1. Verification Overview

What is verification?

BRM verification ensures brand and retailer data captured on the Higg platform can be trusted by external stakeholders. The process is generally similar to other sustainability report assurance/verification processes and is based on standard assurance frameworks.

You can also review this document to support the BRM verification process.

2. Prepare for Verification

To prepare for BRM verification, complete the step below:

  • Brands must first discuss and confirm the timing and terms of the verification directly with the verifying company. 
  • The brand must first fully complete and post their Higg BRM self-assessment before being able to start verification (module status must be in ASC). Once the verification starts, brands won’t be able to edit responses.
  • Brands should have a vBRM module to do the verification. AFTER the self-assessment is complete and the verification is confirmed, the brand should go back to their BRM dashboard to initiate the verification so the verifier can process it.

3. Verification Process

Selecting a verifier body

Once you have completed the BRM self-assessment and purchased the vBRM, you can see the “Selecting verifying body” button on the BRM home page.

  • Click “Select Verifying Body” and a list of all the registered Higg BRM Verifier Bodies (Organizations) will open. Click “Confirm” next to the verifying organization you have confirmed your verification with.
  • If you do not see the name of the verifying organization you have confirmed your verification with, please contact them and ask if they have set up their Verifier Body account on Higg.org and what their account name is.
  • After you select the Verifying Body, their name will show up on the Higg BRM home page next to “Verifying Body Selected”.

Changing a selected verifying body if needed

You can change the selected verifying body if needed but you can only change it before the verifier starts the verification. So you can change the verifying body when the module status is ASI or ASC but you can’t change when the module status is VRP. Once the VB is confirmed, it will show as “Accepted”.

Verifier Completes Verification 

The assigned verifier will then complete the verification process, individually verifying the responses to each question in the assessment. Progress towards completion can be monitored using the progress bar on the BRM dashboard. 

Review and Finalize Verification

The brand will receive an email notification once the verifier has fully completed and submitted the verified module. At this stage the brand should log into Higg.org, go to the BRM home page and you will see your module status is VRC (Verification Completed). The assessment status has been changed from VRP to VRC.

Click the “Review Verification” button under the “Available Actions” tab to review the final verified assessment before posting. 

  • Request for editing your verification  (VRE – Verification Being Edited)
    • The brand will go to the BRM dashboard and “Available Action” section to click the “Request Edit” button. Once done, the assessment status will be changed to VRE.
    • Under “VRE” status, the verifier can edit the verification assessment.
    • After the assessment is completed editing, the verifier will submit the verification. The assessment status will be changed from VRE to VRC.
    • Under “VRC” status, the verifier can’t edit the verification data.
  • Request for dispute (VRD – Dispute Verification) 
    • The brand can dispute a verification when the module is under “VRC” status. They will click the “Dispute Verification” button under the “Available Actions” section in the BRM dashboard. When an assessment is disputed, the module status changes to VRD.
    • Once a verification is disputed, the Verification Program Manager (VPM) will review the details to substantiate the dispute. If the dispute is substantiated, the VPM will notify the brand and verifier body involved and change the module status to either Verification Finalised (VRF) or Verification Invalidated (VRI) depending on the outcomes of the substantiation.
    • Question level disagreements cannot be substantiated as a dispute. These should be directly discussed with the Verifier. Note that if a dispute is unsubstantiated the verified module status will be Finalised (status: VRF)
  • Finalize the verification
    • The brand can review and finalize the verification data by clicking the “Finalize Verified Assessment” button on the BRM dashboard. Then the assessment status will be changed to VRF from VRC.
    • Finalize Verified Assessment (VRF): Finalising the module is a one-time action. The brand should ensure it has reviewed all the Verifier responses and comments. If a brand finds mistakes, requires clarification, or disagrees with assessments, these should be discussed with the Verifier directly and request for VRE or VRD. Finalizing the verified assessment confirms that the brand has reviewed the report and has aligned with the verifiers’ assessment.
    • You should not delete the BRM assessment without any reasons because once you delete, the BRM status becomes ASD (Assessment Deleted) and you need to contact support to change the status back.

After finalizing the vBRM, you are able to do the below things on the dashboard or under your BRM “Module” page.

  • View the vBRM
  • Download the vBRM CSV (v1/v2) or Excel file
  • Download the vBRM Completion Certificate
  • View Scores report for verified module score
  • View Flagged Question report
  • View Verifier Notification report

4. vBRM Results Reports

There are two additional results reports that are available only for verified BRM assessments. 

Flagged Questions

The Flagged Questions report is only available for the vBRM. This report highlights responses that aren’t aligned with legal requirements. This is where you should focus your attention to improve immediately.

Verifier Notification

This report shows questions where the verifier feels the self-assessed answer is inaccurate, or there is no response. This report shows the refID, question, self-assessment response, as well as the verification selection and verifiers corrected response and data.

For the accuracy rate, it is based on the questions verified as “Accurate”.

For the completion rate, it is based on the verification completion by the verifier.