Skilled auditors are critical to the 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating Standards program. They are the eyes and ears of authorized, independent, third-party certifiers who review, assess, and issue Step certificates, as appropriate.
Auditors ratified by Global Animal Partnership, though working directly for third-party certification companies, serve all stakeholders:
- certifiers require the correct information to make the appropriate certification decision
- retailers require that the claims they are making on their labels and in their restaurants are accurate
- consumers require that they are getting what they pay for
- producers require expert and exact information to be gathered so they can receive the correct Step-rating
- Global Animal Partnership requires that our 5-Step standards are being properly audited to maintain the integrity of the program
The main components that are audited to determine if 5-Step standards are being met are (1) animals and people, (2) resources and processes, and (3) records and documents.
Audits must be:
- systematic: following a clear plan
- outcome-based: reporting what is actually seen
- objective and unbiased: using fact-based evidence and never being influenced by personal feelings, interpretations, or prejudice
- standards-based: conducted according to the 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating Standards program