The forestry enterprise (further on referred to as the Client) decides to certify its providing services in conformity with PEFC requirements and therefore chooses an accredited certification body (further on referred to as the Contractor) to conduct certification. The Client sends a certification application to the Contractor using the template authorized by the Contractor. The Contractor defines the audit costs as well as perspectives of the successful evaluation process, based on the application information about the Client.
Stage 2. Concluding a contract
Having discussed Client’s forest management system and certification process, the Contractor makes a commercial quotation to the Client regarding certification costs and a certification procedure. Once the quotation is accepted and all conditions are agreed upon, the Client and the Contractor conclude a certification contract. The contract is not bounded by the certification period.
Stage 3. Preliminary audit
A preliminary audit allows the Contractor to obtain general overview of the Client’s structure, management and indiviadual working conditions, while the Client may get familiar with the PEFC and Contractor’s requirements. The main aim of the pre-audit is to define areas that may require additional work or close attention of the Client before the main audit. Additionally, preliminary audit is to help the Contractor to prepare for conducting main audit, what makes estimation more effective.
Based on the audit results, a summary report will be provided to the Client including conclusions about the Forest management system conformity with valid PEFC requirements.
Stage 4. Consultation with stakeholders
Not earlier than 30 days before main audit, the Contractor conducts the consultation with stakeholders. The purpose of consultation is acquisition of objective and impartial information about the Client.
The Client provides the Contractor with the a list of stakeholders, the contractor checks and completes it on an as-needed basis, distribures a questionnaire with suggestion of estimating the Client’s activities against the range of characteristics.
The consultation can be conducted before the main audit as well as within it.
Stage 5. Management documents’ review
The Client may provide the Contractor with the most important documents prior to the main audit, so that the Contractor could study specifics of the planning and management process in detail. This is necessary for the audit’s enhancement.
Stage 6. Main audit
If the pre-audit has been carried out, then, once all major non-conformities raised are eliminated, the Contractor jointly with the Client schedules the main audit. The contractor conducts an audit in conformity with PEFC regional standard of forest management.
Within auditing Forest management system, the most important point is not current forest health, but quality of forest management and its further development.Main attributes of the main audit cover estimation of management infrastructure, implementation of Forest Management system to enterprise, detailed review of routine documentation, interviewing of all concerned parties (for example local residents, ecological organizations, hunting associations and etc.). After conduction of an audit, its findings are discussed with Client.
Internal Chain of Custody of wood materials (from plot till movement to consumer ) is estimated additionally within an audiit. Auditors estimate the such aspects, as:
- identification of the manufactured products;
- products separation (certified and non-certified);
- documentation system (incl. bookkeeping);
- training and information about the personnel;
- appropriate use of the PEFC logos (PEFC Russia and etc.).
Based on the audit findings, the Contractor provides a report to the Client; this report provides appropriate conclusions and stipulates all non-conformities raised against the valid PEFC standards’ requirements.
After approval of final version of the report, the report is forwarded for review to independent expert (or experts), who estimates Contractor’s executed work, basing on report, and provides recommendations, which will be forwarded to Certification Committee for making final decision.
If main audit raised non-conformities, they should be eliminated by the Client before certification issuing. After receiving Clients’ confirmation on elimination of non-conformities, the Contractor conduct documental or field control.
Stage 7. Certification issue and registration
Once the Client eliminates major non-conformities and they are closed in the report, the report is forwarded to the Certification Committee which permanently operates under the Contractor. The Certification Committee decides whether the PEFC Forest management certificate can be issued.
The Contractor registers the certificate in the PEFC database. If necessary, conditions may be raised to the Client and they shall be eliminated by the set deadline.
Stage 8. 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, forest management system and estimation of Client’s evalution in reaching sustainable forest management.
At least 2 (two) surveillance audits shall be conducted during the 3-year certificate’s validity period.
The entire certification process is not restricted by deadlines because enterprises’ readiness to certification and time required to eliminate potential non-conformities prior to the certificate issue differ.
The certificate is issued for 3 years whilst the Client undertakes an obligation to conform to PEFC and Contractor’s requirements throughout the certificate’s validity period.