Last updateTue, 20 Apr 2010 7pm

Charters & Rules related to CSR and OSR

Hermes-OSR Charter

Article Index

Hermes-OSR CharterThe “Hermes-OSR Charter” has been specifically designed to be used jointly with the “Hermes-OSR Labellisation process” and to support that process. It is a result of the Hermes-R project supported by the European Leonardo da Vinci programme to deploy Social Responsibility approaches in organisations and especially in SMEs.

The Hermes-OSR Charter represents the background document for the Quality Assurance approach linked to the Hermes-OSR Label and its implementation and acceptance by the professional stakeholders.

The points of governance indicated in the Hermes-OSR Charter are:

  • The Hermes-OSR training materials and their use
  • The training levels and learning path aspects
  • The trainers, practitioners and team involved at training organisations’ and Hermes-OSR Label’s.
  • The environment and context of the training offers and seminars
  • The communication process on Hermes-OSR by the training organisations
  • The financial issues
  • The actors involved in the accreditation process: The Accreditation Committee, The Experts, the Administrative Secretariat.
  • The evaluation, the audits and the related procedures to the Hermes-OSR Label and training seminars.
  • The levels in Capacity Building related to the accreditation on Hermes-OSR Label.

The Hermes-OSR Charter and the Hermes-OSR Labellisation process documents are available in the Hermes-OSR public Library.

Background documents and values
In complement to the governance defined by the Hermes-OSR Charter, to an accredited Hermes-OSR training offer, the training organization should also follow and support general principles which are illustrated by:

The ILO’s terms of reference and fundamental principles

ILO stands for the “International Labour Organization”, which is devoted to advancing opportunities for women and men to obtain decent and productive work in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity. Its main aims are to promote rights at work, encourage decent employment opportunities, enhance social protection and strengthen dialogue in handling work-related issues.
The ILO was founded in 1919 and became the first specialized agency of the UN in 1946.
The ILO is the only 'tripartite' United Nations agency in that it brings together representatives of governments, employers and workers to jointly shape policies and programmes.
The ILO is the global body responsible for drawing up and overseeing international labour standards. Working with its Member States, the ILO seeks to ensure that labour standards are respected in practice as well as principle.
Some of the key background documents in relation to the Hermes-OSR context:

  1.  International Labour Standards
  2. ILO Declaration on fundamental principles and rights at work, (CIT/1998/PR20A)
  3. Governance, International Law & Corporate Social Responsibility - International Institute for Labour Studies and International Labour Organization (2008)

Example of documents by ILO on some specific principles:

  1. Convention 29 - Forced Labour
  2. Convention 87 - Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise
  3. Convention 98 - Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining
  4. Convention 100 - Equal Remuneration
  5. Convention 105 - Abolition of Forced Labour
  6. Convention 111 - Discrimination (Employment and Occupation)
  7. Convention 138 - Minimum Age
  8. Convention 182 - the Prohibition and Immediate Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour


OSR principles, such as the Code of Conduct designed by FLA.

The FLA is the Fair Labor Association. Incorporated in 1999, the Fair Labor Association is a collaborative effort of socially responsible companies, colleges and universities, and civil society organizations to improve working conditions in factories around the world.
The FLA is a brand accountability system that places the onus on companies to voluntarily achieve the FLA’s labour standards in the factories manufacturing their products. Universities affiliated with the FLA ensure that the licensees supplying their licensed products manufacture or source those products from factories in which workers’ rights are protected.

FLA’s Workplace Code of Conduct
(Please check on the FLA’s website for any update and for further details)
The FLA developed its Workplace Code of Conduct based on International Labour Organization (ILO) standards, and created a practical monitoring, remediation and verification process to achieve those standards. The Code, presented below, delineates the specific code elements that FLA-affiliated companies are required to enforce in factories that supply their products. The FLA Code is supplemented by FLA Compliance Benchmarks , which identify specific benchmarks for each code element.

