COVID-19: Guidance for certification bodies and certified companies

PEFC's guidance for chain of custody auditing of PEFC certified companies affected by restrictions due to COVID-19.

COVID-19: Guidance for certification bodies and certified companies

11 March 2020 News

Due to the spread of COVID-19 worldwide, travel and medical restrictions are affecting auditing activities. In order to give some flexibility to certification bodies and certified companies affected by the disease, we have issued the following guidance:

COVID-19: Chain of custody auditing guidance for certification bodies and certified companies 140.03 KB
COVID-19: Chain of custody guidance for certification bodies and certified companies - tracked changes 142.42 KB

This guidance is updated as the situation evolves. You can find the latest guidance, including an overview of the changes, on the COVID-19 section of our website.

The main methods to ease the consequences of travel restrictions are the implementation of remote audits, and where this is not sufficient, the extension of time periods affecting the certificate. This guidance is based on IAF documents and the recently revised PEFC requirements for certification bodies operating chain of custody audits: PEFC ST 2003:2020.

This guidance enters into force and can be applied by certification bodies from the day of its publication (10/03/2020) and is applicable until PEFC Council revokes the guidance.

The document provides general procedures for the application of this guidance, as well as specific rules for initial and re-certification audits, surveillance audits and verification of corrective actions. The latest version (Version 4.2) provides an update on the extension of the validity of the certificates and explicitly adds rules for adding sites to a multi-site certificate, along with editorial corrections.

We extend the transition period for 2020 standards

To support certified entities and certification bodies during the COVID-19 challenge, we have extended the transition period for our three revised international standards by six months. 

This extension applies to the 2020 versions of the Chain of Custody (ST 2002), PEFC Trademarks (ST 2001) and Certification Body Requirements - Chain of Custody (ST 2003) standards. The transition date is now 14 August 2022. Find out more.


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