The STARS reporting framework includes a number of mechanisms to enhance the quality of public reports and data, protect the credibility of the system, and provide a fair and transparent means for resolving questions about the accuracy of the information reported through STARS.
These mechanisms are detailed in the STARS Data Accuracy Policy and outlined below.
Internal Review & Assurance
STARS includes incentives to encourage institutions to complete an internal review and assurance process that successfully identifies and resolves inconsistencies prior to submitting its STARS Report. This process may include:
- Internal review by one or more individuals affiliated with the institution, but who are not directly involved in the data collection process for the credits they review; and/or
- An external audit by one or more individuals affiliated with other organizations (e.g., a peer institution or third-party contractor).
Learn more about reporting assurance, including how to find an independent reviewer or assurance provider.
STARS Review Template
To help facilitate pre-submission review and assurance, AASHE publishes a STARS Review Template. The template highlights common issues that AASHE staff have identified during standard post-submission reviews. It will help you identify and resolve potential data inconsistencies in your report, leading to a higher quality report, fewer issues during the post-submission collaborative review and revision process and expedited report publication and rating. In addition, your institution can earn points for using the template as part of an independent assurance process. Learn more.
AASHE Review & Revision
Every institution that submits for a STARS Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum rating is engaged by AASHE staff in a collaborative review and revision process prior to report publication.
A review is conducted by AASHE staff after a report has been finalized, but before the report is publicly posted and any rating is announced. Submissions with higher provisional scores and ratings are subject to a more comprehensive review.
AASHE staff send a review results email to the institution’s STARS Liaison listing any issues identified in the staff review. The period of time between submitting a report and receiving a review results email may take about 30 days during peak submission times, however the average review time is 2-3 weeks.
All issues identified during AASHE staff review as requiring revision must be addressed before a report will be published. Institutions have approximately 60 days from the date that the review results email was sent to address these issues. Institutions that need more time to resolve issues identified in the staff review may request additional time.
4. Publication & Rating
Once all issues requiring revision have been resolved, the STARS report will be published. The report will be valid for three years from the date that it is published.
Additional Data Quality Measures
AASHE staff may conduct periodic post-publication review of data included in published STARS reports.
Transparency & Public Inquiries
All of the information in a STARS report is made publicly available on the STARS website. If an individual or organization believes that content is not consistent with credit criteria or contains errors, they may complete this form to share their concerns with AASHE. If AASHE staff determine that the concerns are valid, we will bring the potential error or inconsistency to the attention of the STARS Liaison for the institution without identifying the originator of the inquiry.
An institution may submit a request to revise inconsistencies in its STARS report after it has been made public on the STARS website. Learn more.
Known accuracy issues left unresolved by an institution may be flagged in its public STARS report until addressed.