Microfinance Centre was one of the contributors to the creation of the Universal Standards for Responsible Inclusive Finance.
SPTF is updating the Universal Standards. SPTF first published the Universal Standards in 2012. In keeping with international best practice, we review the standards every 4-5 years so that they continue to reflect the sector’s latest understanding of best practice. We updated the standards in 2016 and 2020 is also a review year. This revision process will be completed in 2021, resulting in an updated Universal Standards Manual and aligned audit tools—SPI and ALINUS.
Experts provided detailed input. From January-September 2020, SPTF spoke with almost 100 experts from around the world to receive their input on the Universal Standards. Our broad questions were: What should we change to keep the Universal Standards relevant? What can be clarified? How can we promote wider adoption and implementation?
Now we want your input! This survey summarizes the opinions of our expert reviewers. It is not an exhaustive list of all possible changes to the Universal Standards. Rather, we present the ideas which were most prominent during our expert interviews.
The Universal Standards are created by our industry and used by every stakeholder group. We will review and discuss every single comment generated in this survey. Your input is a crucial part of the revision process. Beyond their value for financial service providers, the Universal Standards are used by auditors, raters, regulators, and investors. CERISE will use the revised standards to update the SPI4 and ALINUS and social raters are committed to aligning their tools with the standards as well.
The Universal Standards also influence other industries. Parts of our standards are used by standard-setters for mobile network operators, social businesses, impact investors, agriculture, and off-grid energy. SPTF also participates in the ISO process for developing standards for sustainable finance. The work you do here has far reaching effects.
Deadline: This survey will close on Wednesday, October 21.
Language: This survey is only available in English, but you may provide comments in any language.
Current standards: To review the current version (2016) of the Universal Standards manual, open the standards in English, French, Spanish, or Arabic.