Forest Management Certification

Ensuring best practices in the forest

FSC-Certified Forest in Eastern Ontario (© Eastern Ontario Forest Group)© Eastern Ontario Forest GroupForest Stewardship Council (FSC) Forest Management certification is a voluntary certification system available to forestry organizations who want to demonstrate responsible forest management by having their forest management planning and practices independently evaluated against FSC’s forest management standards.


Who can apply for Forest Management certification

Forest Management certification is applicable to all forest types and ownership structures (e.g. industrial or private forest owners, forest license holders, community forests, government-managed forests). Forest Management certification may be granted to a single applicant, or to numerous applicants under a group certificate. Small forests and forests that are managed at a low intensity may be eligible under FSC's Small and Low Intensity Managed Forests (SLIMFs) program

Forest Management Standards

All FSC Forest Management (FM) Standards are based on FSC's International Principles & Criteria. At a regional level, indicators and verifiers are further developed in order to reflect the unique environmental and social requirements of the region. In Canada, there are four Regional Forest Management Standards, National Boreal Standard, Maritimes Standard, BC Standard and a fifth, Great Lakes St. Lawrence Standard, which is currently in draft form.

Forest Management Certification Process

An independent third-party Certification Body will conduct a pre-assessment to indicate areas where forest management may not meet FSC’s Standards. Once the forest manager is sure they have filled in any gaps, they may apply for a full evaluation.

The main evaluation process is an in depth review of the forest management systems and their results on the ground. At the end of the evaluation, the assessment team reports to the forest manager regarding any areas where management does not meet the applicable requirements, known as ‘non-conformities’. The Certifier can then issue a certificate, on condition that non-conformities will be corrected or, the Certifier will not issue a certificate until the non-conformities have been solved.

All Forest Management certificates are valid for five years and are audited on an annual basis.

© Forest Stewardship Council® · FSC® F000205