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Your System Development Toolkit

System Development Toolkit | PEFC International

What is a Certification System?

A certification system outlines the rules, procedures and management for carrying out certification. It establishes specific requirements for a product, process, system or body, and uses a third-party to ensure that the fulfillment of specified requirements has been demonstrated.

A credible certification system relies upon three separate functions:

  • Standard setting

  • Certification

  • Accreditation

Toolkit WEB Diagram 1

Standard setting is the process of defining certification requirements in collaboration with stakeholders and is coordinated by a standardising body.

Certification is the process of checking whether an organization fulfills the certification requirements and is carried out by a Certification Body.

Accreditation is the process of assessing the competence of the Certification Body and is carried out by an Accreditation Body.

For PEFC, it is important that these three functions are all present and operate independently within a national forest certification system, hereafter referred to as “System”. For example, PEFC certification is not possible if a Certification Body independently develops a forest management standard and subsequently uses it as the basis for a field audit.

PEFC is currently the only global forest certification system that has implemented internationally recognized mechanisms to ensure unambiguous separation of these activities.

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