B Lab Europe created an RFP process with an open application for Evaluation Analysts as independent contractors, where B Lab Europe received several interested proposals. This resulted in conversations around partnership opportunities which were discussed with a few applicants, and ultimately Seismic was selected for their extensive experience and concrete proposal.
Seismic team members providing companies evaluation services will not proactively engage with the company or any of its representatives and vice versa – analysts who support a company in their certification journey will not be evaluating the same company. In addition, the Seismic team conducts weekly screening of companies entering evaluation stage to prevent Seismic analysts to be evaluating potential companies in their pipeline
Seismic’s analysts are responsible for conducting evaluation, the first phase of the certification process. Analysts will undergo five weeks of extensive training using the same materials to train our in-house analysts, followed by a period of mentoring with B Lab Europe’s expert analysts. Once the evaluation phase is complete, companies will then begin the verification process with B Lab’s analysts. As of now, Seismic’s analysts are equipped to work on any company for Standards approach and recertification, providing a valuable resource to both the European network and the broader community
This is not the first partnership to address the demand for certification – in 2022, B Lab announced a partnership with Genashtim to improve its verification capacity, and the organization will continue to explore ways to improve our processes to meet the demands for certification.
Evaluation provides the initial screen and quality check of the application. This step introduced to the certification process two years ago to ensure more quality submissions into the Certification & Verification team. Every company regardless of size needs to be evaluated to ensure they are on the correct certification track based on their company’s size, structure and complexity, flag any controversial industries, check legal requirements and impact business models; while managing companies’ expectations on the upcoming certification process.
During the verification stage, the company is then required to upload relevant documentation supporting their application and verifying their answers and statements pre-checked during the evaluation phase. In verification the assessment can be subject to changes, and is not unusual for the company’s score to fluctuate.
While the evaluation stage provides high quality assessments check, verification entails an in-depth analysis ensuring rigour and validity of the certification process.
Yes. Once the partnership is in effect in April 2023, after the training period, we expect to begin seeing a reduction in wait times and an increase in our ability to certify companies.
As of July 2023, the project has been successful in reducing the wait time for Evaluation by 50%.