Responsible to: Social Standards Manager

Department: Standards and Science

Salary and benefits: Commensurate with experience

Contract: Flexible, terms to be agreed

Location:  Preferably Netherlands or UK, other Western European locations to be discussed

About ASC

ASC is an independent, not-for-profit organisation established in 2010 to set and operate global standards for responsible aquaculture. Certified farmed products are promoted to consumers through the use of its logo.

The aquaculture industry is growing steadily and is already supplying more than half of all seafood consumed worldwide, but this growing demand increases the environmental and social footprint associated with this expansion. The ASC certification and labelling programme incentivise improved farming practices by promoting the benefits of responsibly farmed seafood and encourages an industry towards achieving environmental sustainability and social responsibility.

We work with aquaculture producers, seafood processors, retail and foodservice companies, scientists, conservation groups and the public globally to promote the best environmental and social choice in farmed seafood. For more information go to

The ASC is a growing organisation. We have people working from various countries, including the Netherlands, UK, Germany, Spain, Australia, Japan, China, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Brazil and the US. There are five functional Departments covering: Standards and Science, Programme Assurance, Market Development, Marketing and Communication and Central Services / Governance. We operate an office in Utrecht (NL) and in London (UK) for staff based in these countries.

The Standards and Science Department is made up of three Teams: 1) Standards Team, 2) Research Team and 3) Impacts Team. Collectively, these teams cover workstreams that deal with standard development and implementation, conducting research and assimilating data to serve multiple purposes both within and external to the organisation. The Department is expanding, but currently consists of 16 staff, each responsible for a number of specific projects as well as operational workflows.

The Standards Team focuses on Standard maintenance, which includes the development of new Standards (content) and the maintenance of current content via revisions. These two activities follow the ASC Standard Setting Procedure (compliant with the ISEAL Code of Good Practice – Setting Social and Environmental Standards). As part of Standards maintenance, ASC is aligning its current eleven species-specific Standards into one Farm Standard. This Standard will accommodate different scopes for the various farming systems, as well as give a species-specific interpretation for metric indicators. As part of this alignment, ASC is revising a series of requirements currently included in its Standards and developing new requirements for possible future inclusion on the aligned Farm Standard. Additionally. ASC has recently published the Feed Standard, which includes a social principle that also requires future revision in line with the Farm Standard.

Job Context

ASC’s mission is to transform aquaculture towards environmental sustainability and social responsibility using efficient market mechanisms that create value across the chain. Ensuring the safety, protection and wellbeing of those who live and work in and around ASC certified farms and feed mills is essential for achieving ASC’s vision of a world where aquaculture plays a major role in supplying food and social benefits for humanity whilst minimising negative impacts on the environment. In this context, the overall purpose of this post is to contribute to the continuing work of ASC’s social programme, both through the ASC standards and through other projects, and often in collaboration with a global network of relevant stakeholders and organisations.

The current Farm Standards, the Feed Standard and the forthcoming ASC Farm Standard, have three focus areas: 1) legal compliance, 2) environmental practices, and 3) social practices. The ASC Farm Standard contains criteria that focus on human rights, including forced labour and child labour, working conditions, labour rights and impacts on and engagement with communities. These requirements aim to work for the protection of employees at ASC-certified farms, the improvement of their working conditions and wellbeing, the protection of human rights and positive engagement with communities who are impacted by the farm or feed mill’s operations.

Alongside the standards, ASC is engaged in several other projects that work towards these same goals of socially responsible aquaculture. ASC has received some feedback from stakeholders regarding the inclusion of requirements around Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) in the Standard and this is something that ASC would like to engage with. Engagement with communities who are potentially impacted by the operations of ASC-certified farms and feed mills is a priority for ASC and brings into focus a range of topics to address, including social license.

Related to the prevention and remediation of egregious human rights violations, ASC has interest to act as a catalyst for the concept of Worker Voice within the seafood industry. The concept touches on existing standard content already, but also seeks to advance topics beyond current content as well. In addition, ASC has identified the inclusion of indicators on Living Wage in the standards as a priority piece of work. This topic is emerging across various certification schemes and is considered to add value to ASC certification. ASC is also developing a new risk management process, the Risk Management Framework, a tool to accompany the standards. Other topics of interest are, so far: gender equality and innovation in ASC’s social project space.

