The GSCP Reference tools PDF Print E-mail

Purpose and use

To drive convergence, the GSCP is building a set of Reference tools that describe best existing practice, uphold relevant International Standards - where these exist - and provide a common interpretation of fair labour and environmental requirements and their implementation. The aim is to drive convergence and to ultimately enable buying companies around the world, in whatever industry, to recognise each others’ systems using the GSCP Reference tools as a benchmark, promoting convergence of approaches and reduction of duplication in auditing, and setting the stage for future collaboration on capacity building.

This set of Reference tools includes the tools typically found in a monitoring system: a reference code of conduct, reference audit process and methodology, reference guidelines for auditing competence and reference tools on buying companies' management systems, for both social and environmental compliance (please see below for a list and links).

These tools are openly available for all to use. Users can include GSCP member and non-member companies. Multi-Stakeholder Initiatives, auditing bodies and other scheme owners are also able and encouraged to use the GSCP Reference tools.

The Reference tools can voluntarily either be:

  • integrated in part or in full by companies into their respective systems, for example when they are setting up their own social and/or environmental compliance programme; or
  • used by companies or initiatives as a reference against which to compare, or otherwise review, their existing tools through the GSCP Equivalence Process
It is necessary to note that improving labour and environmental practices is incremental. While Reference tools aim at showing what good looks like, it is understood that requirements can differ in nature. Some are straightforward and can be swiftly implemented, while others are more complex and require progressive implementation. This is especially the case where they exceed the minimum required by the law of a specific country.


The GSCP does not monitor nor audit in any way the compliance by a user’s supply chain with the GSCP Reference tools or any standards.

The adoption of part or all of one or more Reference tools cannot be put forward as a proof of adequate due diligence. The responsibility of the implementation of these tools, of the monitoring of the user’s supply chain’s compliance and of any due diligence linked to it, resides with the user.

Please note that any use of the GSCP name and logo as well as use of original or adapted GSCP Reference Tools must follow the terms established by the GSCP. These terms are available here.


The Reference tools

Download All Tools

1. Reference Requirements

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social Reference Code learn more download download download
environment Environmental Reference Requirements learn more download
environment Implementation Guidelines for Suppliers learn more download

2. Audit Process and Methodology

social Social Audit Process and Methodology learn more download
environment Environmental Audit Process and Methodology learn more download

3. Auditing Competence

social & environment reference tool for Auditing Competence learn more download
social & environment Training Syllabus learn more

4. Management Systems

social Management Systems for Buying Companies learn more download
social Management Systems for Suppliers learn more download