15 Oct 2021

How do I get the B Impact Assessment right first time?

By Seismic

Why undertaking a BIA Diagnostic will set you on the road to B Corp certification

B Corps

The B Corp movement, celebrating businesses that are a force for good, has seen significant growth in recent years, as more companies strive to consider the impact they have on their stakeholders.

To become a certified B Corporation, companies have to complete the B Impact Assessment (BIA), scoring a minimum of 80 points. However, many companies who submit their assessment for certification fall short of this score during the verification audit.

Getting started on the right foot is essential to manage resources effectively, keep teams engaged and build confidence around the process.

This is what a BIA Diagnostic is for.

What is a BIA Diagnostic?

It is an initial engagement to familiarise organisations with the B Corp framework, get their teams aligned behind a common purpose and obtain an understanding of the efforts required to reach the certifying 80 points.

We run working sessions with relevant information-holders within your company to walk you through tailored sections of the BIA questions. Bringing in our expert knowledge of the assessment, we make sure your practices are accurately captured and scores don’t get overinflated.

This BIA Diagnostic process will transfer a lot of knowledge about B Corp to the team, and assess the internal level of confidence in the performance of the company, to determine what the right next step will be.

Five key outcomes a BIA Diagnostic will deliver

  1. Making sure you are on the right track – the BIA is adaptive and will show you a tailored set of questions based on key pieces of information. Hiccups early in the journey can result in significant time wasted formulating answers to irrelevant questions. The first step of the diagnostic is to ensure you are unlocking the right assessment.
  2. Engaging the team – the certification process will require the contribution of a wide range of stakeholders within the company. Confirming who to involve and clarifying the expectations is key to energise teams and give them a sense of ownership.
  3. How to interpret the BIA – some of the language and conditions of the questions in the assessment can be tricky so you want to make sure everything is accurately formulated to maximize your score. Working with experienced B Corp consultants early on using a BIA Diagnostic framework trains the team to understand the spirit of the questions, avoiding common pitfalls and appropriately capturing practices or data.
  4. Evaluating performance – how likely are you to pass the 80 points certification threshold? Covering a cross-section of the assessment at the outset gives you an understanding of your current performance. It will give you a strong indication of the gap to 80 and the work that might need to be done.
  5. Road to certification – the diagnostic will provide you with clear recommendations on your next steps towards certification. This will be informed by the type of business you are, the need for improvements or validation of certain answers and the specificities of the verification process.

Common concerns we hear from companies approaching B Corp certification

B Impact Assessment
  • How realistic is it for our company to achieve 80 points?
  • Our capacity is stretched, how much time and resources will this take?
  • If we don’t hit 80 points, then what?
  • We’ve looked at the BIA and we are not sure we really understand the questions.
  • How do we get started? Are we even on the right track? Who do we need to involve?

All of the above can become deterrents, paralysing well intended companies early in the process, wasting valuable time and threatening morale and momentum.

Some initial support can be a game changer to gain ownership of the process and crack the BIA code!

Undertaking a BIA Diagnostic addresses these initial doubts. It builds a company’s confidence from the outset, ensuring internal stakeholders feel engaged, giving the team knowledge and confidence about the assessment.

Why should you do a BIA Diagnostic?

A BIA Diagnostic raises confidence, transfers knowledge and provides clear recommendations for next steps, setting companies up for success from the outset.

In light of the current evaluation queue (it can take up to 6 months for a BIA submission to be verified), starting off on the right foot will save time, energy and resources – and accelerate your path to certification.

Seismic has accompanied 50+ companies through the BIA Diagnostic, leveraging our collective experience to walk clients through the process and set them up for success.

Get in touch if you’d like to know more.

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