Key responsibilities:

The Senior Coordinator for Social Standards will take a lead on aspects of the Standard Criteria around community engagement as well as lead ASC’s emerging work on FPIC and look to further develop ASC’s work with communities. In addition, this role will support the development of the social principle of the ASC Farm Standard, and the implementation guidance for both the Farm and Feed Standards.

This role will collaborate with team members and stakeholders in the development of ASC’s new risk management process to provide input and development into Standard content and Standard Implementation guidance.

The Senior Coordinator for Social Standards will support the Standards Team in matters related to:

Standard Setting Process and related procedures:

  • Provide input into development of the overall Principle 1 (legal) and Principle 3 (social) content, for the ASC Farm Standard
  • Develop implementation guidance relevant to social Criteria of the ASC Feed Standard and the ASC Farm Standard

Standards Management

  • Provide the Standards Team with support on matters related to community engagement and impacts, Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), and work on social monitoring and evaluation, and research
  • Engage with the wider aquaculture industry and other relevant external organisations, such as ISEAL, in relation to ASC’s work on community engagement and FPIC
  • Provide input for interpretations and / or variance requests related to social issues

Social Programme:

  • Coordinate ASC’s work on community engagement (including Standard development and any additional projects that sit outside the Standards)
  • Lead on the development of ASC requirements on FPIC
  • Support the development and implementation of ASC’s Worker Voice project
  • Work with ASC’s Impacts team on monitoring and evaluation of social impacts and data
  • Work with ASC’s Research team on the establishment of and input into social research projects
  • With other members of the social team, proactively assess the need for new projects, linked to organisational objectives and log frames, and collaborate on the development of these projects
  • Collaborate on the Risk Management Framework project, with a particular focus on the Communities section

External Relationships

  • Maintain an awareness of social projects in collaboration with the other members of the social team
  • Maintain an awareness of social developments in the wider context, external to ASC, and engage with external initiatives, as appropriate. These may include the Certification and Ratings Collaboration, ISEAL, Global Living Wage Coalition, IDH, Conservation Alliance
  • Represent ASC in multiple relevant forums

Organisational & Management

  • Work with colleagues collaboratively and in an open communication style, identifying and resolving areas of differing views effectively
  • Produce high quality written and verbal reports, papers, briefings, background documents, presentations and other outputs, as required

Personal Attributes:

Education / Experience

  • Degree level qualified in a relevant subject
  • Proven project coordination experience
  • 3+ years of relevant working experience in a range of social areas
  • Relevant experience in working with community engagement, FPIC and Indigenous and tribal peoples; plus the domain of commodity production and community interaction

Technical Skills and Qualifications

  • An understanding of issues in overall seafood sustainability and the role of farm certification in it
  • Proficient in the use of standard software packages (e.g. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook)

Relationship Management / Communication

  • Able to manage relationships with colleagues and stakeholders and others successfully and with a people-centred approach to work
  • Able to work across the organisation with other departments
  • Able to demonstrate strategic leadership skills developed in a variety of internal and external organisational settings
  • Fluent in spoken and written English. Proficiency in a second language is considered an advantage
  • Excellent presentation, communication and reporting skills and ability to shape those to suit a diverse range of stakeholders

Person Characteristics

  • Able to think and work independently/remotely, systematically and to make pragmatic decisions in a rapidly changing environment
  • A personality that strives to be pro-active and result-oriented
  • A personality that operates with diplomacy and the ability to garner support and cooperation amongst colleagues and external stakeholders
  • And not unimportant …. be an enthusiastic and fun colleague to work with!


  • Be part of an organisation who are really making a difference
  • Remote and flexible working
  • Work station grant
  • Flexible fitness grant
  • Paid time to volunteer, up to 6 days per year
  • 25 days holiday
  • Annual all staff team retreat

Application and selection process

Please e-mail your cover letter and CV (in English) via:

Your CV and cover letter will be reviewed and a short list of candidates will be invited to take part in initial interviews. Successful candidates might be asked to prepare additional written materials and / or a presentation.

ASC take data protection very seriously. We will only use any personal information you may choose to give us in connection with your application for this position. In the event that your application is unsuccessful we will keep your personal information for 6 months, in case any other vacancies arise for which we think you may be suitable. For more information please read our privacy policy, which can be found here;

Confidental Infomation