1. What does ‘EDGE’ stand for?
EDGE stands for Equity, Diversity and Gender Equality.
2. What is the role of the EDGE Certified Foundation?
The EDGE Certified Foundation is the guardian of the Assessment Methodology and the EDGE Global Standards; accredits, approves, and trains the independent Certification Body auditors and Scheme Managers; oversees the quality, consistency, and robustness of Certification Body performance; and oversees the use of the EDGE Seals and labels by certified organizations.
3. Is there a minimum headcount for an organization to be eligible for EDGE Certification?
The methodology was designed for medium to large organizations and in order to see the full impact of the analysis, sufficient underlying data is required. Therefore, 200 employees per country of operation, single business unit, or unique brand within a country is needed for an organization to be eligible for EDGE Certification. If your organization has fewer employees, please get in touch to discuss options.
4. How does an organization progress from one level of certification to another?
Organizations are at different maturity levels in their gender and intersectional equity efforts. As they implement impactful actions and see clear indicators that those initiatives are creating change, they will move from one level to the next. In the re-certification process, the impact of those actions is assessed and if the audit by the third-party certification body confirms that the organization meets the standards set by EDGE Certified Foundation, they move to another level.
5. Why does EDGE Certification expire after two years?
Pursuing gender and intersectional equity in an organization is an ongoing process. The certification system is designed to help organizations develop along that journey and to give a 360-degree overview of the current reality. By requiring a recertification after two years, the organization has time to implement the action plan and should see impact. The recertification requirement ensures that the certification signals the current status of gender and intersectional equity in the organization, and is not a one-off achievement. It also demonstrates an organization’s ongoing commitment to the pursuit of gender and intersectional equity.
6. Who issues the EDGE Certificate?
The EDGE Certification is structured as an independent third-party certification system to ensure impartiality. An approved third-party Certification Body issues EDGE Certificates. These are global audit firms specializing in certification and auditing. The Certification Bodies are trained and accredited by the EDGE Certified Foundation. Certification Bodies currently approved to issue EDGE Certificates include Intertek, FLOCERT, and SGS.
7. Can organizations select their own EDGE auditor?
Organizations can choose any of the EDGE accredited Certification Bodies which are currently Intertek, FLOCERT, and SGS.
8. What is involved in the audit process?
After you have chosen your preferred Certification Body, you will plan the audit schedule together. A desktop review will be conducted remotely by the auditor, followed by a virtual audit, to verify the inputs and outputs of the tool, based on objective evidence supplied by your organization. Subject to the results of the audit, the Certification Body completes an audit report and issues your EDGE Certificate and your EDGE Seal.
9. How long will the audit take?
Including the planning, the remote desktop review, the virtual audit, the audit reporting, and certification granting, and depending on the chosen scope of EDGE Certification and the complexity of the certifying organization, a Certification Body may quote between 4-6 days.
10. What is equal pay for equivalent work?
Equal pay for equivalent work is the principle according to which individuals who perform jobs that require substantially equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and that are performed under similar working conditions within the same organization, should receive the same renumeration. EDGE Certification assesses how this principle is applied by measuring both the effectiveness of an organization’s policies and practices to ensure equal pay for equivalent work for men and women as well as if there is any pay gap which cannot be explained by any other factors than gender.
11. Is the EDGE gender pay gap analysis methodology compliant with the Swiss legislation on equal pay?
As of July 1st, 2020, Swiss legislation on equal pay requires that organizations with more than 100 employees conduct an analysis of gender pay equity by June 30th, 2021, verified by an independent body by June 30th, 2022. Companies are free to select a specific method of analysis provided it is scientific and in accordance with the law.
The EDGE Gender Pay Gap Analysis Methodology is a scientific, legally compliant method to investigate gender pay equity in the workplace. Using a linear regression model with Ordinary Least Squares, the EDGE methodology measures whether an organization has an Unexplained Gender Pay Gap, a pay gap that cannot be explained by any other factors than gender. It covers all employees in an organization and includes both salary (base salary) and pay (base salary plus bonuses and other cash benefits), which are measured against the following objective and non-discriminatory explanatory variables:
- Variables related to personal characteristics of the employee: tenure, age
- Variables related to the type of job of the employee: responsibility of the role, type of performed function, level of responsibility
More details on the EDGE methodology to measure if there is any unexplained gender pay gap can be found in English here and in French here.
The scientific and legal compliance of the EDGE methodology was validated by an external party.
The full validation letters from the following universities can be found here:
12. Does EDGE Certification align with the EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD)?
The EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) has been approved and will require all EU companies to disclose data on the risks, opportunities, and impacts of their activities on people and the environment, beginning in 2024 for large public-interest companies. To comply with the CSRD, companies will be required to use the European Reporting Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS) to prepare their ESG disclosure information.
