The SLCP 5 Year Strategic Plan has been approved. A solid strategy will lead SLCP from Project to Program and from Development to Implementation. The independent Chair of the Steering Committee Pierre Hupperts reflects on past 2 years and is looking forward to the next 5 years with optimism.

I joined as a Chair of the SLCP Steering Committee in early 2016. Preparing myself for this role, I had a lot of introductory conversations with the Steering Committee members, as well as other signatories. During this time, I can recall two red flags that I initially heard about the Project: 1) to be aware of the elephant in the room: a lot of people and organizations do not want convergence because it will affect their job and/or business; and 2) skepticism about our ambition: convergence has been attempted before and failed to succeed.

More than two years later, I am elated to where we have come: with over 190 signatories supporting the SLCP, we have a solid Converged Assessment Framework, that received a signatory support vote of more than 95%, along with the 5 Year Strategic Plan receiving an equal voting result.

We have been working on the 5 Year Strategic Plan since April 2018. It has been an inclusive process with high involvement of signatories through interviews, webinars and an in-person workshop. We wanted to create a 5-year plan that really could lead us in the coming years: to define our scope of activities, our new governance arrangement and a business model based on volume related fees. With this business model we can finance ourselves from 2021 onwards. We have defined four specific aims for 2023 which will guide us to be a credible, scalable and future proof Program.

With the overwhelming support votes and approval of the 5 Year Strategic Plan for SLCP, we can now start working on the implementation and roll out of the Converged Assessment Framework at scale; tackling audit fatigue and work towards our vision of improving working conditions.

Our job is not over yet. Developing a tool and system for assessments and sharing verified social & labor data is one thing; implementing is a different challenge. We partly operate in unchartered territory: we will have to be flexible, open for feedback and adjustments, while also determined in reaching our goals and mission. We will encounter (new) obstacles and difficulties where we will have to find solutions. Key for our success was and is our inclusiveness, the enormous efforts (expertise, time and money) and commitment that our signatories put into SLCP. We feel the eagerness and ambition of our signatories to see the SLCP succeed. I am very proud about the progress that we have made in the last few years, and that I have been able to contribute to this exciting journey.