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Certification Bodies and Auditors

Certification Body and auditor competence

A Certification Body carrying out PEFC certification shall prove competence by:

  • Having the technical competence in forest management, on its economic, social and environmental impacts, and on the forest certification criteria and/or the technical competence in forest-based product procurement and processing, material flows in different stages of processing and trading;
  • Having a good understanding of the PEFC System and standards against which it carries certification;
  • Selecting auditors that have adequate technical know-how on the certification process and issues related to forest management or Chain of Custody certification respectively;
  • Providing technical expert(s) in a group of auditors;
  • Proving compliance of Certification Bodies and auditor competency of these requirements through verification by accreditation.

Defining how Certification Bodies are to conduct forest management audits and Chain of Custody audits

The Certification Body will require procedures for forest management certification and for Chain of Custody certification. Their procedures must meet the requirements set out in your System and by PEFC, and will be verified through the accreditation process.

In summary, the Certification Body procedures should include:

  • Internal procedures for certification;
  • An agreed procedure for a Certification Body informing the National Governing Body or PEFC of certificates issued and changes in validity or scope;
  • Provisions for multi-site certification;
  • Controls for PEFC logo usage;
  • Annual surveillance audits and full assessment audits at least once every five years;
  • Publicly available certification report summaries for forest management;
  • Use of information from external parties as part of audit evidence for forest management;
  • Auditor competence requirements.
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