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PEFC Standards Revision

Endorsement and Mutual Recognition of National Systems and their Revision

What's the guide about?

This guide sets out the endorsement and mutual recognition process which each national forest certification system must go through. It describes all the procedures for the endorsement and mutual recognition of new, reviewed, revised and/or amended systems.

Rules for endorsement of forest certification and chain of custody standards and systems guide the assessment and decision-making in the process. The rules harmonize the documentation of the system and applications, as well as the assessment processes, carried out by independent assessors and experts.

They also set the framework for the endorsement decision-making process, providing fairness and equity for all applicants.

The PEFC International Board approved the revised guide on 6 October 2017. The guide entered into force on 1 November 2017.

What are the main changes?

The endorsement procedures have been aligned with the national cycle of five-year periodic reviews. Rather than an endorsement expiring after five years, national systems must achieve milestones in order to retain their endorsement.

The first milestone is the timely start of the periodic review at the latest five years after national approval of the sustainable forest management standard.

In terms of assessment, there will be specific processes for revised and reaffirmed systems, with the assessment of revised systems focusing on changes, making it shorter and lowering costs.

To encourage more stakeholders to provide feedback during the international public consultation, we will organize a webinar to introduce the system and highlight the main aspects (and introduced changes for revised systems).

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Who revised the guide?

Working Group 6 was responsible for the revision of this guide. WG 6 built consensus on the revised document, relying on the involvement of active and committed individuals from different interest groups.

wg6 june

To ensure that no single concerned interest could dominate the process, the WG had balanced representation of interested stakeholders, including geographical representation, and a consensus-driven decision-making process.

WG6 meeting underway

Revision timeline (completed)

  • January – February 2016: Establishment of the Working Group
  • June 2016: First WG meeting
  • October 2016: Second WG meeting
  • February 2017: Third WG meeting
  • March 2017: Conference call (fourth meeting)
  • April - May 2017: Member consultation
  • June 2017: Conference call (fifth meeting)
  • July 2017: WG achieved consensus on the final draft
  • 6 October 2017: PEFC International Board approved the revised guide



There are several ways to get involved in the Standards Revision process:

Working Groups
The most powerful institution in the process: members are responsible for the core of the revision work.

Public Consultations
Provide input into the enquiry drafts through our public consultations.

Revision Newsletter
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