  • Forced Labour
    There shall not be any use of forced labour, whether in the form of prison labour, indentured labour, bonded labour or otherwise.
  • Child Labour
    No person shall be employed at an age younger than 15 (or 14 where the law of the country of manufacture allows ) or younger than the age for completing compulsory education in the country of manufacture where such age is higher than 15.
  • Harassment or Abuse
    Every employee shall be treated with respect and dignity. No employee shall be subject to any physical, sexual, psychological or verbal harassment or abuse.
  • Non-discrimination
    No person shall be subject to any discrimination in employment, including hiring, salary, benefits, advancement, discipline, termination or retirement, on the basis of gender, race, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, nationality, political opinion, or social or ethnic origin.
  • Health and Safety
    Employers shall provide a safe and healthy working environment to prevent accidents and injury to health arising out of, linked with, or occurring in the course of work or as a result of the operation of employer facilities.
  • Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining
    Employers shall recognize and respect the right of employees to freedom of association and collective bargaining.
  • Wages and Benefits
    Employers recognize that wages are essential to meeting employees’ basic needs. Employers shall pay employees, as a floor, at least the minimum wage required by local law or the prevailing industry wage, whichever is higher, and shall provide legally mandated benefits.
  • Hours of Work
    Except in extraordinary business circumstances, employees shall (i) not be required to work more than the lesser of (a) 48 hours per week and 12 hours overtime or (b) the limits on regular and overtime hours allowed by the law of the country of manufacture or, where the laws of such country do not limit the hours of work, the regular work week in such country plus 12 hours overtime and (ii) be entitled to at least one day off in every seven day period.
  • Overtime Compensation
    In addition to their compensation for regular hours of work, employees shall be compensated for overtime hours at such premium rate as is legally required in the country of manufacture or, in those countries where such laws do not exist, at a rate at least equal to their regular hourly compensation rate.

Any Company that determines to adopt the Workplace Code of Conduct shall, in addition to complying with all applicable laws of the country of manufacture, comply with and support the Workplace Code of Conduct in accordance with the Principles of Monitoring and shall apply the higher standard in cases of differences or conflicts. Any Company that determines to adopt the Workplace Code of Conduct also shall require its licensees and contractors and, in the case of a retailer, its suppliers to comply with applicable local laws and with this Code in accordance with the Principles of Monitoring  and to apply the higher standard in cases of differences or conflicts.
Translations of the FLA Code in 23 languages are available on the FLA’s website

Article 01 - Training Materials

Only partners of the Hermes-R project and the training organisations having an accredited Hermes-OSR training offer can use the Hermes-OSR training materials and have to respect the following rules:

  • Obligation to use the Hermes-OSR training support.
  • Need to follow the Hermes-OSR training materials content in terms of Syllabus and Levels (sub-units within the Modules and/or Knowledge/Skills/Competences levels).
  • Possibility (and encouragement to enrich the content when needed depending on the target groups) to include external add-ons to the training content provided that:
    • These add-ons are not in opposition to the spirit or content of the training (if it is the case, the corresponding contradiction should be dealt with upstream with the Accreditation Committee or the Administrative Secretariat to solve any issue and to update the Hermes-OSR training solution if needed).
    • If specific training content and structure is designed to answer the training needs and learning path of a target group, and if re-designed training offer changes the structure of the syllabus and/or the way trainees progress are evaluated, then the training organisation should submit its new syllabus and evaluation system to the Accreditation Committee or the Administrative Secretariat under accelerated procedure in order to get it validated and registered. This validation and registration are needed prior to the training delivery to ensure future recognition by Hermes-OSR of the certificate delivered to the trainee by the training organisation.
  • Obligation to respect copyrights indications
  • Obligation to respect the Hermes-OSR graphical identity of the training materials. Layout and graphical identity can be adapted to reflect simultaneously the logo and name of the training organisation in an equivalent way to the Hermes-OSR indications.
  • Obligation to keep indication of the European Union and Lifelong Learning programmes logo, support and disclaimer. (as presented in the Acknowledgement part of the disclainer of the present site)
  • Contribution to enrich the case studies and the content of the Hermes-OSR training solution. In the future, this contribution will be taken into account in the Capacity building process and for the access level to tools, repositories and value added information in the intranet of the Hermes-OSR Community.

Article 02 - Training levels

The training organisations having an accredited Hermes-OSR training offer have to:

  • Respect the structure of the Modules and their interrelations.
  • Apply ECVET and EQF  approaches to assess Knowledge, Skills and Competences after the training session(s).
  • Participate to the recognition and adaptation process of the Hermes-OSR training structure and content into the national vocational recognition system when possible.
  • Be able, for Module 3 and Module 4, to undertake advanced TNA (Training Needs Analysis) and to take into account prior learning experience of the trainees (or VAE in French, Valorisation des Acquis de l’Expérience) in order to build adapted learning paths.
  • Be able to build and implement corresponding evaluation processes.
  • Be responsible in the delivery of certificates.

