Accreditation Program

Becoming accredited to AWS enables organisations to offer training, auditing and/or consultancy around the AWS system. AWS Accreditation Requirements apply to three types of professional service provider:

  • Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs)
  • Trainers
  • Consultants

Water stewardship expertise must be demonstrated by all service providers. Each must have personnel with water expertise and have undergone AWS Training.

During 2017 AWS led a consultative process with members and partners to revise the AWS Accreditation model. The aims were to ensure AWS delivers value to members and diverse stakeholders, that the role that an individual or organisation plays in the system is transparent and clear as to services and expertise offered, and to support the continued development of the AWS system through revenue and creation of a strong network of valued expertise in water stewardship globally.

In this revised system, there will be a limited intake of new CABs. If your orgnaisation is interested, please contact: Mona Karraoui, Accreditation and Training Manager.

Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs)

Accredited Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs) are professional and independent certification service providers.

They meet the AWS Accreditation Requirements and have the systems and training to apply the AWS Certification Requirements in order to assess compliance with the AWS Standard. Both of these documents are available to download on our Resources page.

CABs are independently accredited to relevant ISO requirements and have skilled auditors with knowledge of water stewardship, and experience of auditing other social and environmental standards. Lead auditors must have attended the AWS specialist training level, with other members of the audit team having completed the foundation and/or advanced training, to ensure a robust audit team presence (click here for more information on training).

CABs tend to be regional or multinational organisations, working with other ISEAL member certification schemes as well as providing ISO certification.

If your organisation matches these requirements, then please contact Mona in the first instance.  An explanation of the different requirements  and evidence, which all need to be completed within the CAB tab, are found in the application document which you can download here.

Applicants must give a response to each requirement in the form and present a source of evidence to support that they have the right systems and resources in place.

AWS assesses the application for completeness and highlight if there is evidence missing. AWS will assess the application once a complete set of responses and evidence have been submitted. AWS will review audit-related documentation against the AWS Accreditation and Certification Requirements and qualification and experience of personnel included at this stage. An Accreditation Agreement shall then be issued and signed between AWS and the CAB and the CAB shall be listed on the AWS website.

Following initial accreditation of the CAB, AWS will:

  • Witness one or more of the CAB’s audits in the field annually
  • Perform a Head Office Assessment of systems to meet the AWS Accreditation and Certification Requirements

The number of annual witness audits and accreditation site visits will depend on CAB performance, risk parameters and number of certificates, as well as availability of AWS resources.

Site visits will be supplemented by:

  • In-depth monitoring of specific issues identified across all Accredited CABs
  • Review audit reports prior to issuance of certificates and subsequent follow-up non-conformities


Accredited Trainers are professional training organizations with significant expertise and experience in water stewardship and in social and environmental certification systems or auditing of environmental management systems. They range in size from region specific water-focused trainers, to multinational organisations specialising in the application of social and environmental standards. They offer training to parties interest in the AWS Standard.

If your organization matches these requirements, then apply to be an Accredited Trainer.


Accredited Consultants have expertise and the experience to work with businesses on water-related issues or sustainability. They are specialists in environmental management systems, corporate social responsibility, sustainability programs, sustainability disclosure and social and environmental standards systems.

If your organisation matches these requirements, then apply to be an Accredited Consultant.

Download the AWS Accreditation Requirements.