GRI also recognises that assurance of sustainability reports is at an early stage in its evolution. It therefore encourages the development and use of principles and guidelines for assurance practices. Moreover, the GRI recommends that external assurance should: BOGIES
• be conducted by groups or individuals external to the reporting organisation, who are demonstrably competent in the subject matter and assurance practices
• utilise groups or individuals who are not limited by their relationship with the organisation to publish an independent conclusion on the report
• be implemented in a manner that is systematic, documented, evidence-based, and characterised by defined procedures
• assess whether the report provides a reasonable and balanced presentation of performance
• assess the extent to which the report preparer has applied the GRI Reporting Framework
• result in an opinion or set of conclusions that is publicly available in written form, including a statement from the assurance practitioner on their relationship to the report preparer.
The GRI does not make recommendations on what type of assurance practitioner to use. It is expected that the reporting organisation will select the assurance practitioner on the basis of these six key qualities.