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PEFC Standards Revision

The Revision Process

The PEFC standards revision process goes through a series of key phases to ensure that our standards are revised in a consensus-driven process that is open and transparent, involving all relevant stakeholders.

The phases are set out in PEFC's Technical Documents Development Procedures (PEFC GD 1003:2009).

The standards revision phases

  • Phase 1 - Proposal Stage
    The project proposal is prepared and approved by the Board of Directors.
  • Phase 2 - Preparatory Stage
    Working Group (WG) established and a first working draft document developed.
  • Phase 3 - Working Group Stage I
    Based on the first working papers, the WG is expected to find consensus to create an enquiry draft. Phase usually requires 2-5 meetings.
  • Phase 4 - Enquiry Stage
    Stakeholder consultations (direct stakeholders, members and public consultations) on enquiry draft. Stakeholder feedback/comments processed.
  • Phase 5 - Working Group Stage II
    Based on the consideration of comments, the WG builds consensus to create the final draft. Phase usually requires 1-2 meetings.
  • Phase 6 - Approval Stage
    Final draft submitted to the Board of Directors and PEFC General Assembly for formal approval.
  • Phase 7 - Publication Stage
    Approved document published on the PEFC website. PEFC members and stakeholders (accreditation and certification bodies in particular) informed.
  • Phase 8 - Implementation Stage
    PEFC schemes assessed for compliance with revised requirements, and evaluation of the implications of the revised requirements.

The Working Groups

The standards revision process is driven by multi-stakeholder Working Groups (WGs). The WGs build consensus on the respective technical documentation, relying on the involvement of active and committed individuals from different interest groups.

The six Working Groups are:

The work of the WGs is coordinated by Michael Berger, PEFC's Head of Technical Unit, with PEFC International providing organizational and administrative support.

Establishing the Working Groups

To ensure that no single concerned interest can dominate the process, all WGs have balanced representation of interested stakeholders, including geographical representation, and a consensus-driven decision making process.

Stakeholder categories within the WGs are derived from the major groups outlined in the UN Agenda 21 (Business & Industry; NGOs; Scientific & Technological Communities; Farmers & Small Forest Landowners; Workers & Trade Unions; Local Authorities; Indigenous People; Women; and Children & Youth).

We have further refined the desired composition of a WG and require at least the following stakeholder categories to participate:

  1. Materially affected certifiable stakeholders (Forest Landowners & Managers, Forest-based Businesses and Industry)
  2. Conformity Assessment Community (Certification Bodies, Accreditation Bodies, Assessors)
  3. End User – Customers & Consumers (Retail & Consumer, Institutional Users, Governments & Local Authorities)
  4. Civil Society (NGOs; Workers & Trade Unions; Scientific & Technological Communities; Indigenous People; Women; and Children & Youth)
  5. PEFC Members (PEFC National Governing Body Members)

The role of the PEFC Board of Directors and the PEFC General Assembly is limited to the formal approval (or rejection) of the revised standards; these bodies are not developing the final draft standards agreed by the WG.


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.

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