Current stage:

Issue Prioritisation Development Selection Implementation

Improvement overview

MSC operates a third party certification and assurance system which is designed to deliver an objective, rigorous assessment process, impartial and consistent decision making, and accurate assessments against the MSC Standards.

The features include an assurance model:

  • Third party Conformance Assessment Bodies (CAB) operating independently of the MSC.
  • Independent standard setting by the MSC.
  • Fisheries wishing to be certified may request competitive tenders for audit services from a number of CABs, and enter a direct financial relationship with one to deliver that audit, so ensuring competitiveness amongst audit providers.

This assurance model has a number of checks and balances:

  • Accreditation of CABs, and annual review of their performance, by the independent body Accreditation Services International
  • Stakeholders have multiple opportunities to input into the assessment
  • The assessment process is transparent, and interim and final reports are publicly available
  • Peer reviews of audits are provided by the independent peer review college, operated by the MSC, with no direct contract between CAB and peer reviewer.
  • There is opportunity for appeal against CAB assessment and certification decisions through an independent Objections Process

Planned work

Through stakeholder working groups in 2018, the MSC is finding out what additional measures could be implemented to further strengthen the assurance of the MSC fishery certification system.

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Available documents

No documents are currently available.