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Co-operative Assistance Network’s social audit consultancy service is based on the experience of working in development of the social economy since 1989. We use the following methodology to provide appropriate solutions to organisational needs.
1. Clarify what will be measured
Establish the social outputs of the enterprise or organisation. Drawn from the mission statement, social aims, commercial aims, stakeholder analysis, organisational type, trade sector, geographical location, etc. There are some basic indicators that are transferable, but we need to ensure that outputs are relevant to the sector or the enterprise’s ethics.
In certain circumstances, the outputs provide for benchmarking against similar enterprises or organisations.
2. Measure the social outputs
Measures are developed to assess the impact of the enterprise or organisation’s operations on the outputs – both positive and negative. Information is gathered using existing systems in the enterprise or organisation, or where they do not exist, new methods of collecting data are employed. External findings are also gathered where appropriate.
3. Report the findings
The results of measurement are collated and presented in a user-friendly report.
4. Analyse the findings
The findings are evaluated to establish effectiveness against social outputs and, where possible, performance is subject to benchmark testing to inform improvement actions.
The organisational methods of data collection and storage are evaluated and improvement actions identified to improve the validity and efficiency of reporting against social outputs. There is a focus on automatically generating the information through the organisations operations rather than creating a parallel data collection system, thus reducing the “cost” of social auditing.
5. Set improvement targets
Achievable, realistic improvement targets are recommended for the short and medium term.
6. Plan for implementation
Advice and action planning eases the process of achieving improvement targets. Advice is given on implementing changes to the management and operations of the business.