Article 03. - Trainers, Coach-Practitioners and Experts

The training organisations having an accredited Hermes-OSR training offer should have the relevant and qualified trainers/coaches within their team. At least some permanent resources should be available internally to the training organisation.
Quantified indicators will be later defined by the Accreditation Committee on a practical basis.

  • The training organisations having an accredited Hermes-OSR training offer have to provide basic information on their trainers/coaches/experts:
    • Short CV/bio to illustrate
      • the experience and expertise level in the field (professional experience, academic activities ...)
      • the effective pedagogical capability (both in Education and in Training contexts)
      • the effective coaching capability, especially for practitioners (not the consulting side, but really the coaching aspect)
    • Number of hours/days per year for each trainer involved in terms of training/coaching and in terms of expertise or other activities
    • On which Hermes-OSR Modules and/or Unit a trainer is knowledgeable (knowledge about the content of the Hermes-OSR solution and corresponding field expertise/experience using the various levels indicated in the Capacity building process).
  • The training organisations having an accredited Hermes-OSR training offer have to provide information at the team level or at the organisation level:
    • How is the training organisation covering the accredited Hermes-OSR Modules? How does it manage inter-relations between Modules and sub-Units and credit system for the certificates? What is the diversity of the profiles in the team involved on the Hermes-OSR training solution within the organisation and how it supports the process?
    • How does the training organisation evaluate the initial level of the trainees and the acquired knowledge/skills/competences? How are delivered certificates (guidance and monitoring of the trainers + consistency across the trainers and between training sessions)?
    • What is the policy in terms of training delivery (courses, practical training, and case studies): pedagogical approach, support, guidance, mentoring/tutoring? How is provided support to the trainees (nature, availability)?
    • How does the training organisation implement professional simulation or in situ cases for each of their trainees (especially on Module 3 and Module 4)?
    • How feedbacks from trainees and their organisations are collected and taken into account?

Article 04 - Logistics for the training offer

What is the physical context and conditions provided by the training organisation for their accredited Hermes-OSR training offer?

  • Description of the premises used for the accredited Hermes-OSR training offer by the training organisation: rooms, facilities, m², welcoming area/process/team, secretariat...
  • Follow-up and monitoring of the learners/trainees
  • Follow-up and management of the training sessions (administration, commercial, financial), including the communication, recruitment, registration and inception aspects of the trainees and their sending organisation.
  • On-line information and services
  • Which possibility to provide training/practical placements (especially for advanced training offer in Module 3).
Action planning:
  • Number of training sessions per year and number of trainees (for both, for all the training activities of the organisation and for the specific Hermes-OSR training activities).
  • Same question but for the coaching activities or the action-training activities.
  • Anticipated annual turnover for the corresponding activities.

Article 05 - Communication on accredited Hermes-OSR training offer

The training organisation having an accredited Hermes-OSR training offer must be able to adequately communicate (and respecting other the articles of the Hermes-OSR Charter as well) on:

On a general basis, the training organisation having an accredited Hermes-OSR training offer has to respect:

  • The mandatory messages (such as the EU support in the Acknowledgement part of the disclainer of the present site)
  • The copyrights indications and obligations (cf. Article 01 - “Training materials”)
  • The corporate image of Hermes-OSR
  • Clear references to the Hermes-OSR website (in the documentation and on the website of the training organisation having an accredited Hermes-OSR training offer when information on the Hermes-OSR training offer and on the accredited training offer are made), and to the on-line Hermes-OSR directory of accreditations and directory of certifications (cf. Article 09 -  “Accreditation and Certification registries”).

Article 06 - Quality Assurance & Audits of the Hermes-OSR accredited training offers

The aim is to secure the objectives of the accreditation of OSR training offers as indicated in the “Hermes-OSR Labellisation”.
Quantified indicators will be defined on a practical basis by the Accreditation Committee after pilot and test cases conducted by the Hermes-OSR partners and first training organisations having an accredited Hermes-OSR training offer. These indicators should help measure recognition of the Hermes-OSR Label and relevance of the various training levels and the corresponding certificates.
Audit and feedback systems will be implemented and the training organisations having an accredited Hermes-OSR training offer must facilitate access to the information to the auditors. The objective of these audit and feedback system is to:

  • Improve the services delivered to the trainees and its sending organisation.
  • Ensure update of the accredited training offer and upgrade of the training resources of the training organisation
  • Enable better recognition of the Hermes-OSR Charter and its evolution.
  • Support the Hermes-OSR trainers/coaches/experts involved in the training offer and the Hermes-OSR practitioners in their professional life.
  • Guaranty transparent practice and terms of references in the Hermes-OSR labellisation process.
  • Facilitate transfer and empowerment of the Hermes-OSR knowledge, skills and competences to other target groups, cultures and organisations.
  • Keep open approach on OSR dimensions, their evolution and the emerging related concepts.

