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System Development Toolkit | PEFC International

Complaints and Appeals

complaintAs with any programme or activity, there may be issues of non-conformity or noncompliance from time to time. To encourage additional feedback and system integrity beyond the process of checking whether certification requirements are met, a complaints and appeals process enables stakeholders to submit information or a complaint on your System.

Establishing a procedure to consider and investigate complaints ensures transparency for stakeholders and supports your organization in handling the complaint in a professional manner.

For ease of effectiveness, complaints or appeals concerning national PEFC members should be dealt with at national level. To this end, PEFC requires National Governing Bodies to have their own complaints and appeals procedures.

The following basic steps outlined in PEFC GD 1004:2009, Administration of PEFC Scheme, should be followed if an issue cannot be resolved at national level, or for complaints or appeals against PEFC International:

  • Complainants outline their concerns in a letter to PEFC accompanied by supporting documentation;
  • Where a complaint is accepted as justified, PEFC assigns a task force to deal with the complaint or appeal. Members of the task force must not have a vested interest in or conflict of interest with the subject matter;
  • The task force investigates the matter and proposes a solution. Such investigations should take no longer than one month unless on-site investigation is required;
  • The PEFC Board of Directors makes a decision on the complaint or appeal, based on a written report by the task force. Complaints against national PEFC members, if upheld, can have serious consequences, including the suspension or termination of PEFC endorsement.
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