FAQ: Certification Bodies

The intention of the Central Database System is not to replace any legacy certification systems, as such the data it captures are only those which are within the scope or transaction certificates and needed to improve the overall performance and integrity of our standards.

Currently the certification managed across over twenty legacy certification systems, the centralization of these system is key removing duplication and discrepancies in these disparate systems. For this reason, all Certification Bodies are required to use the Central Database System.  

We require all Certification Bodies to use the Central Database System to enter scope certificate details and generate a unique scope certificate number from the system as of 1 April 2019. As of 1 May 2019, the same is required for transaction certificates.

To ensure that your scope and transaction certification process is not disrupted, you are required carry out the following preparation work:

  1. Review the “Classification of Raw Materials, Product Categories, Product Details and Processing Categories” to (a) ensure that the classification can be applied to your operations and (b) map the classification in your legacy system. Certification Bodies are required to use this set of classification in scope and transaction certificates after April and May 2019.

  2. Pilot your scope and transaction certification process to ensure its functionality and viability during the pilot phase. The pilot for scope certification is between 1 February to 15 March 2019 and the pilot for transaction certification is between 21 March to 24 April 2019.

  3. There are three ways that you can enter data in the Central Database System: (a) manual entry (b) csv upload, and (c) Application Program Interface (API). Decide, communicate and test the data entry approach during the pilot.

Scope certificates that are valid as of 1 April 2019 are required to be entered into the Central Database System. This data will need to be migrated into the Central Database System by 30 April 2019. You will need to decide on a migration approach, communicate and plan for this with the project team.

The development cost for the Central Database System is currently borne by Textile Exchange and GOTS. Whilst scope and transaction certification is required to be applied through the Central Database System from April and May 2019 respectively, the cost to both certifications will not be made effective on these dates.

Textile Exchange and GOTS are currently reviewing the most appropriate fee structure and effective dates for their respective standards and will inform the Certification Bodies as soon as a decision is reached.

Whilst Textile Exchange and GOTS are not approved to ISO standards, as many of our accredited Certification Bodies are, we conform to the principles of the ISO standards in the development of the Central Database System, such as:  ISO/IEC 17067:2013 cl 6.5.9, ISO/IEC 17067:2013 Annexe A.4.2, and ISO/IEC 17067:2013 cls 6.5.1.

Additional as an ISEAL member, Textile Exchange is bound by the Assurance Code 2.0 which is developed with ISO standards as a basis.

FAQ: Certified Entities

For phase 1 of the Central Database System development is focused on the digitalization and centralization of existing scope and transaction certification process. As these processes are managed wholly by Certification Bodies, only Certification Bodies will have access to the system for this phase.

Brands/retailers that are fully certified to product level will have be given access to the Central Database System, along with all Certified Entities, in phase 2.

The current development phase focuses on the digitalization of existing process so there will be no change to the manner in which you apply for scope and transaction certificates. All development work is done between the Certification Body and the Central Database System.

The Central Database System will have a public facing front-end to search for Certified Entities. However, in respect of data confidentiality and privacy, availability of contact information is at the discretion of the certified site.

Public listing to certified suppliers and scope certification is a basic obligation of a responsible standard and one which promotes the uptake of certified materials. As an ISEAL member, Textile Exchange is further committed to the Assurance Code 2.0 which requires the transparent and public listing of suppliers that are certified to our standards. That said, for the purpose of data confidentiality and privacy, it is at the discretion of certified sites to display contact information.

Yes. To improve  integrity of our standards, we encourage buyers to check the scope certificate validity of your suppliers in the public front-end of the Central Database System.  

Certificate sharing is a function currently being considered for a fully certified supply chain in phase 2. However, in respect for data confidentiality and privacy, transaction certificates will only be shared if the data owner provides his explicit consent to sharing.

Maintaining data confidentiality and privacy while preserving content claim is the premise of our chain of custody. Data will only be used for monitoring and evaluation to improve the performance and integrity of our standards.  No individual data will not be shared without permission. Only aggregate and anonymised data will be used external reporting.

We are currently reviewing our data policies to be released when the Central Database System comes into effect to provide assurance on data confidentiality and privacy.

The development cost for the Central Database System is currently borne by Textile Exchange and GOTS. Whilst scope and transaction certification is required to be applied through the Central Database System from April and May 2019 respectively, the cost to both certifications will not be made effective on these dates.

Textile Exchange and GOTS are currently reviewing the most appropriate fee structure and effective dates for their respective standards and will inform the Certification Bodies as soon as a decision is reached.

Whilst Textile Exchange and GOTS encourage a cost-sharing model to the use of the Central Database System, the fee structure will be at the discretion of each Certification Body.

Only Certification Bodies are involved in Phase 1 of the Central Database System development. We will reach out to brands for their input, piloting and testing during Phase 2.

However, you can share your experience and suggestions with us anytime. You can either join our CDS Working Group – a monthly briefing on project updates or email us your thoughts directly at Support@CentralDatabase.org.