Introduction to the ARA criteria

General Criteria Applicable to all Entries
in the General Award

Australasian Reporting Awards exists to improve continually the standards of reporting. Reporting, the annual report especially, is an essential mechanism of accountability, a vital element in the governance process.

Techniques of good reporting evolve over time but the fundamentals remain constant. Good reporting requires an open willing attitude, attention to detail and accuracy, a sensitivity and responsiveness to stakeholders, a willingness to put in the effort to communicate effectively and a commitment to achieving and improving upon standards.

The ARA guidelines change over time reflecting experience and expectations. The guidelines are not about following a formula and ticking boxes. They are about identifying areas of information that, in ARA’s experience, are important for readers.

The challenge for the person preparing the report is to interpret that information for their own organisation’s peculiarities and communicate it in a way that is effective for their stakeholders.

ARA criteria* have absorbed the requirements of the Global Reporting Initiative, an international benchmark in reporting and reflect the substance of the GRI Sustainability Reporting Guidelines.

Like the Global Reporting Initiative, ARA seeks reports that:

  • Provide a balanced and reasonable picture of their economic, environmental, and social performance;
  • Facilitate comparability, benchmarking and assessment of performance; and
  • Address issues of concern to stakeholders.

Note: Information on the Global Reporting Initiative and Sustainability reporting has been sourced from Sustainability Reporting Guidelines version 3, published on the GRI website, www.globalreporting.org. ARA supports the Global Reporting Initiative and recommends report preparers refer to the GRI website for further details.

The ARA General Award is standards-based. Reports that attain the adjudicated standards achieve the relevant award. There are no quotas.

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