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How should you go about your first pass?

Your first pass has four basic elements to it.

The Discovery Questionnaire (DQ)

In the BIA there are the five primary areas and the DQ. The first thing we recommend you do it complete this. In most cases, it will not raise any additional concerns but good to have it out of the way as a first step. If it does raise some additional questions, they will need to be followed up.

The Gating Questions

Gating Questions are the questions within your BIA that determine whether or not you should be answering additional questions. So, if you answer these questions in the affirmative, it will open up more questions for you to populate.

It is best practice to address the Gating Questions as a first task so you have the whole BIA that is applicable to you open before you start working your way through it.

To find them, select "Question Filter" option under the menu options. This will take you to a page that shows you all the questions currently open within your assessment. To the top right is the "Filter" icon. Select this and a panel opens up with a variety of filer options, one of which is "Question Type".  Under this heading, select the box for "Gating Questions". Now you will only be able to see the Gating Questions contained within your BIA: answer these. Now you can return to your whole BIA either by deselecting the box or selecting the B Impact Assessment menu option.

The First Pass

At this point, you can go ahead and work your way through the whole BIA. Many people sit down and work their way through the whole thing in one or two sittings so they can gain an understanding of the flow of the whole BIA, not just the questions themselves.

However you approach it time-wise, the most important thing is you answer them as follows:

  1. As they stand today. Don't be tempted to start answering with things you plan to do, even if they happen to be occurring next week. Complete it as it is today and then when that improved answer happens, be it next week or next month, it can be celebrated as such.
  2. As conservatively as possible. Now is not the time to try and edge the score up or tell yourself more is going on that it actually is: create as brutally an honest baseline start as possible.

You may find it useful to note down in a separate document as you go where your supporting evidence is, or where you believe it will be.

The First Pass Audit

In a small to medium-sized company, the first pass is normally done by one or two individuals with broad insight across the business and its activities: often the owner/manager.

We recommend that the First Pass is then briefly audited by some colleagues, particularly if it has been completed by someone in a leadership role. The purpose of the audit is to:

  1. Check its accuracy
  2. Ensure it is appropriately conservative
  3. Find where there may be a mismatch between what leadership thinks is going on and what the average employee believes to be the case.

This last point is particularly important to surface early on in the process. If everyone is on a similar page, wonderful. If not, it is crucial to recognise that early.

If the person who undertook the first pass made notes as to where the information is for each answer, that is helpful to share with the auditors.

Doing this provides an important insight into the true nature of the company as experienced by the employees and illuminates the gaps that need addressing.

The first pass audit can follow the same steps as befoe: DQ, Gating Questions, complete BIA.

Who To Use For The Audit?

This is quite a good time to start pulling in the people you are going to be working with going forward. It gets people involved as early as possible and is a simple way of familiarising people with a) the BIA and b) how to access the people/resources they will need to pursue certification.


With all this in place and complete, you will now have as accurate a picture as possible to build from. Now you can start building your Roadmap to 90 points.

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  1. John Featherby

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