Process Guide For Facilities

Verification Preparation

Facilities that are preparing and starting to go through Higg FEM verification should follow the steps below:

1. Facilities must first confirm the timing and terms of the verification directly with the verifier organization. Verification confirmation happens outside of the Higg.org platform (discuss directly with the verifier). View the list of Higg FEM Verifiers here: howtohigg.org/verifiers

2. The facility must first fully complete their Higg FEM self-assessment (answer all the required questions) before being able to start verification. Posting FEM self-assessment is optional not an requirement for verification because posting module doesn’t impact the verification process. If the facility doesn’t post their FEM self-assessment, they still can move forward to the verification process. 

3. AFTER the self-assessment is complete and the verification is confirmed, the facility should log into Higg.org and follow the steps below to initiate the verification:

1. Make sure you have purchased and activated a verified Higg FEM (vFEM)

Before you can initiate your verification on Higg.org, please make sure you have purchased and activated your vFEM in your account.

  • Review the Purchasing Facility modules guide below for instructions on how to purchase your vFEM if you have not done this step already. You can purchase the vFEM on FEM home page or in the FEM self-assessment.

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  • If you have already paid for a vFEM either through early registration or wire transfer, you will need to “Claim a Pre-Purchased Module” on the FEM page.

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  • If you are an SAC member manufacturer, you will need to contact Higg Index Support Team and request a vFEM.
  • You can check “My Modules” on Modules page to see if you have a vFEM or not.

 

2. Selecting a verifier body

  • If you don’t have a vFEM, you can’t see “Selecting verifying body” button on FEM home page or in the FEM self-assessment.
  • Once you have the completed the FEM self-assessment and purchased the vFEM, you can see “Selecting verifying body” button on the FEM home page or in the FEM self-assessment.

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  • Click “Select Verifying Body” and a list of all the registered Higg FEM Verifier Bodies (Organizations) will open. Click “Confirm” next to the verifying organization you have confirmed your verification with. You can view the related verifier contacts to confirm that you are selecting the correct verifier body.

 

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  • 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 FEM home page next to “Verifying Body Selected”.

 

3. 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.

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4. Posting your FEM self-assessment

You must post your FEM self-assessment so your FEM can be submitted for verification. To post the FEM self-assessment, the completion rate of FEM self-assessment must be over 95%. You can post it under “Assessment Progress” area on your FEM home dashboard page and you must type “POST MODULE” to confirm and proceed. Once the FEM self-assessment is posted, you can’t unpost and edit it. In addition, your FEM module status will become ASC (Assessment Completed). 

If you want to unpost for editing, you have to submit a request to Higg Index Support team to require editing your FEM.

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5. Submitting Module for Verification

After you have selected the verifying body, you will see the option to “Submit for Verification” under “Assessment Progress”. Click this when you are ready to start the verification process with your verifier.

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After submitting the verification, the system will send a notification to the Verifier Body that they can assign a verifier and start verification.

 

6. Reopening the FEM if needed

If you need to stop the verification process to update your self-assessment you may click to “Reopen FEM” on the FEM home page and submit a request to Higg Index Support team to require editing your FEM.

IMPORTANT:

  • This will STOP the verification process and you will need to START OVER and re-submit your module for verification.
  • Since your FEM module is posted, you can only view it not edit it. So you have to request for editing if you reopen the FEM. 
  • You can only reopen the module if the verification hasn’t been started yet. When the module status becomes VRP (verification in progress), you can’t reopen the module. 

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7. Reviewing and finalizing a verified module

The facility will receive an email notification once the verifier has fully completed and submitted the verified module. At this stage the facility should log into Higg.org, go to the FEM tab and you will see your module status is VRC (verification complete). The assessment status has been changed from VRP to VRQ (Verification Quality Check, but for FEM, no quality check for now)  to VRC.
 
Click “Review FEM Verification” button under “Assessment Progress” 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 facility to review the full verified assessment with the verifier prior to the verifier submitting the verification to ensure alignment on any responses that were changed by the verifier.
 
At this stage, the facility can do:
 
1) Request for editing your verification  (VRE – Verification Being Edited)
  1. The facility will go to the FEM dashboard and “Available Action” section to click the “Request Edit” button. Once done, the assessment status will be changed to VRE.
  2. Under “VRE” status, the verifier can edit the verification assessment.
  3. After the assessment is completed editing, the verifier will submit the verification. The assessment status will be changed from VRE to VRC.
  4. Under “VRC” status, the verifier can’t edit the verification data.
 
2) Request for dispute (VRD – Dispute Verification) 
  1. The facility can request dispute under “VRC” status. They will click the “Dispute Verification” button under the “Available Actions” section in the FEM dashboard. Then their assessment status will be changed from VRC to VRD. The VOO will move from VRD to VRE from the admin tool if the dispute is accepted. Then the assessment will be shown as VRE status. The verifier can edit the verification data and submit it.
  2. After the verifier submits the verification data, the assessment status will be changed to VRC.
  3. Question level disagreements cannot be substantiated as a dispute. These should be directly discussed with the Verifier during the close meeting. Note that if a dispute is unsubstantiated the verified module status will be Finalised (status: VRF)
 
3) Finalize the verification  
  1. 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.
  2. 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, discussed issues with the Verifier/Verifier Body, and resolved issues for which they can reach agreement.
 
You should not delete the FEM assessment without any reasons because once you delete, the FEM status becomes ASD (Assessment Deleted) and you need to contact support to change the status back.
 
If you have further questions or concerns after finalizing the verification (VRF), you need to contact Sumerra (SAC@sumerra.com) first to report the case. Once your request is reviewed and approved by Sumerra and the VB, you will need to submit a request to Higg Index support team and ask for changing the vFEM status back to VRC from VRF, so the verifier can edit the module data. Then you will need to review and re-finalize it.

8. Posting the Verified FEM

After the facility 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 vFEM in the verified module or on the FEM home page. To post your vFEM, the completion rate of vFEM must be over 95%. 

Posting your module locks all your verification result and allows your connections to view your posted module. Connections cannot view your verified FEM module until the module is posted. Once you post the verified FEM module, you can “unpost” it but you can’t re-post it.

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You can also check your vFEM posting status in “My Modules” on Modules page.

Excel file: You can download the excel file which provides the detailed verified data at the question-level. No score is in this file.

CSV file: You can download the CSV file report which is the machine readable data with the vFEM score.

View: You can also review the vFEM data online.

 

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