Gating Questions and Calculated Questions

Modified on Wed, 20 May, 2020 at 11:24 AM

When going through the B Impact Assessment, you’ll encounter questions that may affect the content that appears later in the assessment or how a company scores in other assessment questions.  These questions are designed to  focus your attention on relevant practices and make the assessment completion process more efficient, and each question will have specific guidance describing how it works.

Gating Questions

These questions will enable or disable other questions or impact topics in the assessment based on a company’s response. They are designed to ensure that users see questions that are most applicable to them. 

You can identify gating questions by reading the guidance underneath the question text— all gating questions will state, “Your answers determine which future questions in the assessment are applicable to your company” (or something similar). You can also view all of the gating questions in your assessment by navigating to the Question Filter and selecting the “Gating” option under Question Type.

For example, a company might be asked this question about its supplier screening practices: 

If they respond “Yes” to this question, follow up questions will appear that ask about the specific social and environmental screening criteria and evaluation practices that are in place. If they respond “No,” the follow up questions will be disabled.

In addition to enabling and disabling specific follow up questions in the assessment, gating questions are also used to determine whether Impact Business Models are applicable to a particular company. These gating questions are found in the “Introduction” impact topics under Workers, Community, Environment, and Customers.

Calculated Questions

Calculated questions are most prevalent in the Impact Business Model sections of the assessment, which often combine attributes of a company’s business model with a measure of intensity (such as % of revenue from beneficial products) in order to calculate a score. Additionally, because there is an internal back-end calculation, the scores in this section will not be visible in the  downloaded Excel version of the BIA; for this reason among others it is recommended that companies work primarily within the BIA platform itself. The “Points Available” in these questions appears as 0.0, but they do affect a company’s score through the calculation. This will be specified in the guidance text that appears underneath the question:

B Lab’s Credible Certification Process

  • Any third-party certification that is a full member of ISEAL automatically receives credit in the B Impact Assessment. 

  • Our team looks for the following to determine if a certification is eligible to receive credit in the B Impact Assessment:

    • Governance: 

      • The structure of the organization is made transparent (Is information about the composition of the governing body, how it operates and makes decisions available on the website (e.g. funders, owners, governance system, members, its business model and funding sources)?

    • Standards:

      • The standards setting organization has a clearly defined, public-facing mission statement or vision statement that focuses on a specific social or environmental issue/area/practice of concern

      • The standard setting organization has a clear statement on the objective of the certification and the information it is claiming to verify

      • The organization has a mechanism in place to manage conflict of interest

      • Transparency: 

        • The standards (questions) are available to the public 

        • There is a minimum performance required to achieve certification (minimum score or separation of certified and non-certified entities) 

        • There is a clear explanation of the requirements to achieve certification (what is the minimum score, how does scoring work)

    • Verification:

      • The information in the assessment is verified for accuracy by the certifying organization or an approved third party

      • Comprehensive information about the verification requirements is publicly available (interviews, documentation, etc.)

Some examples of certifications that receive credit in the B Impact Assessment, for specific topics, are:


Impact Business Model

USDA Organic

Toxin Reduction 


Land and Wildlife Conservation

Fair Trade International

Supply Chain Poverty Alleviation

GRS-Global Recycle Standard

Resource Conservation

If your company has another product or practice that is certified by a different third party certification, we may be able to conduct research internally to determine if that certification can earn credit within the B Impact Assessment. Until that review is complete, we recommend answering any questions conservatively. 

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