Technical Updates


Tuesday, 01 December 2020
Updated and New COVID-19 Derogations


Due to the pandemic of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), vast areas of the world continue to be subject to travel restrictions, affecting certification bodies’ ability to perform on-site audits. To address this ongoing situation, FSC has

  • updated two derogations,
  • issued one new derogation, and
  • withdrawn two derogations which expired (CoC-specific derogations addressing supply chain constraints).

The amended derogations (FSC-DER-2020-004 and FSC-DER-2020-001) continue to be applicable and have been adapted to reflect the continued impact of the pandemic on certification bodies and certificate holders in performing audits on-site and ability to be audited on site. This includes extensions through June 30, 2021, or until withdrawn by FSC (in response to the global development of the COVID-19 pandemic).

Key elements of the new derogation FSC-DER-2020-012:

  • A ‘hybrid model’ for FM audits where on-site audit parts can be supported by technical experts/auditors on the ground while the audit team leader may conduct the audit remotely.
  • A section on pre-conditions that need to be fulfilled and covers the competence and required previous experience of supporting technical experts.
  • Applicability of the hybrid model to any type of audit.

Derogations may be viewed within a single volume that includes derogations, interpretations, and frequently asked questions, or individually:

All COVID-19-related updates and information from FSC may be accessed here: https://www.fsc.org/en/news?category=271


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