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ICSI SAS – 03 Social Audit Standard on promoting education, employability and livelihoods

Applicability and Scope

This Social Audit Standard (‘the Standard’) is applicable to the Social Auditor as defined under sub-Regulation (f) of Regulation 292A of Securities and Exchange Board of India (Issue of Capital and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2018 conducting the Social Audit of the Social Enterprise as defined under sub-Regulation (h) of Regulation 292A of Securities and Exchange Board of India (Issue of Capital and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2018. This Standard deals with procedures, responsibilities and duties of the Auditor with respect to the Social Audit being conducted by him/ her of the Social Enterprises engaged in the activities prescribed under sub-regulation 2(a)(iii) of Regulation 292E of Securities and Exchange Board of India (Issue of Capital and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2018.


ICSI Social Audit Standard – 03 (ICSI SAS-03) aims to aid the Social Auditors with necessary instructions or guidelines for the effective Social Audit of Social Enterprises engaged in the field of “promoting education, employability and livelihoods”. Social Auditor shall follow the minimum criteria as specified in this proposed Social Audit Standard issued by the ICSI.

Effective Date

This Social Audit Standard will be in force with effect from –/–/20–.

Social Audit Process and Documentation

Social Auditor shall conduct the Social Audit in accordance with the procedures/ mandates established and notified by the ICSI from time to time. Social Auditor shall perform their functions that provide sufficient and adequate evidence to support Social Audit. Social Auditor can acquire evidence for the effectiveness of Social Audit through inspection, observation, inquiry, consultation, interview, questionnaire, analytical procedures and/or other research techniques or any other acceptable methods as he/she deems fit. The procedures to be followed are as under:

I. Define Social Audit objectives and planning Social Audit;

II. Intimation to the Management of the Social Enterprise about the Audit Plan;

III. Identification of Stakeholders and consultation;

IV. Visit to/inspection of the area where project/activity was implemented;

V. Collection of data, Analysis and assessment;

VI. Reporting.

I. Define Social Audit objectives and planning Social Audit

The Social Auditor shall define the object and scope of the Social Audit prior to conducting Social Audit. It is always better to have a proper plan prior to Social Audit and it includes nature, timing and extent of the procedures and standards to be followed while conducting Social Audit. The Social Auditor should also analyse the report, recommendations of the previous Social Audit, if any, and review the corrective actions taken by the Social Enterprise with respect to the recommendations suggested in the previous Social Audit Report. This is the first stage of Social Audit process.

II. Intimation to the Management of the Social Enterprise about the Audit Plan

It is expected that the Social Auditor should intimate the audit plan to the Management of the Social Enterprise so that they can have the necessary documents and materials ready and available for the Auditor.

III. Identification of Stakeholders and Consultation

The key stakeholders who can be involved in the Social Audit process include project beneficiaries, their family members, parents / guardians of students, officials of the local bodies, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), media, educational institutions, employers, trainers, teachers, management personnel of educational institutes, recruitment agencies, supervising staff from the social enterprise, funding body etc. The consultation must be done with the stakeholders to extract accurate and needed information.

IV. Visit to / inspection of the area where project / activity was implemented

The Social Auditor must make it a point to visit / inspect the location and this will also give him / her better opportunities both for collection of data and consultation with the stakeholders.

V. Collection of data, analysis and assessment

This activity involves identifying key issues that need to be cross checked in the Social Audit as well as how information and data pertaining to the activity undertaken by the Social Enterprise will be collected. Moreover, in Social Audit process, two types of data are crucial. Primary data collected from stakeholders and community members, followed by Secondary data collected from various other sources. Gathering secondary information is very important in the process of Social Audit. Secondary data are inevitable for making Social Audit Reports. Information required for preparing Social Audit Reports may not be available in single point but may be in different records in different forms.

Social Auditor shall collect the relevant information through any of the following methods:

  • Documents and records
  • Course books, curriculum
  • Registers and placement records
  • Previous Social Audit Report, if any
  • Questionnaires and surveys
  • Interviews
  • Observations
  • CVs and Resumés of teachers / trainers
  • Examination papers
  • Published data from authorized sources

Evaluation should be based on certain criteria and suggestive list of such criteria is provided hereinafter. However, the list is inclusive and not exhaustive and the Social Auditor must exercise his own discretion and judgement on case to case basis. Also, the feedback from stakeholders should be considered while preparing the Social Audit Report.


