Analysis of Register Committee Decisions and Quality Assurance Agencies' Compliance with the ESG

The decision-making on ESG compliance of QA agencies that want to be listed on the Register, is in the hands of the EQAR Register Committee (RC). Starting with the applications based on the ESG 2015, the RC has also taken a compliance decision on each individual standard from ESG Part 2 and Part 3 (compliance, partial compliance or non-compliance).

In the report  “Analysis of Register Committee’s decisions”, the work of the Register Committee has been examined in detail.

Experts in external quality assurance discussed the findings of the report “Analysis of RC Decisions” during a webinar held on 6 October 2021, with a special focus on the challenges, the pitfalls and lessons learned. View the recording of this webinar below.

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Applicants' Level of ESG Compliance

Overview of applications (2008-2021)

Between 2008 and July 2021 the RC held 30 meetings and considered 143 applications for inclusion and renewal of registration. Overall, the Register Committee approved most applications for initial inclusion (61 approved and 10 rejected) and almost all applications for renewal of registration (57 approved and 4 rejected). 11 (7%) applications were withdrawn before the final reading of the Committee, hence no decision was taken on them.

As expected, over time, applications for renewal of registration have become the majority, while the number of initial applications for inclusion has decreased. Two thirds of the applications considered under the ESG 2015 were renewal applications.

Analysis of previous years

Analysis of Register Committee Decisions 2015-2018

For each of the applications considered after 2015 the Register Committee makes a judgment on the compliance level (compliance, partial compliance or no compliance) with each of the standards of ESG Parts 2 and Part 3 before making a holistic judgement (of substantially compliant or not substantially compliant -> see criteria for inclusion).  In the 24 applications considered the Committee reached the conclusion of compliance in 78% of cases (see chart below). For all other cases the Committee concluded on partial compliance (21%). A non-compliance judgement was not reached for any of the standards considered

A closer look at the individual standards revealed that agencies were found to be most often only partially complying with standard 2.7 Complaints and appeals (11 of the 24 agencies). Other areas where the Register Committee found significant shortcomings and concluded for at least seven of the 24 agencies that they are only partially compliant were the standards (see chart below, ordered by the no. of PC), 2.6 Reporting, 3.1 Activities, policy and processes for quality assurance. 3.4 Thematic analysis and 2.5 Criteria for outcomes.

A full analysis (of August 2018) reflecting on the changes since the adoption of the ESG 2015 can be consulted below. The study also documents changes within the registered agency’s activities, organisational structure, their mergers and complaints.