Certification Process

Group of certified Top Employers

The Top Employers certification is only awarded to organisations that achieve the highest standards of excellence in employee conditions. The first step in the certification process is a company’s participation in the HR Best Practices Survey: a comprehensive analysis of the Human Resources environment. This research critically assesses HR management and employee conditions within the organisation. Following validation and an external audit, performance scores are rated against an international standard. Only employers that achieve the required level will qualify for certification. That means that the certified Top Employers can proudly call themselves one of the world’s leading employers and reap the associated employer brand reinforcement.

This is how it works:

1. Registration
Only a select group of organisations qualify to participate in the Top Employers Institute’s annual research. Learn more about how your organisation can apply and participate. If an organisation is active in at least five countries within a specific region, it may also be eligible to participate in regional certification. Learn more about the benefits of regional certifications.

2. Research – HR Best Practices Survey
Providing exceptional employee conditions is the foundation for becoming a Top Employer. The HR Best Practices Survey assesses an organisation’s HR environment: strategy, policy implementation, monitoring and communication of employee conditions and development.

3. Validation

After a participant has submitted the HR Best Practices Survey, the Top Employers Institute conducts a review of their answers. This stage ensures a participant’s answers accurately reflect the organisation’s employee conditions (HR policies, practices and employee offerings) and comprises of a Validation Call with each participant, Document Validation, and an Onsite Validation with a selection of participants.

4. Audit

After the Validation stage has been completed and the final surveys are submitted for all participating companies, the Audit by a third party auditor takes place. The Audit focuses on the integrity of the Top Employers Institute’s procedures, processes, systems and data.

5. Evaluation process
The Top Employers Institute determines which organisations have attained the standards required for certification. All participants receive a comprehensive Feedback Report. In the case of companies that do not achieve certification, the Feedback Report also contains the reasons for disqualification and areas for potential improvement.

6. Certification Process and Final Certification
Only organisations that qualify from the final selection process are entitled to use the exclusive Top Employers title and Certification Seal. Should an organisation not meet the standards required in this final phase of the research process, their participation remains confidential and they will not be certified as a Top Employer.
Learn more about the benefits of certification.

Annual update
The Top Employers research methodology is adapted to each country and revised annually, as is the international standard for ratings. It is developed in close cooperation with HR experts and other selected partners.

All information provided is treated as strictly confidential and will not be shared on an individual basis with third parties. All participants complete a declaration of truthfulness upon completing the questionnaire. Participants that do not meet the certification requirements remain confidential and they will not be certified as a Top Employer.

Contact us

+31 (0)20 262 9915 global@top-employers.com


“The Top Employers certification made us aware of how important it is to systematically track our on-boarding process, measuring its success and satisfaction level. We’ll now implement this and deliver it as a best practice to the Vodafone Group.”

Read others

Out Now:

On-boarding HR Insights Report

Read more on On-boarding