Making the CHS more accessible and relevant for people facing situations of vulnerability and crisis.

Standards need to be reviewed regularly to adapt to a changing environment, drawing on learning and new developments and innovations. The CHS is no exception. This is why, in May 2022, CHS Alliance, Sphere and Groupe URD have launched an 18-month process to consult with multiple stakeholders for their views on how to update and improve the standard. 

The revision is an opportunity to hear from individuals and organisations across the world on how to make the standard a more accessible, relevant and user-friendly tool to drive better quality and accountability.

Consultation round two: June to September 2023

The revision process started in May 2022 and is projected to end in December 2023 with the launch of the updated standard. The process is organised around two rounds of public consultations. The first consultation round happened in 2022 and invited comments on the current CHS. Based on the feedback received and other sectoral learning since the first launch of the CHS, the Revision Team has developed a Draft Standard, which will be published on 5 June 2023. That draft will be the basis for the second consultation round, which will last from mid-June to end-September 2023.

You can always contact us at

We strive to make available a variety of ways for you to engage in the consultation: a) an online survey, b) consultation guidelines, so you can organise your own consultation events; c) consultation webinars in four languages. d) a series of regional consultation events, the details for which you can find here: 

Indicative revision timeline

  • 1st Consultation Round: Feedback on the current CHS (May-Dec 2022)
  • Feedback analysis and Drafting of Draft 1 of the updated standard (Jan-May 2023)
  • 2nd Consultation Round on Draft 1, including webinars, country pilots, and regional workshops (June-Sep 2023)
  • Feedback analysis and preparation of Draft 2 (Sep-Oct 2023)
  • Validation consultations on Draft 2 (Oct-Nov 2023)
  • Finalisation, sign-off, production (Nov 2023)
  • Launch of revised and updated standard (Dec 2023)
  • Regional launches and roll-out (Jan-Jun 2024)



Governance of the revision process

Please find the full governance structure (Steering Committee and Management Group) under "About us"

Scope and expected outcomes of the revision

It is important to underline that the CHS revision process does not aim to replace the existing standard but to update and improve it. This means building on what works and adjusting the existing content and presentation to make it more relevant, accessible and user friendly for different stakeholders – particularly by the people vulnerable to and affected by crisis. It also means ensuring international best practices on standard development and revision are followed so that the CHS continues to enjoy trust and credibility as a global standard grounded in local realities.

The revision process prioritises listening to and understanding what vulnerable people need and value. It includes the perspectives of community-based and civil society actors working with vulnerable people and communities. It is also be an opportunity to explore how the updated standard can support system-wide changes in the aid sector and beyond, building on the achievements and lessons learned so far. This includes wider take-up of the standard by UN agencies, donors and policymakers, and strengthening links to emerging issues facing the aid sector.

The outcome of the process should be a widely used improved standard that supports more effective and accountable relationships between vulnerable people and communities, and local, national and international actors.

Approach and Methodology

The process maximises participation and engagement of different actors and stakeholders. To do this, Groupe URD, CHS Alliance and Sphere are leveraging their respective networks and partners to reach as many individuals and organisations as possible. Over 3000 comments were collected during the 2022 consultation phase! 

The revision team has set up different methods and tools for stakeholders to engage, including key informant interviews, focus group discussions and community meetings, surveys, online and in-person meetings, and country and regional level consultation workshops. 

The revision will also reach out to non-traditional humanitarian actors and other stakeholder groups operating in the humanitarian space to gain insights on how the standard can complement and support their work. Examples include domestic civil protection agencies and social assistance programmes, climate change adaption, resilience, poverty reduction and development efforts, and other initiatives supporting civil engagement, equity, diversity and inclusion, and accountability outside of the humanitarian sector.

The following six criteria will orient decisions on potential changes to the CHS:

Guiding Criteria

  1. Do proposed changes reaffirm and reinforce the standard as a people-centred framework for quality and accountability?
  2. Do proposed changes address the most important issues that affect quality and accountability?
  3. Do proposed changes clarify concepts, simplify language, and make it more accessible for users and stakeholders?
  4. Do proposed changes reinforce the measurability of the Standard?
  5. Do proposed changes reinforce coherence and alignment with existing quality and technical standards and good accountability practices?
  6. Do proposed changes have the potential to increase adoption and use of the Standard by a wider number of stakeholders, particularly local and national actors?

Who is responsible for the revision process?

The CHS Management Group and the CHS Steering Committee will provide overall oversight of the process. The Management Group is a 6-member team made up of the Executive Directors and CHS focal points of the copyright holders of the CHS: Sphere, CHS Alliance, and Groupe URD. The Steering Committee is comprised of 11 individuals representing users and stakeholders of the standard.

The process is facilitated by two CHS Revision Managers hosted by the CHS Alliance: Philip Tamminga and Aninia Nadig. Both Aninia and Philip have extensive experience working with development and promotion of quality and accountability standards in the humanitarian sector.

The Management Group and Steering Committee support the CHS Revision Managers to ensure the process and outcomes are transparent, inclusive, rooted in the voices of affected people, reflects the latest knowledge on quality and accountability, and adhere to international best practices on standard development and revision. 

Contact Aninia and Philip here:

Aninia:  Philip:


Stay informed!

Sign up to CHS Alliance, Sphere or Groupe URD’s newsletters for regular updates on the revision process, as well other work around quality and accountability.


Why is the revision needed?
Why is the revision needed?

The global context has changed significantly since the standard was created. The climate emergency, the COVID-19 pandemic, protection and safeguarding concerns and growing awareness of unequal power dynamics in the aid sector are all elements to be considered as we strive to reaffirm our collective commitments to people that are vulnerable to and affected by crisis.

The policy environment has also changed. Several important initiatives have emerged that build on and contribute to the aims and objectives of the CHS. Examples include efforts to strengthen safeguarding and protection from sexual exploitation and abuse in the aid sector, promote greater localisation and participation in the design and implementation of aid programmes, and updated technical standards and guidance covering different programming areas.

For the CHS to reach its full potential, we need to take stock of the lessons learned over the past seven years, consider and integrate new developments, and reach increased awareness, endorsement and use of an updated standard by wider set of stakeholders.

CHS Alliance
Groupe URD
Sphere Project