Wednesday, 18 March 2020
FSC Coronavirus Update
Update for FSC certificate holders and accredited certification bodies
As a global organisation, the Forest Stewardship Council is acutely aware of challenges raised by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Given the recent developments around the global outbreak of COVID-19 and increasing travel restrictions, FSC has published a derogation that allows certification bodies unable to conduct on-site audits to either postpone the audit or replace it with a desk audit.
Internal auditors of group and multi-site certificates will soon be given similar options.
FSC is aware that desk audits cannot fully replace on-site audits, but we see this derogation as justified in the current situation: Our priority is to protect the health of staff of certification bodies and certificate holders, and to support global measures to minimize the spread of the virus. To mitigate the difference in audit intensity and enable us to monitor the situation, we are setting up additional reporting requirements for the certification bodies.
With the flexible audit options, we aim to assure certificate holders that they need not be concerned about losing their certification status because auditors and staff are unable to conduct on-site audits in these challenging times.
Additional information can be found in the FSC derogation (FSC-DER-2020-001). This derogation is valid to 31 December. As you know, this crisis is rapidly escalating, and we consequently continue to evaluate additional mechanisms to accommodate certificate holders and their certification bodies.
If you have any questions or concerns, we encourage you to contact Stefan Jensen our Policy and Standards Manager at s.jensen at au.fsc point org