Submit and review - B Lab UK

Submit and review

Once you've completed the BIA and Disclosure Questionnaire, you’re on the way to becoming a B Corp. Now it’s time to submit your assessment to begin the verification process.

The review process 

What happens and when

Please note that demand for B Corp Certification is high - the timescales listed here are indicative, and will depend on B Lab’s capacity, your response time to queries and documentation requests, and whether your score drops below 80 points.

The review process is conducted in two stages - Evaluation, led by B Lab UK, and Verification, led by B Lab Global.

1.  Evaluation Queue (up to 4 months)

This time is to make sure everything is in order before you start the review process.

You’ll complete a few tasks, including paying your submission fee and uploading some basic information about your company. Your assessment will still be editable, so this is also a great opportunity to keep improving your impact, updating your answers and completing the legal requirement.

Once you submit your assessment, we’ll invite you to a webinar with the B Lab UK team to help you prepare for the review process.

 

2.  Evaluation (1-3 months)

An analyst from B Lab UK will confirm your company structure, ensure you’re eligible for certification and are on the right track of the assessment, and look into any Impact Business Models you may have opted into. These initial checks aim to avoid delays down the line, and help you get going quickly in the Verification stage.

To keep the process moving smoothly, ensure that notifications are enabled and be sure to respond to your analyst promptly.

 

3.  Verification Queue (~ 1 month)

Once Evaluation is complete, it’s time to upload supporting documentation - check out our tips on getting ahead. You’ll be asked to provide supporting information, and you may be asked to upload documents to your Verification Report in the BIA platform.

For many companies, it takes a lot of hard work to get to this point, so it’s an important milestone and exciting moment to evidence all the positive impact your company is having.

You can also use this time to start getting involved with the B Corp movement, by learning about our campaigns or connecting with your B Local.

 

4.  Verification (1-3 months)

Verification is where you’ll have your impact independently assessed and verified. It’s a robust, challenging and rewarding process, where you’ll work with an analyst at B Lab Global to capture and evidence your positive impact effectively. Verification is a two-way conversation, and your analyst is there to guide you if more documentation is needed. All B Corps go through this process, so you can be confident we’re making sure your company meets the standards for certification.

If your score drops between 75-80 points during the Verification period, an improvement phase is added to the timeline to give you time to bring your score back up. If your score drops to below 75 points, your review will be closed to give you more time to work on improvements and you can resubmit when you're ready.

Companies pursuing certification are subject to background checks of public records, news sources, and search engines for company names, brands, executives/founders, and other relevant topics.

 

5.  Certification

If your score remains above 80 points after verification, you’ll officially be certified as a B Corp! We’ll send you all the information you need to start getting active within the B Corp community.

 

Please note: Companies going through the review process are not classed as Pending B Corps, and therefore should not use the Pending B Corp logo. Learn more

Submitting your assessment

To begin the review process, you need to submit your assessment. This is a simple process confirmed by payment of a one-off submission fee of £250 (plus VAT).

This next stage in your B Corp journey is the review process, when B Lab will learn more about your business practices and aim to verify that your assessment score accurately represents your social and environmental performance. If your verified score is over 80 points, you will be able to complete your B Corp certification.

Things to think about before you submit

  • Score: aim for 85+ points before you submit, to allow a buffer in case your score drops during verification.
  • Legal: if your company has 50 employees or less, make sure that you've completed the legal requirement, or made significant progress to do so, before you submit
  • Company Details page: it's important that your Company Details page is fully completed as this is used throughout your verification. Include details about any related entities, any facilities that the company uses, owns or leases, and details about the company's products and / or services. If your product range is broad, please group products into categories.
  • Evidence: there's no need to upload evidence before you submit, as your Analyst will guide you through this process at the right time. However you should be prepared to submit evidence to support your answers, and make sure you have evidence available when answering affirmatively to questions.
  • Verification happens within the BIA: once you have submitted, the Reviews section of the BIA is the best place to go to find out where you are in the verification process. This is where you'll find comments from your Analyst, and information about tasks you need to complete.
  • Team members & notifications: make sure you've added your team members to your assessment, and that notifications are enabled so the right people are receiving emails about your assessment. You can do this all in your BIA Settings.

Tips for submitting documentation in readiness for Review and Verification

There are a number of ways to improve your initial BIA baseline, and in order to complete the Assessment Review, we recommend using these guiding questions when asked to provide final supporting documents and clarifications for verification.
  • Is a primary source provided (policies, supplier invoices, employee handbook)?
  • For questions involving a calculation, is the raw data related to metrics provided?
  • For questions about a written or formal policy, simply engaging in one of the behaviours mentioned does not count.  Is the policy documented and available for employees, customers or appropriate stakeholders?
  • For questions with external metrics (such as ethnic diversity of geographic area), is the information from a reliable and credible source?
  • Are the document(s) provided verifying each question option selected?

For further reading, a number of useful articles on the review process are available here.

Want to find out more about the review and verification process?
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  • CR 2019 33 (1)
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