PEFC logo



PEFC Standards Revision

Revising THE process: endorsement and mutual recognition

Jun 17 2016

wg6meetingjuneEndorsing national forest certification systems is what we do: it’s even in our name - the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). So it is fair to say that the PEFC process for the endorsement and mutual recognition of forest certification system is THE process of our organization.

This process is now under scrutiny, as part of our comprehensive Standards Revision process that is currently underway. The responsibility of its revision falls to Working Group 6, which met for the first meeting on 1 - 2 June, in Geneva, Switzerland.

The WG members began with focusing on how the effectiveness and efficiency of the endorsement and mutual recognition process can be increased, as well as how we can improve the comprehensibility and readability of the complex assessment reports.

The Working Group will now meet in October this year to discuss a first Working Draft document of the revised process.

The endorsement process

The endorsement and mutual recognition process defines the requirements under which a national system is assessed by an external assessor to determine whether the documentation complies with the rigorous PEFC International Sustainability Benchmarks.

If the assessment is positive, the system is recommended for (re-) endorsement to the PEFC General Assembly. As sign for mutual recognition, each PEFC member can vote and decide on this recognition.

The process ensures a transparent evaluation of the national system documentation. Each interested stakeholder can participate in an international consultation during the assessment period and raise concerns or bring forward questions of understanding.

The assessment reports are publicly available and describe in detail the assessment process and potential non-conformities in the system documentation. This provides a degree of transparency and engagement going beyond common practice in the certification community.

The revision process

WG 6 is one of six Working Groups currently embarked on the revision of several of our PEFC International Standards.

WG 1: Sustainable Forest Management Standard, WG 2: Forest Management Certification Procedures and Group Certification and WG 3: Standard Setting Procedures have already completed their first meetings.

The call for nominations for the remaining two Working Groups - WG 4: Chain of Custody and Labelling and WG 5: Chain of Custody Certification Procedures – closed recently.

These WGs will all meet 2-5 times to build consensus on the creation of an enquiry draft standard. This draft will then go through public consultation before approval and publication.

Get involved


If you have any question about the revision process, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our contact point:

Christian Kämmer
Technical Officer, PEFC International


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

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

Expert Forum
The deliberations of the Working Groups will be informed by two online Expert Forums for SFM and for CoC.
Join the SFM Forum
Join the CoC Forum

Revision Newsletter
Sign up to stay up-to-date!

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

Stakeholder Conference
Join us to discuss the revision work face-to-face and provide your input.