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Assurance System Review 2016-2018

During 2016-2018, Bettercoal is working with the multi-stakeholder Technical & Advisory Committee and Bettercoal Members to review the Assurance System to ensure that it is fully aligned and strongly supports the Bettercoal system.

The objectives are to:

  • Develop a risk-based approach to assurance to increase the efficiency of the Bettercoal Assessment Programme, reduce the burden for suppliers and enhance the quality of information for Bettercoal Members;
  • Increase the transparency of Bettercoal procedures, system elements and outcomes;
  • Develop practical assessment tools and guidance for independent Assessors;
  • Review and make recommendations for effective implementation of the continuous improvement plans at coal Suppliers' operations.

The table below describes the areas of the Bettercoal system that are currently under review and the documents that will be developed over the coming months. Any changes will be updated in the table below. For more information, please contact Marieke van der Mijn, Head of Standards & Assurance.

Area/ Document

Country Prioritisation Strategy

A strategy that helps Bettercoal determine which coal producers to engage with in the Assessment Programme and when.


Bettercoal Code

Section I: Preface (A.-G.) will be updated and aligned once the Assurance System review is completed - end of 2017.

Provision 5.4 - Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas will be aligned with the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas.

Q4 2017



Bettercoal Code Review Procedure

New document that will outline the public review procedure, scope and timelines for the Bettercoal Code.

Q4 2017

Bettercoal Assessment Manual

Key 'how to' manual for Assessors, Suppliers on the Assurance Process and Cycle for the Assessment Programme.

Proposed contents include:

  1. Introduction
  2. Roles and Reponsibilities
  3. Bettercoal Standards and Assessment Cycle
  4. Assessment Scope
  5. Objective Evidence and Sampling Methodology
  6. Assessment Rating
  7. Assessor Selection and Allocation
  8. Step 1: Supplier Commitment
  9. Step 2: Desktop Review
  10. Step 3: Site-Assessment
  11. Step 4: Continuous Improvement
  12. Step 5: Re-Assessment
  13. Reporting
  14. Support
  15. Complaints and Dispute Resolution
  16. Glossary

Q1 2018

Bettercoal Supplier Claims and Logo Use Guide

A new document with guidelines for communications related to the Bettercoal logo and its related claims for coal Suppliers. The guidelines aim to protect the value and integrity of the Bettercoal programme.

Q4 2017

Complaints Mechanism

A key Bettercoal procedure that will describe how the comments, suggestions and complaints Bettercoal receives will be managed.


Policy on Association

A new Bettercoal policy that aims to safeguard Bettercoal's credibility, reputation and the integrity of its mission; to anticipate, avoid or reduce the legal and financial risks from Bettercoal's association with:

- Suppliers, including those seeking or already part of the Bettercoal Assessment Programme;

- Entities that control operations that are not currently seeking or part of the Bettercoal Assessment Programme and that are alleged to be involved in activities considered unacceptable to Bettercoal and its stakeholders.

Q4 2017

Bettercoal online Assurance Platform

A new online management and communication system for Members, coal Suppliers and Assessors for the entire Bettercoal Assurance System.


Assessor Approval Procedures, Assessor Application Form

Updated Bettercoal Assessors Approval Procedures, forms and guidelines.

Q4 2017


Bettercoal Code

The Bettercoal Code sets out the ethical, social and environmental principles and provisions that members of Bettercoal expect organizations producing coal in their supply chain to align with.

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