After completing the B Impact Assessment, qualified companies interested in pursuing certification undergo a multi-step verification process with B Lab to determine if they meet the 80-point bar for Certification.
This article explains the Verification Cohort, which is a process that typically applies to all small and medium businesses, and may also apply to larger companies depending on their structure.
Verification Process Cohort
If your company is in a Verification Process Cohort, it means you are paired with companies of a similar size going through the certification process together on the same timeline with your Standards Analyst from B Lab staff.
The cohort is a three-week process for verification with B Lab:
Focus of the Week
Assessment Review Preparation
Online Assessment & Standard Documentation Review
Material questions document review, and Call, if needed
Follow-ups and final score
Next steps on the path!
B Lab Steps
Upon submission a team member will work with you to clarify a few questions and prepare your company for the process
- Post questions on the Impact App,
- Require additional documentation IBMs and Ops
- Send invitation for call (if needed)
- Post any follow-up questions on the Impact App (if needed)
- Require follow-up to documentation sent on week one (if necessary)
- Conduct 30 min call (if needed)
- Make final adjustments to BIA based on follow-ups
- Send B Corp Agreement
Companies >80: A new team member will guide you through payment and signing the B Corp Agreement. Once this is confirmed, you will receive a welcome email, which will conclude your certification process.
Complete templates and upload pre-cohort documentation (e.g. income statement, handbook, Supplier Code of Conduct, if available)
- Confirm and respond to any comments in your Assessment from your Standards Analyst
- Schedule call, if needed, for Week 2
- Begin preparing additional documentation requested (1-4 questions, on average)
- Upload additional documentation (see Week 1 deadline )
- Have 30-90min call with your Standards Analyst, if required
- Begin preparing any follow-up comments or documentation, including from the Disclosure Questionnaire
- Upload follow-up comments or documentation (see Week 2 deadline)
Companies <80: Reference the Improvement reports and resources within the App and re-Submit after your company has made improvements >80!
- Sign B Corp Agreement & Declaration of Interdependence
- Pay Certification fee, if prepayment is required
- Make announcement plans
One week from the day that the Standards Analyst sent Week 1 communication*
One week from the day that the Standards Analyst sent Week 2 communication*
* (e.g. to-dos items sent on Tuesday have a deadline until the end of the day on the next Monday to respond)
Prior including your company in a Verification Cohort, B Lab will:
Advise you on the appropriate next steps for the your business, whether that is to Proceed with the Verification Process or continue working on impact improvements to re-submit your assessment for verification in the future.
Please note, not all business will be eligible to move forward with verification depending on the unique circumstances of a given company. If continuing to the verification process, B Lab will send further instructions about next steps in the process.
Ensure your company took the appropriate track of the B Impact Assessment for your company’s size and industry
If eligible, communicate and connect you to the optimal path for certification based on your company’s size and structure
To efficiently and effectively serve you, the Cohort Process requires keeping to the timeline. We ask that companies commit to the timeline before signing up for a cohort. We strongly recommend you reserve time in advance on you and your teams calendars in order to provide the information required by the Verification process.
Tips for preparing for the cohort review process:
We recommend scheduling two- four hours of work on your certification process; it may take more or less.
Use our tools and resources in the B Impact Assessment to stay organized: Revisit This, Mark for Improvement, Explain This, and Verification Report.
Certification is a rigorous process. It is not uncommon for companies to earn a reviewed score less than 80 on their first assessment. As a result, participation in this review cohort does not guarantee certification.
Not every question is expected to apply to all companies. It is normal for responses to be marked as No, Don’t Know, or Not applicable (N/A).
Be transparent about what documentation you have available. This can prevent unnecessary work, especially if you have a review score above 80 points.
Have you read and understood your legal requirement for certification? While the legal requirement is not required to be completed until after certification (90 days to 2 years, depending on company’s incorporation type and jurisdiction), prepare for being able to sign the B Corp Agreement by reviewing your legal path here.
If you have any questions, please send a ticket to our support team!