Article 07 - Hermes-OSR Community

To support the continuous improvement and development of the Hermes-OSR training solution, the Hermes-OSR Label, and the recognition process by the market and the professional actors, an Hermes-OSR Community of users is implemented and facilitated via a collaborative website. This Hermes-OSR Community of users regroups:

  • Practitioners
  • Trainers
  • Users and beneficiaries in organisations supporting OSR approaches)
  • Socio-economic stakeholders
  • Auditors
  • Organisations actually implementing Social Audits, and looking to develop OSR auditing services.

Facilitated by the Administrative Secretariat via the Hermes-OSR collaborative website, the Hermes-OSR Community is a resource centre to share skills, experience and societal progress issues.
Access to the on-line resources depends on the accreditation level, the accredited modules, the certification level or the level in the Capacity building process.
The training organisations having an accredited Hermes-OSR training offer are encouraged to participate to the Hermes-OSR Community of users and to promote it towards the trainees and their sending organisations.

Article 08 - Capacity building

The Hermes-OSR approach also pays a lot of importance to the empowerment of individuals and to the capacity building process of individuals and organisations.

Transferring Knowledge is considered as a basic function of the training and coaching process.

The added-value brought in by the Hermes-OSR training solution is more on the upper levels as indicated in the figure below depending on the learning path defined with the trainees and their progress along this path. The steps indicated in blue are directly supported by the Hermes-OSR training solution, and the final step reflecting “expertise” is more gained via practice and implementation and can be developed and supported via the Hermes-OSR Community.

Hermes-OSR Capacity building steps

Based on this capacity building path, is used to define the various levels of expertise in Hermes-OSR labellisation process as described in the table here below.

Hermes-OSR capacity building levels

Article 09 - Accreditation and Certification registries

To be valid, Hermes-OSR accreditations and certifications have to be registered centrally at the Hermes-OSR Administrative Secretariat.
9.1.    Accreditation registry
Hermes-OSR accreditation for a training offer can be delivered for only one or several complete Hermes-OSR training Modules.
Hermes-OSR accreditations are valid for three years duration including the following commitments:

  • A minimum activity level on delivering Hermes-OSR training or coaching support per year is required: minimum 5 people trained each year for the corresponding Hermes-OSR accredited training Modules.
  • Clear objectives in terms of quality improvement on the basis of the results of the accreditation session.

The Hermes-OSR accreditations may be renewed by the Accreditation Committee on the basis of the activity generated by the training organisations on its accredited Hermes-OSR training offer, of the audits and feedback reports, of the dynamism provided to the Hermes-OSR Community by the trainees and their sending organisation, and of the adaptations and update/upgrade implemented by the training organisation to match the evolutions of the Hermes-OSR training solution since the previous accreditation.

The Hermes-OSR accreditation registry is available on-line.

9.2.    Certification registry
The certification of trainees is delivered by the trainers within the framework of a learning path defined in relation to an accredited Hermes-OSR training offer.
The certification can be delivered for a full Hermes-OSR Module or for a sub-unit of a Module.
The certifying trainer/coach and the certified trainee have both the obligation to register this certification via the on-line procedure at the Hermes-OSR Administrative Secretariat which is in charge of maintaining the Hermes-OSR certification registry.
Certificates are registered with the delivery date, the version of the Module/sub-Unit/specific learning path, including any prior learning indication if any.
When a certification for a supplementary sub-unit/credit is registered by a trainee, a supplementary test may be required on the previous certified units if major evolution occurred since. In that way, the sum of certificates on the sub-unit could lead to a full certificate on a module. If no major evolution in the content of the training or its structured occurred, then no supplementary test may be needed if all the sub-units have been certified and if the global syllabus is fulfilled.
Once the trainee registered the certification of a Module or a sub-unit, it provides him/her access to more information on the Hermes-OSR Community platform.

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