How are we different?

We are internationally recognised as the pioneer of credible standards for social enterprise.

Ten years on from the launch of the Social Enterprise Mark, the original accreditation for social enterprises, we continue to support genuine social enterprises to reach recognised standards of good practice.

We are the only social enterprise accreditation body to operate as a social enterprise, and we believe in practising what we preach – Social Enterprise Mark CIC has achieved the Social Enterprise Mark.

We are not a membership body, and approval is not automatic. All applications are subject to the scrutiny of a robust assessment process. We also review Mark Holders continuing eligibility on an annual basis, and if an organisation is found to no longer be meeting our criteria, their accreditation is removed.

The Social Enterprise Mark

Annual review on eligibility

All Mark holders are subject to an annual review of their eligibility and are required to undergo a full re-assessment every three years.

If an organisation is found to no longer be meeting the criteria, their accreditation is expired.

Assessment feedback

Our assessment feedback service* enables applicants to recognise how their organisation complies with the best practice criteria defined by our accreditations, and provides considerations for future development.

*Feedback is given after initial applications and 3 yearly full reviews

External verification

All applications are subject to an external assessment process – approval is not automatic and not everyone applying for is successful, but we do always give advice on required changes.

Independent Certification Panel

Applications for our social enterprise accreditations are overseen by an independent Certification Panel, made up of representatives from the business, legal and social enterprise sectors.

The Panel ensures that the accreditation criteria are rigorously applied and sets precedents in complex applications, such as where there may be questions over share dividends.

To protect the integrity of the criteria, the Panel is voluntary and works according to a Memorandum of Understanding.

Internationally available

We offer the only internationally available accreditation designed specifically for social enterprises.

The Social Enterprise Mark now has a presence in 11 different countries and we have developed a tried and tested international assessment process that can be applied anywhere in the world.

Social impact assessment

We are only accreditation body to externally assess the social impact created by social enterprises.

All applicants are required to provide evidence of how they are striving to create social impact. Existing Mark holders are required to submit new social impact evidence as part of their full review/reassessment every 3 years.

Our directory of accredited social enterprises is the ONLY directory to display social impact evidence, demonstrating these organisations’ commitment to creating social impact.