COVID-19: SFM guidance for certification bodies and certified companies
9 April 2020 News
Due to the spread of COVID-19 worldwide, travel and medical restrictions are affecting sustainable forest management auditing activities. In order to give some flexibility to certification bodies and certified entities affected by the disease, PEFC is issuing the following guidance:
This guidance is updated as the situation evolves. You can find the latest guidance, including an overview of the changes, on the COVID-19 section of our website.
The main methods to ease the consequences of travel restrictions are the implementation of remote audits, and where this is not sufficient, the extension of time periods affecting the certificate.
This guidance is based on IAF Informative Document on the Management of Extraordinary Events or Circumstances Affecting ABs, CABs and Certified Organizations (IAF ID 3: 2011 - Issue 1) and IAF Mandatory Document for the Use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for Auditing/Assessment Purposes (IAF MD 4:2018 - Issue 2).
This guidance enters into force and can be applied by certification bodies from the day of its publication (09/04/2020) and is applicable until PEFC Council revokes the guidance.
The document provides general procedures for the application of this guidance, as well as specific rules for initial and re-certification audits, surveillance audits and internal monitoring programmes for group organizations.
Other PEFC COVID-19 support
We have also issued guidance for chain of custody auditing of PEFC certified companies affected by restrictions due to COVID-19.
We have extended the transition period for our three revised international standards by twelve months. The first 6-month extension was due to Covid-19, with a second 6-month extension following the recent EA evaluation.
This extension applies to the 2020 versions of the Chain of Custody (ST 2002), PEFC Trademarks (ST 2001) and Certification Body Requirements - Chain of Custody (ST 2003) standards. The transition date is now 14 August 2022. Find out more.