Certification procedure


The application process for a Fair for Life or for Life certification involves the following steps.

Application form

Fill in the relevant application form (download from list below) and send it together with the eligibility statement to info@fairforlife.org or your local IMO representative.


Eligibility check

If your operation is situated in a high income or upper middle income country you must demonstrate your eligibility for Fair for Life.
The following points need to be included in a Fair Trade justification statement:

Furthermore, you will have to commit to continuously improve the working and employment conditions in your operation and to support the empowerment of workers.

Review of application form

The application is screened to ensure that your operation may, in principle, qualify for certification or at least for a performance rating. If the application can be accepted, you will receive a pro forma invoice (“budget” or “cost estimation”) for approval.

Cost estimation and Pre-payment

Based on the application form the audit and evaluation time are calculated. All expenses necessary to conduct the audits, evaluations and certification will be charged. If Social & Fair Trade audits are combined with audits for other schemes, the respective additional audit time and certification costs may be presented in one combined budget.
The cost estimation has to be signed and send back to IMO and the stated pre-payment organised.
To get an overview of how costs are estimated please visit the certification cost section of this website.


After the acceptance of the cost estimation a contract is sent which needs to be signed and send back to IMO along with a prepayment of the offer before further steps for audit planning are taken.

Operation descriptions

Along with the contract operator profile(s) are send to you and discussion of audit dates can begin. Operator profiles are questionnaires regarding your operation which are needed to lay the groundwork for your upcoming audit. They need to be filled in and send back to IMO at the latest 2 weeks before the audit.
If you have already been certified by another agency according to social standards (e.g. FLO-Cert), all certification documents from previous certification agencies are requested and you must submit information on possible corrective actions and further explanations had you been refused or if certification was previously withdrawn.

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