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:

B Lab action itemsCompany action itemsDeadlines
Upon submission a team member will work with you to clarify a few questions and prepare your company for the processComplete templates and upload pre-cohort documentation (e.g. income statement, handbook, Supplier Code of Conduct, if available)
Week 1
Assessment Review
Review the assessment and documentation provided for any responses that might need clarification or adjusting. Post questions on the Impact App,Confirm and respond to any comments in your Assessment from your Standards Analyst
Company Deadline:
One week from the day that the Standards Analyst sent Week 1 communication*
Request additional documentation for Impact Business Model and Operations questionsSchedule call, if needed, for Week 2
Send invitation for call (if needed) Begin preparing additional documentation requested (1-4 questions, on average)
Week 2
Assessment Review & Review Call if needed
Review responses to questions that were raised in week 1 and post any follow-up questions on the Impact App (if needed)Upload additional documentation (see Week 1 deadline )
Company Deadline:
One week from the day that the Standards Analyst sent Week 2 communication*
Require follow-up to documentation sent on week one (if necessary)Have 30-90min call with your Standards Analyst, if required
Conduct 30 min call (if needed)Begin preparing any follow-up comments or documentation, including from the Disclosure Questionnaire
Week 3
Follow-ups and final score
Make final adjustments to BIA based on follow-ups
Upload follow-up comments or documentation (see Week 2 deadline)
Send B Corp Agreement
Next steps
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. 
Companies <80: Reference the Improvement reports and resources within the App and re-Submit after your company has made improvements >80! 
Companies >80:
- Sign B Corp Agreement & Declaration of Interdependence
- Pay Certification fee, if prepayment is required
- Make announcement plans

* (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!