In 2012, as a result of a deeply consultative process among a broad range of stakeholders, the SPTF launched the Universal Standards for Social Performance Management (in short referred to “the Universal Standards”). This is a comprehensive manual of best practices to help financial service providers (FSPs) put clients at the center of all strategic and operational decisions and align their policies and procedures with responsible business practices.

In August 2016, the SPTF released version 2.0 of the Universal Standards. Download the Universal Standards 2.0 manual in English, FrenchSpanish, Arabic

In 2020-21, SPTF undertook another extensive review and update of the Universal Standards, clarifying and strengthening existing concepts while also adding new content, notably in the areas of responsible digital finance and environmental performance management. It will launch the new version in January 2022 but you may email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for an advance copy.

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Download the Universal Standards 1.0 manual in Russian. SPTF is currently updating these manuals to reflect version 2.0 of the Universal Standards. Watch a short video introduction on the Universal Standards in English, Spanish, and French.

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To learn more about the fundamentals of SPM, also check out our What is SPM? and FAQs pages.