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Return Form Submission, Audit, Certification - ROI Consumer Magazines

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 Definition

The Return Form is a submission in which the circulation claim is reported to ABC for certification. Each circulation claim is subject to audit.

 Principles

  1. A Return Form must be submitted for the registered product for every applicable Reporting Period

  2. The Return Form must be submitted by the Submission Deadline

  3. ABC will issue a Certificate based on the Return Form

  4. Each circulation claim is audited to verify it is in accordance with the applicable Reporting Standards

 

Requirements | Guidance


 Requirements 

 1. A Return Form must be submitted for the registered product for every applicable Reporting Period

  1. You must submit a Return Form for the applicable mandatory and optional Reporting Periods you have chosen to report.

  2. We will advise you how to submit your Return Form. For example online via the ABC eReturn website. However if you have not heard from us at the appropriate time please contact us.

  3. If you use ABC Staff Auditors you will submit your Return Form to us, authorised by an appropriate individual representing your organisation.

  4. If you use a non-ABC Auditor then they must submit the Return Form to us, authorised both by an appropriate individual representing your organisation and your Approved Auditor

  5. Whilst our systems contain some arithmetic and logic validation processes, the accuracy of the Return Form remains your responsibility.

  6. Estimates and assumptions must not be made on the Return Form unless the Reporting Standards allow for them, or we have authorised them.

 2. The Return Form must be submitted by the Submission Deadline

  1. We will publicise the applicable Submission Deadline.

  2. It is your responsibility to ensure Return Forms are submitted by the Submission Deadline. Failure to do so can result in a penalty and/or cancellation of your product’s ABC registration under the ABC Byelaws.

 3. ABC will issue a Certificate based on the Return Form

  1. We will publish the certified data on our website subject to any timing criteria applicable to the sector. We may also make arrangements to provide our data to be published via commercial data providers and to those who subscribe to our data services.

  2. We first release the circulation figures for publications reporting on the 6 or 12 month reporting cycle in an ABC concurrent release of data. We publicise the date and time of this release and you must not issue or publicise any figures before this release.

    1. If we receive a Return Form by the submission deadline but cannot certify it (for whatever reason) in time for the concurrent release we will show it as ‘Certificate pending’

    2. If we do not receive the Return Form in time for inclusion in an ABC report the publication we will show it as ‘Not reported’.

  3. We will confirm when circulation figures not in a concurrent release will become publicly available, normally 5 working days after a draft Certificate has been sent to you.

  4. Each circulation claim is audited to verify it is in accordance with the applicable Reporting Standards

  1. The audit must be carried out either by ABC Staff Auditors or, unless stipulated otherwise, an Approved Auditor appointed by you and approved by us.

  2. Requirements in relation to the auditor and audits will be covered by the ABC Byelaws, ABC Audit Programmes and contractual arrangements.

  3. We carry out inspections on all publications that are not audited by ABC Staff Auditors. The inspections are carried out by ABC Staff Auditors and all publications will be inspected at least once every two years on average and those publications with a publishing frequency of more than once a week will be inspected annually on average.

  4. If following an audit or inspection we identify material problems with the Return Form or Certificate then we will propose to revise the claim. If a Certificate has already been issued we will issue a revised Certificate with an Audit/Inspection Report that identifies the changes. This replaces your original Certificate and must be used in its place. The process is as follows:

    1. We will send you a letter detailing the reason/problem giving rise to the amendment.

    2. You will have 10 working days from the receipt of this letter to provide any further information to us, or object to the revision of the claim.

    3. If you wish to object to the revision of the claim you must do this in writing to the Director of Audit who will investigate and provide a decision within 10 working days. If the objection is to a decision by the Director of Audit or the Chief Executive then the first level of appeal will be in accordance with the Review Procedure detailed in the ABC Byelaws.

    4. Subsequent Certificates will not be issued until we have resolved all queries on a previous audit and issued the revised Certificate, if applicable.

    5. We publish details of Audit/Inspection Reports on our website

  


 Guidance

No additional guidance.