How to avoid overestimating SPI scores?

Best practices for quality results.

To carry out a qualitative social and environmental performance audit, having some good reflexes can make a difference. Objective analysis is key to ensuring a good quality audit and properly supporting financial service providers (FSPs) in assessing and improving their practices.

It is indeed very common to have a tendency to overestimate when carrying out an SPI audit. However, you need to keep in mind that the SPI tool is a tool to help FSPs manage their social and environmental performance. It is not a rating tool. It obviously makes it possible to assess the organization’s level of implementation of the Universal Standards, but it was developed above all so that an FSP in the field can use it as a tool for strategic decision-making.

And overestimates can mislead the organization in making these decisions. Overestimating the results can also have negative effects in the FSP’s relations with other actors: it may for example think that it is ready for a Client Protection certification, a Social Rating, or a request for financing from an investor, when it is not ready at all.

It is therefore important to be aware of your own analytical biases during an evaluation and to prioritize an objective study of the FSP’s practices.

For this, it is very important to provide justifications for your answers by referring to procedures, practices, or interviews carried out. The more objective your analysis will be, the easier it will be for you to identify insufficient elements and build avenues for improvement, in order to prepare for a rating, certification, or due diligence from an investor.

Learn more by reading our guide on the best practices for ensuring quality results.

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