The University of Groningen Business School (UGBS) launches the Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) Assurance course. Within this 10-month course (in Dutch) (assistant) accountants and specialists (non-accountants) get the opportunity to increase their knowledge of controlling non-financial information of companies, with the aim of improving their control techniques.
In addition to legally required financial statements, more and more companies are starting to report on their non-financial performance. For example in the field of sustainability, such as environmental issues (including climate change), product responsibility, business ethics and quality of work and living conditions. Financial statements are controlled by certified (register) accountants but the question that remains is: who should validate the Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) performance of a company?
Control of non-financial information
Many companies allow their in-house accountant to verify the Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) performance. This is however not a statutory and reserved task for an in-house accountant. Every specialist may perform this task. This does, nonetheless, require expertise in the field of controlling non-financial information. In practice, accountants and specialists that are selected by audit firms to verify the ESG performance tend to have limited knowledge of non-financial information.
That is why the University of Groningen Business School has set up the ESG Assurance course. Dick de Waard, Professor of Accountancy and Programme Director ESG Assurance: "The goal of the course is threefold: to increase the knowledge of (assistant) accountants in the field of controlling non-financial information, to increase the knowledge of specialists in the field of control techniques and to create a demonstrable level of expertise that is perceptible for clients and lets those involved distinguish themselves in the market".
Programme and application
The ESG Assurance course is spread out over 10 months and focuses on the reporting of companies on sustainability issues and other non-financial information. Besides lectures at the ISVW estate in Leusden, audio-visual presentations and web-based applications are offered. The course starts in September and the completion is at the end of June. Due to the busy season there is a college-free period in Spring. The tuition fee for the course is €5.900,-. Interested parties can register via
the registration form on the website
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