Dispute Resolution

FSC is committed to facilitating consistent and timely evaluation of complaints and appeals raised by stakeholders against decisions, performances or any other issues within the FSC scheme.

Dispute Resolution fsc (© Dispute Resolution (Forest Stewardship Council A.C.))© Dispute Resolution (Forest Stewardship Council A.C.)The Dispute Resolution process is fully defined through the standard "FSC Dispute Resolution System" (FSC-STD-01-005)" and the supporting documents.

Designed in a modular way, the FSC Dispute Resolution System supports stakeholders to express concerns they may have about the operation of the FSC system and to find the best way of resolving disputes.

Most complaints are handled by the relevant CB which audits the certificate holder in Australia. In certain circumstances, complaints are managed by Accreditation Services International (ASI) or FSC International. Please note, as a National Office, FSC Australia has no direct role in examining or resolving complaints made about audits, Certificate Holders (CHs) or Certification Bodies (CBs). But we can help guide you through the complaint and dispute procedures.


For further information about FSC’s Dispute Resolution System, or to identify the relevant certification body, or submit a dispute, you can find the information you need here.



Broadly speaking there are five different types of complaints that are handled by the FSC system:


1. Towards a company directly from any stakeholder about an action or omission in breach of their relevant certificate (Forest Management, Controlled Wood or Chain of Custody).
Complaint Management: Company examine the complaint and provides a written, considered and timely response to the stakeholder, copied to their relevant CB


2. Towards the relevant certification body about the same issue as above.
Complaint Management: CB examines the complaint and provides a written response. If necessary, the CB issues a Corrective Action Request (CAR) to the CH. CARs are publicly declared via FSC International’s searchable database.


3. Towards ASI about a certification body not acting properly on a complaint.
Complaint Management: ASI duly investigates the complaint and, if necessary, takes appropriate action. This would be transparently reported on ASI’s website.


4. Towards FSC about ASI not acting properly on a complaint.
Complaint Management: FSC International investigates the complaint and, if necessary, intervenes. This would be transparently reported on FSC International’s website.


5. Towards FSC about a company violating the Policy for Association.
Complaint Management: FSC International investigates the complaint and takes appropriate action. This would be transparently reported on FSC International’s website, with links from FSC Australia’s newsroom.


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