:

Operations & Impact Business Model Documentation Review

- Review Call

Conduct 90 minute Full Review Call


Company Deadline:

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

Complete Operations & IBM Documentation Review and make adjustments to BIA accordingly


Attend to all the requested follow ups in the Verification Report 


Round 3

Verification

Review 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 review for a Final Assessment Check, our internal peer review for quality. This process may trigger further follow up requests and answer adjustments




Round 4

Verification

Review follow-ups 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. 


Know where you are in the process by using the Reviews page :

  • Please check your Review page. Tasks will appear “active” and indicate if the pending item is waiting for action from you (the company name will appear) or B Lab. These tasks also indicate due dates.

  • 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 “Operational Highlights.”

 

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

 

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.