Step 1 – Self-assessment

The self-assessment workbook helps members self-assess their performance against the RJC Code of Practices (COP). It is like an internal audit you conduct of your business, to help you prepare for the third party independent audit needed to achieve RJC certification.

What is it?Why should we do it?Documents and guidanceSelf-assessment tips 2013 & 2019 COP (video)

What is the RJC self-assessment?

  • The exercise helps you prepare for the audit by carrying out a self-assessment against the RJC COP available in the Document Download Centre on the right.
  • If you do not conform with any particular provision, you will need to review your systems to bring them into conformance before the audit: the RJC can help, see contact details below.
  • RJC recommends that you also carry out a risk assessment for all applicable areas of the COP, to understand the risks facing your business and help you conform with many COP provisions.
  • Please ensure you do this with adequate time to fix any areas of non-conformance. We recommend at least three months to complete the self-assessment.

To learn more about the Self-Assessment, watch the videos below:

2019 Self-Assessment

2013 Self-Assessment

The self-assessment helps you to:

  • Define your certification scope, by identifying those parts of your business which actively contribute to the jewellery supply chain.

Certification scope definition: The certification scope is defined by you, the member, and must cover all entities/facilities that are: – owned or controlled by your organisation; and – actively contribute to the coloured gemstones, diamond, PGM, silver and/or gold jewellery supply chain. Any facility or business activity that meets both of these criteria MUST be included in the certification scope.

  • Review your business practices against the requirements of the RJC COP. This provides you the opportunity to identify any areas where you don’t fully meet the requirements of the COP and address them in advance of the audit.
  • Collate all the relevant documentation and identify key employees which the auditor may want to see during the audit, helping the audit to be more efficient and effective

The RJC Standards Guidance document - available in the Document Download Centre to the right of this page and with links to specific provision-only pages in the self-assessment workbook itself - provides background on the intent of each provision in the COP and includes a suggested management approach to support conformance. The suggested approach generally includes:

  • Carrying out a general risk assessment to understand relevance to your business
  • Setting out roles and responsibilities for personnel in your business to implement the provisions
  • Develop policies and procedures to clarify how the provision will be implemented
  • Record keeping
  • Training for relevant employees

These are only suggestions and members may of course adopt different management approaches, appropriate to their own business and circumstances. The key is to have an effective approach in place. Auditors will look for evidence that the approach used by the business can consistently deliver the requirement of the standard. Please go to the COP training page for more information and guidance.

Watch the video below for tips on how to complete your self-assessment:


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Here are some top tips on conducting a successful self-assessment and achieving RJC certification:

  1. Assign a coordinator to oversee the self-assessment: depending on the nature and complexity of your business, it may be appropriate to assemble several people to assist the coordinator in planning and conducting the self-assessment
  2. Read through the information on this training page, watching the videos below, to understand the requirements in the COP
  3. Communicate the purpose & nature of the self-assessment: to key employees. This will help develop internal support and avoid confusion and delays as the self-assessment is carried out
  4. Define your certification scope: this covers all facilities that are owned or controlled by the member; and actively contribute to the diamond, gold and platinum group metals jewellery supply chain. This will need to be included in your self-assessment workbook (please see point below)
  5. Conduct your self-assessment:  a self-assessment is like an internal audit and prepares your business for the audit. RJC’s self-assessment workbook guides you through the process step by step
  6. Review the standards guidance document: If you are wondering how to conform with a provision of the Code, refer to the Standards Guidance which gives more details on the key issues
  7. Address any non-conformances that you find during your self assessment: consider adopting the Suggested Management Approaches as detailed in the Standards Guidance - the standards guidance document, alongside some of our other supporting documentation is not mandatory to read, however it can be a useful reference, especially if you find yourself stuck
  8. Engage an RJC accredited audit firm: feel free at any time to contact the RJC Accredited Auditors that are able to assess you (accredited to your fora and location) to discuss audit timing and cost. Remember to negotiate a rate that is suitable for your company. Please note that auditors get booked up quite far in advance and so please give at least 3 months notice to your chosen firm to book in a date for your audit
  9. Submit your self-assessment to the auditor: when you are ready, submit your self-assessment to the auditor you have engaged and request an audit
  10. Prepare and implement a Corrective Action Plan: to address any non-conformances found by your auditor
  11. Achieve certification!

