W + Standard

SAN is delighted to be the independent verification body for the W+ Standard.

What is the W+ Standard?

The W+ Standard is a unique certification label developed by WOCAN that endorses projects that create increased social and economic benefits for women participating in economic development or environment projects, including those that provide renewable energy technologies, time and labour saving devices, forest and agriculture activities, and employment opportunities.

The W+ is thus an innovative framework to quantify and monetize the social capital created by women, to recognize and reward their contributions to sustainable environments and communities.

The W+ measures women’s empowerment in six domains: Time, Income & Assets, Health, Leadership, Education & Knowledge and Food Security. It produces quantified women-benefit units that contribute towards post 2015 Sustainability Goals (SDGs), Climate Financing or Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) targets.

To date, SAN’s W+ Standard independent verification activities have enabled 3 organisations to gain their W+ Standard, accredit their positive impact and generate additional income through the sale of their W+ credits.

We have worked with WOCAN and consulted with project developers to ensure that the verification process is robust and compliant with SAN’s underpinning principles, whilst being appropriate and accessible for community development projects.


Interested in gaining the W+ Standard for your project?

The W+ Standard is flexible and can be applied to economic or environmental projects, existing or new.  It is relevant to projects that strive to make a difference to women’s lives in terms of one or more of the W+ Standard’s 6 domains: time, income & assets, health, leadership, education & knowledge and food security.

Gaining W+ Standard Certification requires the involvement of an approved W+ Standard verifier once you have defined and are delivering project outcomes.  These will be monitored, reviewed and verified by an approved W+ Standard auditor .  Organizations/projects that have obtained satisfactory results will be issued W+ Certificates for a specific number of units which can then be sold to corporations, investors and individual buyers.  The W+ Standard will also provide a new revenue stream to women and their groups through benefit sharing mechanisms required by the Standard.

For further information or to arrange for your project to be independently verified for the W+ Standard please contact info@socialauditnetwork.org.uk


Interested in becoming a W+ Standard Verifier?

We are creating a network of professionals who understand field methods for surveying, stakeholder engagement, multi-cultural and gender issues who wish to become approved W+ Standard Verifiers. 

We are delighted to have strengthened our international team supporting women’s empowerment through the provision of verification services for WOCAN[1]’s W+ Standard , and welcome Sue Osborne, Janice McMahon and Barbara Toole O’Neill to our W+ verification team.

Sue is an experienced SAN Social Auditor and social enterprise leader based in the UK, whilst Janice and Barbara join us from the US based Aster Global  bringing expertise in environmental consultancy, GHG validation and verification services.


SAN is the sole verification provider for the W+ Standard and has developed a programme to support colleagues to become approved W+ Standard Verifiers. Our approach is competency based, in that we will invite you to submit an application that demonstrates your knowledge and experience in 4 key areas:

  1.         Making the case for W+ Standard Verification, demonstrating your understanding the value of undertaking W+ Standard Verification and the role of the W+ Standard Verifier in the process.
  2.         Understanding the W+ Standard Verification process, demonstrating your understanding of how the process works in practice.
  3.         Gender Concepts, demonstrating your understanding of the unique gender focus of the W+ Standard.
  4.         Evaluation, reflection and action planning, demonstrating your personal practices and values as an independent verifier / auditor, and your intent to maintain the knowledge to be a W+ Standard Verifier.

 We will provide more details during the webinar including:

Please contact us for further information info@socialauditnetwork.org.uk if you are interested or would like more information and we can support you as you begin your verifier journey.

Who are the Social Audit Network (SAN)?

The Social Audit Network (SAN) is the home of Social Accounting and Audit (SAA).  We are a not-for-profit organisation that promotes the principles of SAA and facilitates the exchange of information and experience between practitioners of social accounting and audit in the UK and internationally. 

SAN was formed by a group of practitioners formally coming together in 2001 to provide a coordinated approach to developing and implementing SAA principles and practices.  Since then, SAN has built its expertise providing information, training and organisational support to implement social accounting and undertake social audits.  SAN also undertakes professional development for social accountants and auditors and hosts an annual gathering for practitioners, policy influencers and thought leaders to exchange good practices and share experiences.

The SAN Directors leading the W+ Standard verification work are Liz Allen and Lisa McMullan.  Both have over 15 years’ experience of social accounting and audit, as practitioners within their own organisations and supporting others to recognise their social value. They have supported a wide range of community-based organisations in the UK and internationally, including in Nepal, Indonesia, Vietnam, South Africa and Thailand. 

The W+ Standard verification work draws upon their understanding and know-how of preparing social accounts, facilitating learning programmes, promoting social accounting & audit practices, and, in particular, their experience as SAN accredited social auditors.