Corporate Transparency Score and Certification

Frequently Asked Questions

The TISCreport non-financial corporate transparency score and certification was launched in order to address the gap between reporting and reality on key ESG metrics. This FAQ aims to cover the whats, where, hows and whys.

Why is non-financial transparency important?

While financial transparency has been a focus for many years, non-financial transparency provides a more comprehensive view of a company's operations, including its environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices. This broader perspective helps stakeholders understand the company's true impact and ethical stance, beyond just its financial results.

What are the benefits of real-time or near-real-time transparency reporting?

Real-time or near-real-time reporting allows companies to provide timely insights into their operations, significantly reducing the information lag that can prevent stakeholders from making informed decisions. This type of reporting can enhance trust and credibility with stakeholders by showing transparency in corporate activities as they happen.

What challenges does the TISCreport Transparency Score address?

TISCreport aims to overcome several challenges through the transparency score, including greenwash, fear of losing competitive advantage, the complexity of global supply chains, high costs of comprehensive reporting, and the lack of a standardised framework for non-financial reporting. By addressing these challenges, the score helps companies not only measure but also improve their transparency.

How does the Transparency Score benefit companies?

The Transparency Score provides a quantifiable measure of a company's transparency efforts, helping them to benchmark against peers, identify areas for improvement, and enhance their reputation. It also assists in attracting ethical investors and socially responsible investment funds, aligning with growing consumer demand for ethical business practices.

What are the key areas covered by the Transparency Score?

The fundamentals level of scoring covers social and corporate governance metrics that can be automatically tracked and aggregated into a single score.

The full transparency scoring, which is encompassed in the comprehensive Exemplar level, covers a wide range of areas. These include corporate governance, sustainability and CSR reporting, ethics and compliance, stakeholder engagement, risk management, supply chain transparency, public disclosures, lobbying and political contributions, data privacy and security, and more.

How is the score developed to be fair across different industries and company sizes?

The scoring framework is designed to be flexible, accounting for industry-specific, geographic, and size-related nuances. This includes developing sector-specific benchmarks and adjusting for the scale of operations, ensuring that the score reflects the unique contexts within which companies operate.

What steps are taken to prevent companies from manipulating their Transparency Score?

The methodology includes regular audits, third-party verification, and a focus on evidence-based outcomes to ensure that the scores accurately reflect genuine transparency efforts and are not susceptible to manipulation.

How can small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) benefit from the Transparency Score?

The scoring system is designed with scalability in mind, offering simplified reporting options for SMEs and providing resources or tools to aid in compliance. This ensures that smaller companies are not unduly disadvantaged and can also showcase their transparency efforts.

How can I get involved with the TISCreport Transparency Score?

You can join the TISCreport community, participate in the survey to provide feedback on the pilot score, and share the survey link with your stakeholders to help refine and propagate the metric. This collaborative approach ensures the score is robust, relevant, and capable of driving meaningful change in corporate practices.

Which metrics are used in the transparency score?

The TISCreport Transparency Score uses a variety of metrics to evaluate corporate compliance behaviors, particularly focusing on Social and Governance aspects. Here are some of the key metrics included in the score:

Gender Pay Gap Reporting

Description: Assesses a company's commitment to gender equality and fair employment practices.

Compliance Criteria: Companies with 250 employees or more must submit an annual Gender Pay Gap report.

Payment Practices and Performance Reporting

Description: Evaluates the timeliness and fairness of a company's payment practices to its suppliers.

Compliance Criteria: Large companies are required to report biannually on their payment practices.

UK Modern Slavery Act Compliance

Description: Measures a company's efforts to identify, prevent, and address forms of modern slavery within its operations and supply chains.

Compliance Criteria: Large companies must publish a Modern Slavery Statement if their turnover exceeds PS36M.

Up to Date Accounts on Companies House Website

Description: Indicates financial transparency and accountability by maintaining current financial records publicly.

Compliance Criteria: All UK companies must submit their financial accounts to Companies House.

XBRL Accounts Available on Companies House Website

Description: Supports transparent and efficient financial reporting by providing accounts in a format that facilitates accessibility and comparability.

Compliance Criteria: Companies must file their accounts and tax computations in iXBRL format. This is currently optional but soon to be mandatory, at which point the quality of the submission will become more significant.

Corporate Website

Description: Serves as a primary channel for disclosing a wide range of corporate information.

Compliance Criteria: If a company has a website, it must display registered information such as company name, registration details, VAT number, etc.

Accessibility Compliant Website

Description: Demonstrates a company's commitment to inclusivity by ensuring that its website is accessible to individuals with disabilities.

Compliance Criteria: Websites should comply with W3C WAI guidelines as much as possible.

Alternative Social Media Channels Listed on Website

Description: Enhances transparency by providing stakeholders with additional methods of communication.

Compliance Criteria: All social media channels should be listed on the company's website and consistently referred to across profiles.

Responsiveness to Social Media

Description: Reflects a company's engagement with stakeholders through timely responses to transparency queries on social media platforms.

Compliance Criteria: Social media teams should be knowledgeable about corporate transparency data and respond within stated times.

Persons with Significant Control Filed on Companies House Website

Description: Enhances corporate governance transparency by disclosing information about individuals who have significant control over the company.

Compliance Criteria: PSC information must be correctly and up-to-date filed to Companies House.

These metrics are designed to provide a comprehensive view of a company's transparency in various areas, focusing on both quantitative data and qualitative assessments to ensure a balanced and thorough evaluation.