R5.1 of the COUNTER Code of Practice, published in April 2023, will become the only valid version of the Code of Practice from 1 January 2025.
An important feature of the COUNTER Code of Practice is that compliant report providers (including third-party services providing stats on behalf of publishers) MUST be independently audited on an annual basis to maintain their COUNTER-compliant status. To facilitate this, a set of auditing standards and procedures has been published in Appendix E of this Code of Practice. COUNTER has tried to meet the need of report consumers for credible usage statistics without placing an undue administrative or financial burden on report providers. For this reason, audits will be conducted online in accordance with the program included in the auditing standards and procedures (Appendix E).
COUNTER will recognize an audit carried out by any Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the USA, by any Chartered Accountant (CA) in the UK, or by their equivalent in other countries. Alternatively, the audit may be done by a COUNTER-approved auditor which is not a CA or a CPA. Contact COUNTER for a list of approved auditors.