STEP 1: PREPARE YOUR APPLICATION
Before submitting your application, please follow the instructions in the Guide for applying to the EFCSN. It contains important information about how to understand and comply with the European Code of Standards for Independent Fact-Checking Organisations, including a self-assessment check-list.
If your organisation publishes fact-checks in multiple languages, you may fill out this form before you apply to request to only be assessed in two languages of the Governance Body’s choice. If accepted, you will fill out the application form for the two languages chosen by the Governance Body. Please, make clear which language you are referring to when filling the application. An example:
ENGLISH: [write whatever you have been asked for]
FRENCH: [write whatever you have been asked for]
STEP 2: APPLY
How to apply
In order to start the application process (here is a PDF of what the application will ask for to help you prepare) you need to create a profile on the EFCSN website for your organisation and submit the information requested. To create your profile and submit your application:
- Press the button “Start your application”.
- Register yourself; you will be asked to enter your name, surname, email address and create a password.
- Confirm your email address.
- Login into your EFCSN account.
- Add your organisation’s name (before adding it, check that your organisation is not already registered).
- Only one person per organisation can fill out/access the application form at a given time. If you want to give someone else from your organisation access to the application, change the manager of the organisation in the section titled “Create Organisation”. (That person will need to register themselves in the EFCSN website first). Once you change the manager, you will not be able to access the application anymore.
- After creating a profile for your organisation, you can start filling out the application.
- Don’t forget to use the button “Save” to preserve your work. This will allow you to close and return to the application later as needed.
- The final step is to pay the application fee.
The first round of applications will take place between January 10 and February 28, 2023. The EFCSN will open two more rounds of applications in 2023: in May and in October, each time with a one-month window.
In order to become an EFCSN verified member, you will need to comply with all the mandatory standards of the European Code of Standards for Independent Fact-Checking organisations. The Code also lists “Best Practices” that are not mandatory but encouraged .
How much do I need to pay?
The application process entails a non-refundable fee. This fee offsets part of the cost of hiring two external assessors to evaluate the application. The amount you pay will depend on the annual turnover of your organisation, which you have to declare on your application form:
|Annual turnover of the organisation||Application fee|
|under 500,000 €||700 €|
|between 500,001 and 3,000,000 €||1000 €|
|over 3,000,001 €||1500 €|
If accepted to the network, you will also have to pay an annual membership fee. The Governance Body may, at any time, waive or lower these economic contributions under a reasoned decision.
|Annual turnover of the organisation||Membership fee|
|under 50,000 €||no fee|
|between 50,000 and 500,000 €||500 €|
|between 500,001 and 1,500,000 €||1,000 €|
|between 1,500,001 and 3,000,000 €||2,000 €|
|between 3,000,001 and 10,000,000 €||3,500 €|
|over 10,000,001 €||5,000 €|
STEP 3: EVALUATION
Your application will be evaluated by two external assessors, both unaware of the identity of the other one, who are experts in the field of disinformation, fact-checking and/or journalism as well as in your specific country or region.
The Governance Body will also seek the opinions of any existing members of the EFCSN from the same country as the applicant or, if there are no members from the same country, from the same geographical region.
STEP 4: DECISION
After receiving the recommendations from the external assessors and current EFCSN members from the same country/region, the Governance Body will make a final decision on your application. The decision requires a qualified majority of 2⁄3 of the voting members of the Governance Body.
The EFCSN Governance Body is currently composed of 11 members, who will not participate in the votes on their own organisation’s application. The final decision of the Governance Body will be explained and made publicly available on the EFCSN’s website. The possible decisions are:
- “Approval”, in case of full and definitive approval
- “Pending decision”, if the Governance Body asks for more information from the applicant before taking a definitive decision
- “Rejection”, in case of full and definitive rejection
The whole Assessment procedure should be concluded within a period of 90 working days.
At the end of the procedure, approved members will be asked to publish an EFCSN badge on their websites. The names of members will also be listed on the EFCSN’s website together with their application.
It is possible for organisations to appeal a ‘rejection’ from the Governance Body in the month following the decision. This will involve a second evaluation of the application by different external assessors. If the appeal is rejected, the organisation will not be able to re-apply for the following 12 months.
More information about the application process and compliance can be found in the European Code of Standards for independent fact-checking organisations.
If you have any questions contact the EFCSN: [email protected]