Auditor Competence Program


Auditor competence, continual development and calibration on a global level are critical elements to supporting the quality and credibility of Rainforest Alliance certification. The Sustainable Agriculture Network is proud of its auditors´ quality and its distinctive nature based on the understanding of local cultures, policies, languages and ecology. To the extent possible, SAN auditors should be local residents of the country where they participate in evaluating adherence to the standards and should be hired by local certification bodies.

The SAN has developed an Auditor Competence Program that establishes a training framework for its accredited auditors and their trainers as part of the conditions that certification bodies need to comply with when seeking accreditation.

The purpose of this program is to promote the high quality and competence of SAN accredited auditors worldwide. To achieve this, the competence program sets the guidelines to:

  • Harmonize the selection and training of auditors and their trainers.
  •  Update the auditors’ and trainers’ status on a regular basis and promote appropriate corrective actions.

The SAN accredited auditors receive periodic technical and field training that allows them to improve their performance to audit the different SAN standards. To harmonize the quality at a global level, the SAN Secretariat is responsible for:

  • Defining requirements for the selection and promotion of  auditors and their trainers
  • Training material and content design
  • Monitoring and improving the quality of training activities and the performance of auditors and trainers  

The SAN Secretariat has a list of accredited trainers who can facilitate auditor training processes in different regions of the world. In addition, there is a list of independent lead auditors who provide services to certification bodies. Each certification body should contact the SAN Secretariat at: to request this information. Any professional wanting to be registered as accredited SAN auditor must complete and pass a Training Course specific to each standard scope.

Please see our Frequently asked questions (FAQ's) for information about the program. For additional information or questions about the Auditor Competence Program, please contact