A. Promoting education
1 Number of schools, colleges and other educational institutions set-up by the Social Enterprise.
2 Location and area in which the Educational Institutions have been set up.
3 Target population intended to be covered by the Social Enterprise, targeted population actually covered and reason(s) for deviations, if any.
4 Bye – laws and governing – laws of the Educational Institutions established by the Social Enterprise.
5 Mission and vision statements of Educational Institutions.
6 Initiatives taken to ensure that all girls and boys of target area have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary education.
7 Initiatives taken to ensure that all women and men of target area have equal access to affordable and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education including University.
8 Standard Operating Procedures (for admission of students, appointments and salary to staff etc.) of the Educational Institutions.
9 Constitution of the Governing Body of Educational Institutions.
10 Decisions taken by the Governing Body of the Educational Institutions.
11 Details of source of funds for the establishment of Educational Institutions.
12 Number of workshops/ awareness programmes conducted to maximise the number of beneficiaries and number of hours of training provided.
13 Initiatives taken for encouraging people especially those Below Poverty Line

(BPL) to take admission in the Educational Institutions and financial
assistance given to them.

14 Comparison of status of living with respect to education of the target section prior to and at the end of the reviewing period.
15 Assistance given for school meal programmes and programme wise fund utilisation details.
16 Number of sports activities and extra-curriculum activities conducted during the period under review.
17 Steps taken to promote education of girls, LGBTQIA+ persons.
18 Initiatives taken to ensure that all youth and a substantial portion of adults, irrespective of gender achieve literacy and numeracy.
19 Training Programmes organised for the teachers to increase the supply of qualified teachers.
20 Scholarships provided for enrolment of students in higher education including vocational training and information and communication technology, technical, engineering and scientific programmes.
21 Initiatives taken to upgrade education facilities that are child, disability and gender sensitive and provide safe, non-violent, inclusive and effective
learning environment for all.
22 Curriculum of teaching / training developed and the extent to which the same is reviewed from time to time for updation keeping in view the changing society, environment and technology.
23 Placement drives undertaken and the number of beneficiaries getting placement during such drives.
24 Ratio of number of beneficiaries enrolled in training to the number of beneficiaries who got placement after completion of such training.
25 Ratio of students to teacher and students to classroom ratio.
26 Expenditure incurred per student / trainee as compared to remuneration offered on being placed.
27 In case of residential training programmes the availability of hostel / accommodation facilities and the quality thereof.
28 Career counselling initiatives taken up to guide the students / trainees to take up training as per their calling / vocation.

VI. Reporting

The Social Audit Report shall include information about the objective set out at the beginning of the Social Audit, methodologies adopted, observations, findings and recommendations if any. The Social Auditor shall also identify the challenges faced in implementation of the projects / activities and suggest areas for improvement based on observation, interview and feedback received from stakeholders. The Social Auditor shall also list out the limitations of the audit process which might include inability to identify all stakeholders, non-availability of proper response from stakeholders, and point out the extent to which such limitations impact the Audit Report. The Report of Social Audit shall be as per the format notified by the ICSI from time to time.


To Read Related post Social Audit Standard

Draft Social Audit Standards
1 Draft Social Audit Standard on eradicating hunger, poverty, malnutrition and inequality (ICSI SAS-01)
2 Draft Social Audit Standard on promoting health care including mental healthcare, sanitation and making available safe drinking water (ICSI SAS-02)
3 Draft Social Audit Standard on promoting education, employability and livelihoods (ICSI SAS-03)
4 Draft Social Audit Standard on promoting gender equality, empowerment of women and LGBTQIA+ communities (ICSI SAS-04)
5 Draft Social Audit Standard on ensuring environmental sustainability, addressing climate change including mitigation and adaptation, forest and wildlife conservation (ICSI SAS-05)
6 Draft Social Audit Standard on protection of national heritage, art and culture (ICSI SAS-06)
7 Draft Social Audit Standard on training to promote rural sports, nationally recognised sports, Paralympic sports and Olympic sports (ICSI SAS-07)
8 Draft Social Audit Standard on supporting incubators of Social Enterprises (ICSI SAS-08)
9 Draft Social Audit Standard on supporting other platforms that strengthen the non-profit ecosystem in fundraising and capacity building (ICSI SAS-09)
10 Draft Social Audit Standard on promoting livelihoods for rural and urban poor including enhancing income of small and marginal farmers and workers in the non-farm sector (ICSI SAS-10)
11 Draft Social Audit Standard on slum area development, affordable housing and other interventions to build sustainable and resilient cities (ICSI SAS-11)
12 Draft Social Audit Standard on disaster management, including relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction activities (ICSI SAS-12)
13 Draft Social Audit Standard on promotion of financial inclusion (ICSI SAS- 13)
14 Draft Social Audit Standard on facilitating access to land and property assets for disadvantaged communities (ICSI SAS-14)
15 Draft Social Audit Standard on bridging the digital divide in internet and mobile phone access, addressing issues of misinformation and data protection (ICSI SAS-15)
16 Draft Social Audit Standard on promoting welfare of migrants and displaced persons (ICSI SAS-16)

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May 2024