Process Guide For Brands / Retailers
For brevity, the guide below will mention “brand”. This guide applies for both types of organizations – brands and/or retailers.
1. Before Starting
Brands that are preparing and starting to go through Higg BRM verification should follow the steps below:
- Brands must first communicate and confirm the timing and terms of the verification directly with the verifying company. Verification confirmation might happen outside of the Higg.org platform (discuss directly with the verifier).
- The brand must first fully complete and post their Higg BRM self-assessment (answer all the required questions) before being able to start verification (i.e. module status must be in ASC). Once the verification starts, brands won’t be able to edit responses.
- Brands should have a vBRM module allocated (for SAC members) or purchase a vBRM module (for non-member brands) 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. SAC member brands can self-allocate vBRM, while non-member brands need to purchase the vBRM module from the higg.org portal.
2. Check your Higg BRM
Make sure you have completed the BRM self-assessment and have an active verified Higg BRM (vBRM)
Before you can initiate your verification on Higg.org, please make sure you have completed the BRM self-assessment and your vBRM in your account.
- Review the Purchasing BRM guide for instructions on how to purchase your vBRM if you have not done this step already. You can purchase the vBRM on the BRM home page.
- If you are a SAC member brand, you can self-allocate a vBRM module from the Overview section of your account. If you are not an SAC member brand, please reach out to the Higg Support team.
- You can check your vBRM under “Active History” tab on your BRM home page or under the “My Modules” tab on the BRM “Modules” page.
3. 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”.
4. 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”.
5. Submitting/Posting your BRM self-assessment
You must post your BRM self-assessment so your BRM can be submitted for verification. To post and submit the BRM self-assessment, the completion rate of BRM self-assessment must be 100%. You can post and submit it under the “Available Actions” tab on your BRM home dashboard page or in the BRM module and you must type “POST MODULE” to confirm and proceed. Once the BRM self-assessment is posted and submitted, you can’t unpost and edit it. In addition, your BRM module status will become ASC (Assessment Completed).
If you want to unpost for editing under exceptional circumstances, please submit a request to the Higg Index Support team for consideration.
After posting and submitting the verification, the system will send a notification to the Verifier Body that they can assign a verifier and start verification. When the verification starts, the BRM assessment status becomes VRP (verification in progress).
6. Reviewing and finalizing a verified module
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. You can click “Additional Filter” on the top bar to check the verification result. Note that it is expected for the brand to review the full verified assessment with the verifier prior to finalizing the verification to ensure alignment on any responses that were changed by the verifier.
1) 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.
2) 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)
3) 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
BRM Module Page:
7. Posting the verified BRM
After the brand has Finalized Verified Assessment, they may open the module and Post the verified assessment in order to share it with their connections. You can post the vBRM in the verified module or on the BRM home page. To post your vBRM, the completion rate of vBRM must be 100%.
Posting your module locks all your verification results and allows your connections to view your posted module. Connections cannot view your verified BRM module until the module is posted. Once you post the vBRM, you can’t unpost it.