AA1000 Individual Certification


AccountAbility helps individuals and organizations develop the knowledge and skills to implement effective stakeholder engagement, sustainability management, reporting, and assurance. The Certified Sustainability Assurance Practitioner (CSAP) qualification, initially developed in 2007 by AccountAbility and IRCA (International Register of Certificated Auditors), is the first internationally recognized professional qualification in the field of sustainability assurance.

It aims to:

  • Enable practitioners to develop, validate, and communicate their competence in a systematic manner
  • Make it easier for organizations to identify credible assurance expertise
  • Improve stakeholder confidence in the expertise of sustainability assurance professionals engaged by an organization

The qualification is intended for those who work in sustainability departments, ESG, internal audit, those who provide consultancy services, and external assurance providers who undertake sustainability assurance engagements.

Types of Practitioners

There are three grades of the Certified Sustainability Assurance Practitioner (CSAP) qualification, along with the Sustainability Practitioner (SP) certificate. The list of individuals currently certified at the different levels are as follows:

CSAP Routes

Training Route

Individuals can achieve the Associate Certified Sustainability Assurance Practitioner (ACSAP) qualification by following an online AA1000 training conducted by AccountAbility licensed training providers. All three modules (A, B, and C) must be completed to get the ACSAP qualification. Please note that all AA1000 training is currently conducted virtually through our licensed training providers. You can find the list of the training providers and their contact details here. Some training providers offer live online training webinars, while others provide asynchronous learning options. With asynchronous learning, trainees can complete the training at their own pace, whenever it is convenient for them. Please reach out to the training provider(s) directly to inquire about the course method, logistics, prices, dates, etc.

This ‘Training Route’ option is good for those providers/individuals who do not have much experience in AA1000AS v3 assurance, sustainability, and stakeholder engagement. (If any of your assurance team members have many years of experience in AA1000AS v3 in practice and they have been very involved in AA1000AS v3 engagements, they could apply directly for PCSAP or LCSAP qualification through the ‘Experienced Route’.)

With experience gained, each Associate CSAP (ACSAP) can regrade to elevate their level to Practicing CSAP (PCSAP) and then to Lead CSAP (LCSAP) based on the Criteria for CSAP Programme. Please note that in order to apply for the PCSAP or LCSAP qualification, you need to demonstrate relevant work experience in AA1000 and conducting or leading assurance engagements.

Experienced Route

Individuals already experienced in sustainability assurance, stakeholder engagement, and AA1000AS v3 assurance (who have not necessarily participated in the AA1000 Training), but who can demonstrate the ability to operate effectively at the grade of practitioner for which they are applying, can use the ‘Experienced Route’. Please refer to the ‘Sustainability Assurance Competency Framework’ on pages 8-11 in the Criteria for CSAP Programme document.

Illustrative Qualification Pathways

Illustrative Qualification Pathways

Obtaining the PCSAP and LCSAP qualification

The process to obtain the PCSAP and LCSAP qualification is the following:

  1. Refer to the Criteria for CSAP Programme
  2. Request the application form for the relevant CSAP level from standards@accountability.org. When requesting this, please write down why you believe you fulfil the criteria (for example, if applying for the LCSAP level, you could write that you have led 30+ AA1000AS engagements during the past 10 years and give more details how you have worked with sustainability topics for the past 10 years). Please also attach a detailed evidence document showing your AA1000AS experience. This could be a letter from a team leader outlining the AA1000AS engagements you have been involved with including the Reporting Companies’ names and your role in the engagements, and ideally weblinks to the external statements. If your application meets initial screening to apply for PCSAP or LCSAP level, you will receive the application package and further information.
  3. Once you receive the application package, send in the completed application form electronically along with all the relevant documentation, required evidence, and £224 (GBP) application fees (the invoice will be sent after we receive the completed application form). Please reserve 2-4 months for this process as all applications are reviewed and evaluated by external technical evaluators and might include reference checks and an interview.

Important Points

  • Please note that there is currently no ‘Experienced Route’ available for Associate CSAP (ACSAP) or Sustainability Practitioner (SP) levels.
  • Please reserve 2-4 months for the ‘Experienced Route’ as the applications are assessed by external technical evaluators.
  • Please note that a minimum of five AA1000AS engagements is required for PCSAP qualification. Do not apply for PCSAP or LCSAP level unless you fulfil the criteria. The application fee is non-refundable.

Annual Renewal of the Qualification:

Continuing professional development (CPD) is crucial in today's rapidly evolving world. It allows professionals to stay relevant, adapt to new technologies and methodologies, and enhance their skills and knowledge. In fields like sustainability assurance, where standards and practices are constantly evolving, ongoing learning is essential to ensure practitioners can effectively meet the needs of their clients and stakeholders. AccountAbility reminds all current and future CSAPs about the importance of continuing professional development and the annual renewal process of the qualification. To stay listed on AccountAbility’s website, and as an active CSAP, the following is needed yearly:

  • Submittance of the Continuing Professional Development (CDP) hours starting from 2025
  • Payment of the annual renewal fee.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Every Level of CSAP must renew their certification every year. The purpose of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is to ensure that you are able to deliver best practice at all times and as such to ensure the credibility of the CSAP program. The concept of CPD, and the value it contributes, is now recognized, and accepted throughout all professional fields. Commencing in 2025, you need to send us before the end of the year your CPD and practitioner experience log-sheets for the previous year. As part of the renewal of certification process, we require you to demonstrate that you have further developed your expertise and gained further practical experience in order to ensure that you employ current best practice and your knowledge of relevant laws, regulations and procedures is current in order to ensure compliance. We will assess the information you provide against the renewal requirements listed and make a certification renewal decision. If you are successful, your details will be updated on the AccountAbility Register and you will be sent a renewed certificate. If you are unable to demonstrate sufficient, relevant CPD, or fail to meet the renewal requirements for any other reason, the assessment may result in your certification not being renewed if remedial action is not taken.

Annual fees

The following fees will be due annually in order to retain your name on the AccountAbility web register for the corresponding level:

  • Sustainability Practitioner (SP) £94
  • Associate Certified Sustainability Assurance Practitioner (ACSAP) £124
  • Practicing Certified Sustainability Assurance Practitioner (PCSAP) £179
  • Lead Certified Sustainability Assurance Practitioner (LCSAP) £194


  • Regrade (When applying for a higher level) Fees £146

It is your responsibility to keep your contact details updated so that the Finance team can send you the invoice. Please contact standards@accountability.org to update your information.

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