SLCP now introduces Full Virtual Verification in force majeure cases only. SLCP Full Virtual Verification is a time and resource intensive process for the facility and should be avoided if at all possible.
What is SLCP Full Virtual Verification?
Verification conducted 100% off site if the facility is experiencing force majeure and is unable to undergo onsite verification. The facility and VB/Verifier must first:
- Facility must complete SLCP Full Virtual Verification online training course.
- SLCP approved VB/ Verifier must complete SLCP Full Virtual Verification online training course.
Facility must complete a specific process and meet an extensive list of requirements explained below.
When can a facility request an SLCP Full Virtual Verification?
A facility is allowed to request an SLCP Full Virtual Verification (FVV) if the facility is experiencing force majeure and is unable to undergo onsite verification.
- SLCP defines force majeure as: “A significant event that cannot be reasonably anticipated or controlled, that significantly impacts the party’s ability to fulfil its obligations, and is not the result of negligence, malfeasance, or usual/ commonplace consequences of external forces.”
- The term “force majeure” can only be used to refer to emergency situations that would reasonably be expected to affect the ability of the facility to complete an SLCP onsite verification.
- Emergency situations can include, but are not limited to, fires, floods, storms, earthquakes, other natural disasters, war, labor disputes, riots, explosions, and other unforeseen or uncontrollable change, which includes governmental shutdowns due to a pandemic.
- Such emergencies can result in any inability to travel due to lockdown/ social distancing situations; legal requirements banning official, business or other non-essential travel, gatherings or any restrictions in transportation; limitations in receiving/admitting visitors on site to avoid health risks to Verifiers and facility personnel.
How does a facility conduct an SLCP Full Virtual Verification?
- The facility must first complete and sign (electronically) the online Full Virtual Verification Self-Declaration Form and share it with the selected Verifier Body.
- Verifier cannot proceed with Full Virtual Verification without first receiving the completed and signed Self-Declaration form.
- If the facility is found to be falsifying any part of the self-declaration, the verification is subject to invalidation.
- The facility must provide evidence that:
- The facility is currently experiencing a restriction in operations due to force majeure.
- The restrictions have continued for the past three (3) months or more.
- The restrictions will not change within the next month or longer.
- The facility must meet the list of requirements listed in the Full Virtual Verification Facility Protocol and Self-Declaration Form, (e.g., minimum operational capacity, electronic record keeping system, Internet and software capabilities, detailed and up-to-date facility map).
- Before finalizing the self/joint-assessment, the facility must work with an SLCP approved service provider to complete the Worker Engagement (WE) Question Set with their workers.
- The facility selects an SLCP approved WE Technology Service Provider and conducts a worker survey prior to verification (cost paid by facility).
- The facility uses the report from the service provider to help complete the self/joint-assessment and must provide evidence of how they used the report in the self/joint-assessment.
- The facility must use an existing worker engagement committee or worker/ trade union representatives to help complete the worker engagement.
- If the facility has no worker engagement committee in place, SLCP encourages the facility to democratically elect one. Recommendations on how to do so are available here.
- The facility must complete Step 2 of the Tool.
- SLCP Full Virtual Verification cannot be completed for facility if most recent verification was also a Full Virtual Verification.
Note: Only a reduced number of Tool questions will be verified (meaning some facility answers will not be verified).