Continual improvement is a core principle of the AWS Standard.
Your AWS certificate is valid for 3 years, subject to successful annual surveillance audits.
Surveillance audits are not a full audit but a focused process to verify that your site continues to conform with the AWS Standard.
You can expect the auditor (or audit team) to be the same as for the certification audit (circumstances allowing) and the surveillance audit will once again use the WSAS Audit Platform. The surveillance audit may be carried out remotely if certain conditions apply.
The surveillance audit process includes the same steps (5 to 9) as the certification audit process.
The auditor will investigate all water-related changes onsite and within the catchment since the previous audit.
As a minimum, the surveillance audits will review:
- follow-up of all non-conformities raised in the previous audit
- known areas of weakness / risk factors
- progress on addressing shared water challenges
- leadership commitment
- implementation of the water stewardship plan and performance disclosure
- documentation demonstrating legal, regulatory and rights compliance
- water balance performance
- water quality performance
- performance against important water-related areas
- participation in catchment governance
- provision of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services
- stakeholder commentary on performance
- transparency of communications on water-related legal compliance
- additional areas at the auditor’s discretion (after the 3-year period of the certificate, all requirements will be evaluated at least once)
If successful, you will receive the surveillance audit report and a letter confirming your site’s continued conformance with the AWS certification requirements.
After 3 years, you can apply for re-certification. This involves the same steps as for your initial certification.
During a surveillance audit or re-certification you can apply to upgrade.
The process is the same as for your initial certification, except the auditor will also ask for a response to the advanced indicators and score you against these. You will then be awarded your AWS certificate demonstrating the achieved certification level.
Core, Gold and Platinum
There are three levels of AWS Standard certification a site may achieve: Core, Gold and Platinum. All core criteria must be met as a minimum requirement for certification. Additional points are awarded for performance against the advanced criteria. The greater the number of points achieved, the higher the level of water stewardship performance and AWS certification.
Advanced criteria and higher-level certification were introduced to recognise that good water stewards seek continual improvement and commit to ongoing action to respond to the ever-evolving nature of the local water context. Gold and Platinum status are recognition of those sites that push their water stewardship performance to elite level.
The points required for each certification level are:
AWS Core: 0 to 39 points
AWS Gold: 40 to 79 points
AWS Platinum: 80 or more points