Understanding the importance of assurance in sustainability reporting

Published date: 18 March 2024

New GRI Academy course provides key tools for optimizing assurance processes in your sustainability report

GRI has launched training for sustainability managers and reporting professionals to improve their skills and knowledge on both internal reporting systems and external assurance processes.

Now available on the GRI Academy – the leading sustainability reporting learning platform – the course External Assurance for Sustainability Reporting: A Comprehensive Guide introduces the practice of assurance in sustainability reporting, and addresses how it can contribute to higher quality disclosure while improving the robustness of an organization’s internal systems and processes.

Through the training, participants can deepen their knowledge and understanding while gaining practical skills for a seamless assurance process. The course delves into the following topics:

1. The ‘what’ and ‘why’ of external sustainability reporting assurance

2. How to prepare organizations for external assurance

3. Understanding the assurance process

4. Finding the right assurance provider 

According to recent research by the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), information disclosed using the GRI Standards is subject to assurance more often than that of any other reporting framework – with a 40% assurance rate. Nevertheless, more progress is needed for assurance to become a widespread practice in the sustainability reporting landscape.

Given that auditing of ESG data is on the rise, it’s key for sustainability professionals to better understand how to put into practice assurance processes. That´s why this new training highlights the strategic significance of sustainability reporting assurance, aligning with global standards, and offering insights for participants to navigate this evolving landscape with confidence through a comprehensive and internationally applicable learning experience.

A feature of the course is that it emphasizes the necessary considerations involved in appointing an external assurance provider, offering guidelines tailored to assist organizations in matching their specific needs with the expertise and capabilities of potential providers.

The course takes around two hours to complete and is available online and on demand.

You can access more short online courses on the GRI Academy to stay up-to-date with the latest trends, news and developments in sustainability reporting and the GRI Standards.