Document Download Centre

2019 Code of Practices certification

2013 Code of Practices certification


If you have trouble downloading please contact for assistance.


Please note:

  • If you decide not to do the self-assessment, audits may be more time consuming, expensive, and have a much greater likelihood of finding non-conformances.
  • Your auditor will not be able to help you prepare for your RJC audit as this would be a conflict of interest.
  • You are able to complete the self-assessment without the need for a consultant, the RJC has a dedicated training desk on-hand to help you complete the self-assessment and prepare for your audit. Simply call +44 (0)207 321 0992 or contact via email using the button below.

Frequently asked questions

Do I have to conform with every provision in the COP?
Only the ones that apply to your business, though this is most. Some provisions may not be relevant (eg provisions 31-42 are applicable to mining companies only). You can find out which are applicable to you by completing the ‘Define certification scope’ tab in the workbook available on the right (in the Document Download Centre) as shown here:

The applicability of each provision will then automatically be identified for you:

You may consider some issues in the COP to be of low risk to your business because of the type of business you are (eg provision 24 on environmental management if you are a diamond trader). Regardless of the risk level, these provisions apply to all members, and you will be asked during the audit to demonstrate how you conform with the provision. More information can be found in the self-assessment workbook itself.

Are some provisions more important than others?
Yes. Some provisions are identified of as ‘critical’ importance to the integrity of the COP, due to the severity of the issue. If your auditor identifies a major non-conformance for a critical provision, it will be considered as a ‘critical breach’ and the auditor will stop the audit and immediately notify the RJC, who will begin disciplinary proceedings.
List of critical provisions:

  • 6 Human rights (6.1)
  • 16 Working hours (16.1, 16.2)
  • 17 Remuneration (17.1, 17.4)
  • 18 Harassment, discipline, grievance procedures and non-retaliation (18.1)
  • 19 Child labour (19.1, 19.2)
  • 20 Forced labour (20.1)
  • 22 Non-discrimination (22.1)
  • 25 Hazardous substances (25.2)
  • 26 Wastes and emissions (26.2c)
  • 28 Product disclosure (28.1)
  • 29 Kimberley Process Certification Scheme and World Diamond Council System of Warranties (29.1)
  • 33 Indigenous peoples and free, prior and informed consent (33.1)
  • 38 Biodiversity (38.1, 38.2, 38.4)
  • 39 Tailings and waste rock (39.2a)

If I abide by the law, do I automatically conform to the RJC COP?
No. The requirements of the RJC COP goes beyond legal compliance in some countries. That means that even if the applicable law that you conform with is very strong, you may not be doing enough with just that to achieve RJC certification. Make sure you read each provision and guidance carefully before claiming conformance.
Do I have to develop a different policy for each RJC COP provision?
No. In many cases you can develop policies and systems that cover more than one topic, for example a human rights risk assessment or human rights policy could also cover the risks of child labour and forced labour.
Must all my processes and systems be documented?
Not necessarily. The RJC acknowledges that you may have processes and systems in place without keeping formal records of them, especially if you are a small business (fewer than 25 employees). Don’t worry: if this is the case, auditors can usually find another way to evaluate your systems (for example, by interviewing employees).

For larger organisations, it is usually expected that procedures are documented and records of compliance are maintained. Please note that we have some guidance on the documents auditors may need to review. Please see audit page for more information.

Can I use a consultant?
You can. It’s not needed or required, but we understand there are circumstances when a member may want/need outside help to prepare for the RJC audit. We believe that members see more value from their RJC certification if they’ve been involved in embedding our requirements into their company directly – this can be harder to do, and harder to keep going, when a consultant is used.

Please note, if used:

  • Consultants are allowed to be present during an RJC audit, in an observer capacity only – consultants should not be answering questions on behalf of the member
  • Consultants are not allowed to be present during any interviews (nor should anyone other than the interviewees and auditor)
  • The use of consultants and/or consulting companies shall be outlined in the audit report written by auditors in cases where they were used by members, and identify if they were present during the audit.

Need some help?

The RJC has dedicated training support who are on-hand to help you complete the self-assessment and prepare for your audit. Simply call the RJC London office on +44 (0)207 321 0992 or click the button below to get in touch via email.

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