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.
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 83+ 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.
The review process
What happens and when
Please note that demand for B Corp Certification is high and there are currently wait periods to enter each stage. Actual timescales will depend on B Lab's capacity, your response time to queries and documentation requests and whether your score drops below 80 points.
1. Evaluation Queue (up to 6 months)
2. Evaluation (around 1 month)
Your Evaluation Analyst will perform a number of background checks to ensure you are eligible for B Corp Certification and review your company structure and preliminary score.
If the Evaluation Analyst has any questions or requires more information during this phase, you will be contacted via comments within the ‘Reviews’ page on the BIA platform. To keep the process moving smoothly, ensure that notifications are enabled in the assessment and be sure to respond to your analyst promptly.
3. Verification Queue (up to 6 months)
During this part of the process, you will receive emails with instructions about which tasks you need to complete next, depending on the size and complexity of your company. These tasks will include providing supporting information, and you may also be asked to upload documents to your Verification Report in the BIA platform.
Larger companies will be required to submit additional information, such as a profit and loss statement, employee handbook, supplier code of conduct and Impact Business Model (IBM) documentation. Please make sure you respond to all requests in order to keep moving forward.
4. Verification (around 1 month)
Once you have completed all the assigned tasks, a Standards Analyst will be assigned to work with you to review your assessment and verify the documentation you have provided.
In addition to the Disclosure Questionnaire, 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.
It is possible that your score will drop below 80 during the Verification period, in which case an improvement phase is added to the timeline to give you time to bring your score back up.
Once you have achieved a verified score of 80+ points, you are now eligible to sign the B Corp Agreement, pay your annual certification fee and be welcomed into the global 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.
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.
Learn more about the B Impact Assessment (BIA) and how to complete it here.
Improving your score
How can you improve your BIA score? Find insights and tips here
What are the legal requirements for becoming a B Corp? Read more here.
After you certify
What happens after you certify? Find out what you can expect next.