Certification Procedure

1 stage. Decision

Having made the decision on certification, the Client fills in the application for certification and sends it to the Contractor. Basing on applied information, the Contractor determines audit costs and prospects of a successful evaluation process.

Stage 2. Concluding a contract

The Client receives a commercial offer with the cost and a procedure of certification. Once the offer is accepted and terms and conditions agreed, the Client and the Contractor conclude a contract for certification. The contract is not limited to the period for certification.

Stage 3. Management documents’ review

The Client may provide the Contractor with the most important documents prior to the main audit so that the Contractor personnel in advance study Client’s scheduling and management procedure. Document review significantly reduces the time of the on-site audit.

Stage 4. Main audit

At least one month before the main assessment, the Contractor starts to conduct a consultation with stakeholders. The client shall demonstrate completeness and sufficiency of developed procedures to ensure the manageability of the entire system regarding each FMU, personnel management, document and record management, and other significant points of certification.

Auditors evaluate the documentation and records applied at each management level of FMU, sufficient to confirm that management is efficient and is performed as described.

When assessing a group of enterprises, auditors follow the requirements of FSC-STD-30-005 standard to evaluate the applicant’s documentation. For multi-site and group certification the Contractor chooses the sites in accordance with FSC requirements for forest management.

During the audit, the Contractor evaluates working sites, deforestation, HCVF sites, plantations and consults with stakeholders (e.g. local residents, ecological organizations, hunting associations, etc.). Audit results are discussed with Client.

Based on the audit findings, the Contractor provides the Client with the report, which either will recommend to issue a certificate to the Client or set out corrective measures to eliminate nonconformities identified by Contractor.

Stage 5. Verification of major nonconformities

If during the main audit major nonconformities were raised, Client shall eliminate them before certificate granting. When nonconformities are eliminated, the client informs the Contractor on that fact. The Contractor shall verify the elimination via documents or conduct on-site monitoring.

Stage 6. Certificate issue and registration

Only after confirmation of eliminating major nonconformities, the Client will be issued the FSC certificate. The certificate is registered by the Contractor in FSC database. If necessary, the Client may be subject to conditions that must be met by a certain deadline.

FSC Forest management certificate is valid for 5 (five) years.

Stage 7. Surveillance audits

At least once a year the Contractor will carry surveillance audits of the Client to monitor the implementation of conditions raised by the report.

If during the surveillance audits the Contractor identifies at least 1 major nonconformity, the Client’s certificate will be suspended. The certificate also may be suspended due to non-fulfillment by the Client of his financial obligations to FC.

Additional clarifications

FSC certificate is the property of the certification body. The client is the holder (user) of the certificate.