EDGE Certification Standards align with ESRS S1 which covers Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion topics for an organization’s own workforce. Organizations that are EDGE Certified, at any of the three levels of EDGE Certification, can rely on the scope of their EDGE Certification to support their compliance with the EU CSRD. For a more detailed alignment of the EDGE Certification Standards against the requirements of the EU Directive, please contact us using the dedicated Contact Us form on the website.
13. Does EDGE Certification align with the Standard for Gender Parity in Italian organizations published by Italian National Unification (UNI 125: 2022)?
EDGE Certification believes the introduction of the Standard for Gender Parity is a move that will advance gender equality and could have a transformational impact on the creation of gender equal workplaces.
The EDGE Certification Standard has a broader and deeper scope than the requirements set by UNI 125:2022. As such, organizations that are EDGE Certified, at any of the three levels of EDGE Certification, will strongly benefit from the assessment work with EDGE and accompanying independent audit undertaken in seeking compliance with the UNI 125: 2022. For a more detailed alignment of the EDGE Certification Standards against the UNI 125: 2022 requirements, please contact us using the dedicated Contact Us form on the website.
14. Does EDGE Certification align with the Spanish Royal Decree on Gender Equality (Royal Decree 901 and 902 / 2020)?
EDGE Certification believes the entry into force of the legislation in Spain is a positive development and will help advance gender equality in the workplace and equal pay for equivalent work.
The EDGE Certification Standard has a broader and deeper scope than the requirements set by the Royal Decree 901 and 902 / 2020. As such, organizations that are EDGE Certified, at any of the three levels of EDGE Certification, will strongly benefit from the assessment work with EDGE and accompanying independent audit undertaken in seeking compliance with the Spanish Royal Decree on Gender Equality. For a more detailed alignment of the EDGE Certification Standards against the requirements of the Royal Decree 901 and 902, please contact us using the dedicated Contact Us form on the website.
15. What is EDGEplus?
EDGEplus is a solution launched in September 2020 as a deepening of EDGE Certification. While EDGE Certification looks at men and women as two homogenous groups, EDGEplus looks at men and women as diversified groups and measures the intersectionality between gender and other aspects of diversity namely: race/ethnicity, gender identity, working with a disability, nationality, age, and sexual orientation. Therefore, EDGEplus is the perfect solution for an organization to begin structuring the conversation and data collection process around intersectional equity.
16. What is the difference between EDGE and EDGEplus?
EDGE looks at men and women as two homogenous groups, whereas EDGEplus looks at men and women as diversified groups in terms of race/ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, working with a disability, nationality, and age. EDGEplus is an optional add-on to the EDGE assessment and does not replace it.
17. What does it mean to be EDGEplus Certified?
With EDGEplus, an organization publicly states that it is committed to analysing intersectional equity.
18. For EDGEplus Certification, can organizations focus on selected dimensions of diversity, as opposed to the full EDGEplus range?
EDGEplus allows organizations to create a highly personalized assessment that takes into consideration their specific priorities, legal requirements, cultural context, and availability of data. Organizations may, therefore, choose to focus their analysis on as many of the different dimensions of diversity as they feel relevant for them. There is no minimum number of dimensions required for inclusion in the scope for EDGEplus. Given that the field of intersectionality and gender equity is complex and evolving, this methodology does not yet specify standards or thresholds that must be achieved. The methodology has been designed to put organizations on an accelerated path by focusing on what is necessary to assess their current situation and structure their progress.
19. How does the EDGE Standard and Certification Requirements review process work?
The EDGE Certified Foundation conducts formal reviews of the EDGE Standards at regular intervals. In November 2019, an Expert Panel was convened to provide stakeholder and expert input into a formal review of the EDGE Standards on behalf of the EDGE Certified Foundation Board. The intention for future reviews is to follow practices and procedures that are consistent with those set out in the ISEAL Alliance Code of Good Practice for Standard Setting. This articulates the protocols for stakeholder engagement and processes to implement when conducting robust and credible standards reviews.
Following a standards review, EDGE Certified Foundation will specify a publication date and/or an effective date by which time certification bodies will need to ensure certification organizations conform to new or amended Standards. EDGE Certified Foundation may also specify transition arrangements that are designed to allow certification organizations to come into compliance with new or amended Standards over a given period of time.
Similarly, the EDGE Certification Requirements document is likely to undergo formal review at regular intervals, in line with reviews to the EDGE Standards. However, minor certification requirements and procedures may need to change more frequently as their practical application informs the Foundation and stakeholders’ experiences. In such cases, amendments may be made to the EDGE Certification Requirements, but usually no more frequently than once per year.
Following any such changes or review to the Certification Requirements, EDGE Certified Foundation will specify a publication date and an effective date for a new version of the Certification Requirements. The effective date will refer to the date on which relevant certification body processes and procedures shall conform to any updated, newer versions of the EDGE Certification Requirements.
EDGE Certified Foundation welcomes comments and feedback on the EDGE Certification Requirements at any time. Any comments or feedback will be considered in the next official review process.
Please submit your comments or feedback using the dedicated Contact Us form on the website.