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2023 – A Year in Review



By Andrew Baines, President and CEO of Exemplar Global

Each year seems to go by faster! Maybe that is a function of getting older, but 2023 has been no exception. In many ways, the world has returned to some normality after those strange COVID years where everything changed. That said, I am sure for many of us it will be a ‘new normal’ as we learned to work remotely and found alternative ways to communicate like Zoom or Teams calls.

Auditors, engineers, and technicians stand out as prime examples of adaptability in approaching their work. Their integration of remote work has become permanent, serving as an additional tool in their professional toolbox. This evolution reflects a commitment to ensuring confidence in the maintenance of systems by those they serve. Throughout the years, engineers and technicians have adeptly navigated changes, embraced new standards and updated versions of existing ones as well as evolving requirements from stakeholders such as regulators, consumers, and others invested in the integrity of their endeavors.

This ongoing change continues unabated and is perhaps even increasing. One notable example that we at Exemplar Global have been involved with this year is in the realm of sustainability. We became aware that international accounting standards and ethic standard-setting bodies were defining standards for the assurance of mandatory reporting of sustainability. There is a significant body of thought that this will need more than just the skills and competence of accounting audit professionals (practitioners, as they are called in these standards). Verification and verification of claims will require much more diverse skills. We believe that the conformity profession we serve is very well placed, with the infrastructure, standards, and skills for the oversight and demonstration of competence. Given this, we really must be involved in this rapidly emerging new discipline. To that end, several members of our team have participated in international roundtables expressing the values of you, our customers, and the desirability of these new standards being professionally agnostic. We have also encouraged as many as we could to participate and were delighted that several organizations including conformity assessment bodies did indeed also participate.

This just demonstrates one facet of our role that is often overlooked. We see our role being to advocate for you where we can.

While this was one quite substantial initiative in 2023, it is by no means the only one. Other achievements this year included co-hosting a webinar with Intact Systems in April, discussing “The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Audit and Certification Processes.” It is my belief that AI is here to stay and rather than resisting it, we should work out how we harness it as an aid for auditing and auditors. It will not, I suggest, even come close to replacing people but can without doubt add to our efficiency and accuracy.

Also in April, we established the Exemplar Global iNARTE® Industry Advisory Panel to ensure the continuing relevance of the iNARTE examination and certification program.


In May, we launched the Recognized Consulting Group program, which aims to help consultancies gain global recognition in the compliance industry. This program also provides individual consultants with professional recognition for their expertise and ongoing professional development. What we have recognized is that around each discipline, there are the same ‘players.’ For example, be it quality, or health and safety, or environmental, or food safety, or sustainability for that matter, there are not only third-party auditors but also second- and first-party auditors, trainers, consultants, and practitioners (meaning, in our parlance, quality/environmental/H&S/etc. managers). One of our purposes as a not-for-profit is to encourage ongoing professional development of those we serve and we can see that if we were to encourage the ongoing CPD of all of these parties, that would be beneficial for the systems they are all involved with and, ultimately, the consumers and other stakeholders who drive the demands.

In June, we launched monthly Exemplar Xpress webinars and the Exemplar Talks podcast on Spotify and Apple Podcasts. These are intended to be informative and thought-provoking. If you have not already, join the thousands who have listened in.

In August, we relaunched a range of stand-alone behavioral and self-coaching assessment modules to enhance organizations’ performance in targeted areas, fostering a more productive work environment. Have a look if you have not given them a go. They give real insights into your own (or your team’s) working style as auditors. There are several others in the suite that can enhance self-awareness through career development for you and the teams you lead.

More recently, you may have noticed that our website has been renewed and refreshed. We have also taken the opportunity to merge it with our iNARTE website so the two brands are much more closely related. This marks a milestone in our journey to align and connect our family of brands and you will see more of this in 2024.

This brief summary only scratches the surface of the work we are doing for the conformity, engineering, and technical sectors to try to assist the confidence in the work of auditors, engineers, and technicians, and the assurances we derive from your work.

Looking ahead, 2024 will be Exemplar Global’s 35th anniversary, so look out for some special celebrations to mark that later next year! Additionally, we will continue to extend our products and services. We will also aim to get out there and meet our customers where we can. I am looking forward to it already!

For now, I thank you all, on behalf of those who may not always appreciate what you do or the challenges of doing that work and balancing sometimes conflicting stakeholder expectations. For those of you heading into a holiday season, I send you all, wherever in the world you are, my very best wishes. To everyone, I hope you have a safe and prosperous 2024.

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