Standards Development & Harmonisation

Keep standards relevant and meaningful

Our inclusive and collaborative approach to standard setting and development keeps RJC standards relevant and meaningful to businesses throughout the entire jewellery and watch supply chain. To maintain the credibility of our standards development system we comply with the ISEAL Code of Good Practice, conduct open formal comment periods relating to our standards, and operate the Standards Committee as part of our RJC Governance Framework.

Our standards are a foundation for positive change and responsible jewellery and watch supply chains that promote trust and confidence in our industry. The RJC Standards Setting Procedure details our standards development process. To maintain the credibility of our standards development we comply with the ISEAL Standards Setting Code, conduct open formal comment periods of our standards, and operate the Standards Committee as part of our RJC Governance Framework.

IWC Schaffhausen is proud to have been a member of the RJC since 2012, and in 2020 became the first luxury watch brand to achieve certification to the 2019 Code of Practices standard. We opted to be certified to this new standard to demonstrate our strong commitment to responsible business practices – not just in Schaffhausen, but throughout our supply chain. All our suppliers of precious metals and diamonds have the RJC certification, and our Boutique colleagues are pleased to be able to explain the significance of this to our customers.

Christoph Grainger-Herr, CEO of IWC Tweet

RJC Standards Setting Procedure

Translate Standards into Impact

Standards are the foundation for positive change. They set the expectations that responsible businesses can commit to and be measured against. Through our standards development process our members and interested stakeholders are able to be actively involved in standard setting. This conscious inclusion ensures RJC standards remain relevant to our industry, consumers and governments.

Framework for Credible Standards Setting

To maintain the credibility of our standards development we comply with the ISEAL Standards Setting Code of Good Practice. ISEAL is the global membership organisation for credible sustainability standards. RJC is the only ISEAL Full Member for sustainable standards and practices in the jewellery industry.

An overview of our standards-setting process is available in our Standards-setting System Report.

The ISEAL Standards Setting Code defines how a standard should be developed, structured and revised. It requires multi-stakeholder consultation and decision-making, and ensures clear and auditable conditions in the standard itself. The standard-setting process also requires the inclusion of non-industry members, this enables us to improve the rigour, effectiveness and value of our standards to our members.

Member of the ISEAL alliance
Record Keeping

Accurate, transparent and consistent record-keeping are critical components of a trust in standards development. We keep our records for a minimum of 10 years. Many of our records (documents) are available online. If you cannot find what you are looking for, please contact a member of our Standards Team by email (consultation@responsiblejewellery.com).

These are the types of documents we keep. All are kept for a minimum of 10 years.

  • Standard setting procedure
  • Stakeholder participation in consultation events
  • Stakeholders invited to comment during public consultation periods
  • Comments received during public consultation period and summary of how comments were actioned
  • Drafts and final versions of RJC standards

Future Revisions of RJC Standards

Translate Standards into Impact

The RJC Code of Practices was revised in 2019. Its next revision is due in 2024.

The RJC Chain-of-Custody standard was revised in 2017. Its next revision is due in 2022.

We welcome comments and feedback on our standards. If you would like to share your thoughts with us, please email consultation@responsiblejewellery.com or visit our ‘contact’ page for other ways to get in touch.

Past Reviews of Standards

Regular reviews keep standards effective

Effective standards drive the adoption of sustainable business practices. Regular reviews of our standards ensures they remain fit for purpose. Our standards review process is public, inclusive and methodical. Here are links to past reviews.

RJC Standards Committee & Minutes

Committee Members

The role of the Standards Committee is to review and make recommendations on RJC standards. The committee assists in the design and content of the standards, and assesses the monitoring and evaluation programme. They can also discuss broader strategic issues as the need arises, particularly issues that have an impact on the standards.

The Standards Committee comprises up to 14 industry members and up to 14 non-industry members. Explore the RJC Governance Handbook for full details of the role and responsibility of the Assurance Committee.

Please visit our Governance section for a full list of members.

Committee Minutes

Minutes of the RJC Standards Committee meetings are published here for a minimum of three years. Archived meeting minutes are available by request. Please email a member of our Standards Team (consultation@responsiblejewellery.com).

* Indicates ‘Extraordinary Meeting’.

Harmonisation with Other Standards

Recongised Frameworks

The RJC’s standards are designed to recognise and align with other frameworks for responsible business practices wherever possible. Some external standards and initiatives are recognised by the RJC as equivalent to one or more COP or CoC Standard provisions. In these cases, members and auditors can use external certification to assume conformance without additional self-assessment or review where:

  • the audit was conducted within the previous 12 months;
  • the external certification scope applies to the member’s RJC certification scope; and
  • there are no open major or critical non-conformities (or equivalent as identified in Tables 4a and 4b below) and corrective action plans are in place to close any minor non-conformities within the next 12 months.

Auditors do, however, still have the right to further investigate these provisions during an on-site visit if they deem it necessary.

Tables 4a and 4b summarise recognised frameworks for the COP and CoC Standard and outline the implications for self-assessment or audit.