Revised Controlled Wood Standard

Three changes – related to company-conducted and national risk assessments - were made to the revised controlled wood system at the July 2016 meeting of the organization’s international Board of Directors.

Firstly, the Board removed confusion about the conditions of company-conducted risk assessments, deleting the term ‘simplified risk assessments’ from the standard, and asking the FSC global office to provide an alternate name.

Secondly, the Board removed the deadline by which company-conducted risk assessments (soon to have a different name) were allowed. The original deadline was 31 December 2017, at which time FSC’s risk assessments would replace company-conducted risk assessments. However, the Board decided that current company-conducted risk assessments could continue until FSC delivered its own assessment, no matter how long that takes.

Finally, where a national risk assessment process is taking place, companies will be able to use part of the assessment that was agreed through national consensus, even when only some, but not all, categories of the national risk assessment are nationally concluded

How do these decisions affect implementation of the revised standard?

The revised standard still applies, and the requirements for previously-named ‘simplified risk assessments’ still apply as well. However, the standard will be amended by the end of 2016 to reflect the decisions taken by the Board. The deadlines will be removed, the name ‘simplified risk assessment’ will be changed, and the rules for using national risk assessments in progress will be updated.

The transition period for all certified companies to implement the standard remains the same, that is, companies must be using the latest version (V3-0) after 30 June 2017.

Transition to the Revised Standard

Specific details around the transition period:

  • The effective date of the revised standard is July 01, 2016.
  • This begins a one year transition period, during which the current version of the standard is phased out, and the revised version is phased in.
  • Within the transition period, certificate holders can choose to be audited to V2-1 or V3-0, but shall be evaluated against V3-0 by the end of it by June 30, 2017.
  • At the end of the transition period, V2-1 of the standard will be withdrawn. Any outstanding certificates (previously certified against V2-1) shall be withdrawn on December 31, 2017.

Requirements for the transition to revised FSC normative documents are contained in FSC-PRO-01-001 The Development and Revision of FSC Normative Documents.

Training on the revised controlled wood standard

As a result of the revision of the FSC controlled wood system, the controlled wood standard FSC-STD-40-005 was revised. Following this, FSC has established a training programme to assist stakeholders to understand the revised standard, which consists of a series of webinars and informational materials. More information is available here, and materials can be downloaded below.

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