Guide / Toolkit

The Universal Standards for Social Performance Management: Manual v2.0

Comprehensive manual of best practices to help financial service providers achieve social goals
Download 40 pages

The Universal Standards for Social Performance Management clarify and standardize social performance management (SPM) practices and bring together good practices implemented successfully in the field into one comprehensive manual. The Universal Standards were created in 2012 by and for stakeholders in the inclusive finance sector as a resource to help financial service providers (FSPs) achieve their social goals. In August 2016, the SPTF released version 2.0 of the Universal Standards. 

This manual of best practices aims to help FSPs put clients at the center of all strategic and operational decisions and align their policies and procedures with responsible business practices. The manual contains “standards,” which are simple statements of what the provider should achieve, and “essential practices,” which are the management practices the provider should implement in order to meet the standards. The practices contained in the Universal Standards are field-tested. These describe policies and operational practices that experts working in the field have seen in action and agree are essential for any provider seeking to achieve its social goals.

The manual organizes SPM practices into six dimensions:

  1. Define and Monitor Social Goals
  2. Ensure Board, Management, and Employee Commitment to Social Goals
  3. Design Products, Services, and Delivery Channels That Meet Clients’ Needs and Preferences
  4. Treat Clients Responsibly
  5. Treat Employees Responsibly
  6. Balance Financial and Social Performance 

About this Publication