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Core Humanitarian Standard (Humanitarian Quality Assurance Initiative)

Our commitment to the rigorous humanitarian standard earns fifth year of CHS Certification.

For more than 38 years, Islamic Relief has been working to provide life-saving aid and sustainable solutions to those in need in over 40 countries across the world. Decades of innovative, life-saving work has helped millions of people the moment that disaster strikes and beyond.

Now, for its fifth year, Islamic Relief is proud to announce it is one of only five UK-based charities to have been certified against the CHS (Core Humanitarian Standard), a rigorous global standard for humanitarian work.

As of May 2022, Islamic Relief entered its fifth year of certification, a proud testament to the rigorous standards Islamic Relief have upheld against a backdrop of tragedies for millions of people worldwide.

At the heart of our organisation is the people that we serve, and quality and accountability are central to the work that we do.

What is the CHS (Core Humanitarian Standard)?

The Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability (CHS) is a certification given to humanitarian organisations that uphold a set of core commitments that improve the quality and effectiveness of the organisation’s work.

The Core Humanitarian Standard is made up of nine commitments that a CHS humanitarian organisation is expected to uphold when working to provide support and assistance to vulnerable communities during their time of crisis and beyond. Certification against the CHS is the most robust independent audit offered in the humanitarian sector.

At Islamic Relief, our journey has not just been about how many people we’ve been able to support, but the quality of the help that we have provided and continue to do so.

Here are the 9 commitments that make up the CHS


Assistance is appropriate and relevant to the needs of communities and people affected by crisis.


Communities and people affected by crisis have access to the humanitarian assistance they need at the right time.


They are not negatively affected and are more prepared, resilient, and less at-risk as a result of humanitarian action.


Communities and people affected by crisis know their rights and entitlements, have access to information and participate in decisions that affect them.


They have access to safe and responsive mechanisms to handle complaints.


Communities and people affected by crisis can expect coordinated, complementary assistance.


They can expect delivery of improved assistance as organisations learn from experience and reflection.


Communities and people affected by crisis can expect assistance from competent and well-managed staff and volunteers.


They can expect that the organisations assisting them are managing resources effectively, efficiently, and ethically.

Why is it important that Islamic Relief is CHS approved?

Currently, Islamic Relief is one of only 5 UK-based charities to have been certified against the coveted CHS, and to date we are the only UK-based Muslim faith-inspired charity to hold the certification. We believe that being CHS approved is in alignment with the values that form the foundation of our organisation: ikhlas (sincerity), ihsan (excellence), rahma (compassion), adl (social justice) and amana (custodianship).

Islamic Relief first received CHS certification in 2017. Each audit cycle lasts a duration of four years, and we are proud to announce that we are entering our fifth year as a CHS certified organisation, or our first year as a re-certified organisation. We are delighted to continue our journey as a CHS approved and are committed to providing the highest standard of quality to the communities at the heart of our work.

Being CHS approved also makes us part of the CHS Alliance. Together with more than 133 other member organisations from across the world, including UNICEF and Oxfam, we strive to continue raising the standard of humanitarian and development aid.

How does an organisation get certified?

External auditors assess the organisation against the nine CHS commitments outlined above, and subsequently produce a report detailing the outcome of the assessment and decision to certify or re-certify. Each audit period lasts a duration of four years.

Islamic Relief’s most recent audit was conducted by the Humanitarian Quality Assurance Initiative (HQAI) in five of Islamic Relief’s field offices – Kenya, Somalia, Bangladesh, Jordan, and Bosnia and Herzegovina – in addition to our international headquarters in the UK.

Auditors conducted the assessment remotely due to the Covid-19 pandemic and spoke to staff as well as members of the communities we serve.

Islamic Relief was found to have scored highly against all nine CHS commitments, with no Corrective Action Requests (CARs), meaning auditors did not find any major failings.

How does certification effect my donation?

When you donate to Islamic Relief, two things effect your donation that sets us apart:

  1. Your money goes towards world-class sustainable development and emergency projects
  2. Islamic Relief is CHS approved! This means that the money you donate is put towards programmes and an organisation that is rigorously audited against the Core Humanitarian Standard to ensure that the quality of our work does justice to your generous donations.

The due diligence that is carried out using the Core Humanitarian Standard solidifies our commitment to quality service to the millions of vulnerable people we serve around the world and our donors.

How will Islamic Relief continue to uphold the 9 CHS commitments?

Islamic Relief will keep ensuring it meets the CHS commitments by putting the individuals and communities we serve at the heart of everything we do.

For us, this means listening to the feedback of the people we serve, involving them in decision-making at all stages of our programmes, from inception to conclusion, and working to boost the capacity of local authorities and organisations, including NGOs.

We will also undergo an annual audit to confirm we are meeting the CHS requirements and ensuring the needs of communities and individuals affected by crisis determine how we operate.

Since 1984, Islamic Relief has been supporting the lives of millions of vulnerable people, and we continue to be accountable to them for the highest quality standard of aid.

Help us to continue the vital work that we do. Donate now.

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