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PEFC intensifies cooperation with accreditation bodies

Feb 21 2017

AB training jan 2017Accreditation bodies are the safeguard for credible certification. They ensure the impartiality and competence of the organizations responsible for certifying forest owners and companies – the certification bodies.

Given their importance within the whole PEFC system, it is vital that they are kept up-to-date on all the latest developments at PEFC.

In January, program managers and technical experts from 11 countries travelled to Geneva for an intensive training program, focused specifically on chain of custody.

“While we have been training accreditation bodies for several years, in the past it has always been done through webinars,” said Michael Berger, Head of Technical Unit at PEFC International.

“By holding in-person training it provides both us and the ABs with a much better opportunity for interaction and discussion.”

Looking to the future

The participating accreditation bodies represented a wide spectrum, from those who have been involved in PEFC certification for many years to those planning to set up their PEFC program soon.

AB representatives 2017

“It was fantastic to welcome representatives from Colombia, Ecuador, Ethiopia and Mexico, all of which are all taking their first steps to set up a PEFC accreditation program in their country,” said Johan Vlieger, Technical Unit Officer, who led the two day training session.

In future, this training will become mandatory for all accreditation bodies operating a PEFC accreditation program.

What’s an accreditation body?

The decision by a certification body to award a certificate must be based on an independent, impartial and competent assessment. This means we need to ensure the creditability and competence of their work. This is the job of an accreditation body.

Before a certification body can award a PEFC certificate to a forest owner or company, they must first be accredited by a national accreditation body.

More information

PEFC Certified

Forests area: 300 million ha
Forest owners: > 750,000
Companies (CoC): > 18,800

(as of December 2016)
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