GSCP Reference Code [English]
GSCP Reference Code [Chinese]
GSCP Reference Code [Spanish]
|GSCP Reference Code (project completed)|
The development of the GSCP Reference tools aims at describing best existing practice and at providing a common interpretation of working and environmental requirements and their implementation. This enables buying companies around the world, in whatever industry, to work towards mutual recognition of audit results. It will improve clarity for suppliers, as they will have one clear and consistent set of requirements to comply with.
Version 1 of the GSCP Reference Code was published in September 2008, followed by
Version 2 of the GSCP Reference Code, published in May 2010
download the Reference Code here (see available translations to the right)
To launch the first step of the Programme, the five companies that initiated the GSCP (Carrefour, Metro, Migros, Tesco and Wal-Mart) drafted a Reference Code. This first draft was based on the provisions which, in the respective codes of these companies and other existing codes, afford the greatest level of protection for workers. It was also based on the relevant international labour conventions and guidelines.
The objective of the consultation was to gather feedback from a global audience of stakeholders in order to ensure that the draft references best practices and represents a consensus.
The consultation process was managed by an Expert Working Group composed of three experts:
The Group ensured that key stakeholders (companies, NGOs, Trade Unions, IOs, etc.) were consulted and shared their comments on the draft reference code.
At the end of the consultation phase, the Expert Working Group compiled and reviewed the comments received. They conducted a thorough analysis of the comments, with a view to build consensus on best practices and maintain the greatest level of protection for workers. The Expert Working Group then formulated recommendations on whether the draft reference code should be amended, how and why.
Advisory Board’s input
As per the GSCP rules of procedure, Advisory Board Members ensure, within their relevant field of competence, that opinions and perspectives of civil society stakeholders are integrated into the pursuit of the Programme’s objectives.
The Advisory Board therefore reviewed the draft reference code and the report of the Expert Working Group. They ensured that best practices were properly identified, pointed out potential gaps and gave guidance on how to fill them. Their recommendations were then shared with the Executive Board.
Executive Board’s input
Following the Executive Board internal review of all recommendations suggested for improvement, and a feedback session with the Advisory Board, a unanimous agreement was reached on the GSCP Reference Code in June 2008.
The Reference Code was first published in September 2008. You can access this first version of the Reference Code here.
GSCP Reference Code Review Protocol
The GSCP Reference Code will be reviewed on a regular basis in order to ensure that it constantly reflects existing best practices and represents a wide consensus among stakeholders.
The first review has been completed, with Version 2 published in May 2010. This will be followed by a second review opening in June 2010 and running until May 2012, with publication of Version 3 expected in the 4th quarter of 2012.
From that point, reviews will be performed every three years.
First Review Timeline and Process
The public consultation, which ran for a year, was closed in December 2009, and all comments received through the review protocol were compiled.
These comments were circulated to the Advisory Board for review, who subsequently shared their recommendations for amendment to the Executive Board. These recommendations were agreed upon at a joint meeting of the Boards in Geneva in March 2010, allowing for finalisation and publication of Version 2 of the GSCP Reference Code in May 2010. You can view V2 of the Reference Code with highlighted amendments here.
Second Review Timeline and Process
The second review protocol was opened on the GSCP website in June 2010, and run until June 2012.
GSCP Reference Code - Version 1
Consultation phase: June to November 2007
GSCP Reference Code - Version 2
Consultation phase: December 2008 to December 2009
GSCP Reference Code - Version 3
Consultation phase: 30th March – 15th June 2012