Technical Updates

Wednesday, 08 March 2017
Forest Management Standard Testing Well on its Way


With the release of Draft 2 of the National Forest Management Standard, FSC Canada has embarked on the testing phase of standard development. Find out what we’re testing and where we are in the process.

Our goal with testing is to critically and objectively evaluate the possibility of conformance and implementation of the proposed Draft 2 indicators by a Forest Management Enterprise. We will also be assessing:

  • Impacts of significant changes against existing requirements;
  • Applicability over a range of conditions,
  • Forest types and contexts;
  • Socio-economic impacts of conformance; and
  • Auditability of the proposed indicators.

FSC’s Testing Program is divided into 2 general testing categories: internal and external tests. The primary difference between these types of tests is that internal tests are conducted by FSC staff/consultants and involve a more informal method of inquiry by presenting scenarios and analyzing potential outcomes. Alternatively, external tests are conducted by an independent 3rd party audit team and involves a more formal and objective evaluation of the implementation of Draft 2 requirements.

In total, 24 tests will be conducted, including 3 field tests of the entire standard, as well as 21 additional tests that explore key topics, including:

  • Dispute Resolution
  • Principle 3 & FPIC
  • Woodland caribou
  • Landscape Analysis
  • Stakeholder engagement in conservation land planning
  • Retention
  • Aquatic requirements

To ensure testing is representative of a wide range of forest types in Canada, we have chosen 15 forests that: vary from small, low intensity forests to large forests; are FSC-certified and non FSC-certified; public and private forests, and that are located in various regions across the country. FSC Canada would like to thank the 15 participating Forest Management Enterprises for volunteering to be part of the testing program.

Next Steps

Once the testing phase is complete in April/May 2017, the results will be used to inform the Standard Development Group’s final revision of the draft national standard, prior to submitting to FSC international for approval. A public summary of the general findings will be made public once the testing process is complete.


FSC Canada is currently revising its Forest Management Standards (National Boreal Standard, Maritimes Standard, BC Standard and Great Lakes-St. Lawrence draft Standard) and aligning the Standards with the new Principles and Criteria. On December 1, 2015, Draft 1 of the standard was released for public consultation and a second draft was released on November 24th, 2016 for a 60-day public consultation. A final version of the standard is set to be completed by fall 2017.

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