Changes on the horizon for the PEFC endorsement process
8 March 2017 Endorsement
The PEFC process for the endorsement and mutual recognition of national forest certification system is THE process of our organization. We need to ensure it is the best it can be.
Progress so far
Since our last update, Working Group 6, the body responsible for the revision of this standard, has met two times – most recently just last month.
Together, the members of the Working Group have used their combined knowledge, expertise and experience to develop a Working Draft of the new standard. The main changes are proposed in the following areas:
Improving the stakeholder engagement during the international consultation
This could for example be achieved through webinars to introduce the applicant system before the consultation begins.
Aligning the endorsement process with the national standard setting process
In line with developments in Working Group 3 on standard setting, the endorsement process should reflect the national process. The endorsement validity should take into account that a national review/revision process will start five years after the national approval of a standard.
Streamlining the assessment of already endorsed systems
Endorsed systems will be reviewed at national level after five years. If this review leads to a revision of a limited number of requirements, the international assessment should only focus on those changes. This approach would recognize the previous assessment results of the unchanged requirements.
Work so far has been focused on developing a Working Draft, which will eventually lead to a final Enquiry Draft version of the document. However, the Working Group has not yet finalized the Enquiry Draft.
An additional conference call is set to be organized in March to discuss final changes and achieve consensus on the Enquiry Draft. Once the Enquiry Draft is ready it will be published for public consultation – this is expected for the end of March.
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, WG 3: Standard Setting Procedures and WG 4: Chain of Custody and Labelling are all well into the revision process. The call for nominations for WG 5: Chain of Custody Certification Procedures is closed and we are evaluating all available nominations.
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.