Rating process

Our Principles

ARC Ratings’ rating process is based on the following principles:

  • Integrity and Objectivity
  • Consistency
  • Rigour and Accuracy
  • Continuity

Our Sector Head, Vítor Figueiredo, provides a short video introduction to our rating process. This process is broken into steps, courtesy of the diagram below.


Rating process diagram

Our Process Step By Step

Rating agreement

The rating process initiates when the applicant (an issuer, sponsor/arranger, underwriter or its agents) contacts the ARC Ratings’ Commercial team with a request for ARC Ratings to provide a rating.
Following the definition of the commercial conditions, a rating agreement is signed.


Once the rating agreement is signed ARC Ratings assigns an analytical team – Lead Analyst and Back-up Analyst - to the rating process.
The analytical team will initiate the analytical process with an initial meeting with the applicant and an information request (including confidential information).
After the analysis, in line with the relevant rating criteria, of all the information and the holding of due diligence meetings with management, the analytical team prepares a rating recommendation and supporting documents to be presented to the rating panel.

Assignment of the Rating

Ratings from ARC Ratings are assigned and reviewed by a Rating Panel, composed of experienced rating analysts.
To assign a rating, the Rating Panel will consider and discuss the rating recommendation and supporting documents prepared by the analytical team, and, as a conclusion of that discussion, assign the rating.

Please note that prior to assigning a final rating, ARC Ratings may assign an Indicative Rating - evidenced by the suffix (Ind). An Indicative Rating is a rating assigned by ARC Ratings to an issuer or an instrument (most commonly structured or project finance debt issues) when the assignment of a final rating is dependent upon the fulfilment of specific contingencies. Any material deviation in the fulfilment of these contingencies from the assumptions underlying the Indicative Rating can have a material impact on the final rating accorded, which accordingly may be fundamentally different to the initial Indicative Rating. Moreover, ARC Ratings reserves the right not to issue a final rating. An Indicative Rating will typically have a maximum validity of six months, although the rating panel might define a different validity period.

Communication of the rating decision to the applicant

After the panel assigns the rating, this is communicated to the applicant, along with a supporting press release and/or rating report. The applicant is thus given the opportunity to clarify or correct factual details, as well as check the presence of non-public information.

Appeal - ARC Ratings grants the applicant the possibility of appealing an accorded rating providing this appeal is supported by additional material information that has not been taken into account in the original rating process.

Option to maintain the rating private - In an initial rating, the applicant is given the option to maintain the rating private or to authorise ARC Ratings to make it public. If the applicant does not give such authorisation the rating and supporting documents will remain strictly confidential unless applicable laws provide otherwise.

Rating Publication (or Confidential Communication for Private Ratings)

The rating, along with the supporting press release and/or rating report, is published on ARC Ratings’ website (except if, in an initial rating process, the applicant decided to maintain the rating private) in addition to circulation via distribution lists and social platforms and publication via Bloomberg and EIN Presswire, where applicable.

Surveillance and Review

All public and private ratings (except if they are point in time) are subject to surveillance and periodic reviews. The objective is that ratings are always current and reflective of all the relevant information that might impact them.