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  FSC chain of custody




FSC and PEFC Auditors


FSC and PEFC Consultant




We offer Chain of Custody auditing and consultancy services to a wide range of clients involved in, or interested in pursuing Chain of Custody Certification to meet the requirements of schemes such as FSC® and PEFC.


What is Chain of Custody Certification?


CoC certification provides evidence that forest products such as paper and wood, originates from certified, well managed forests, and verifies that these products are not mixed with those from uncertified forests at any point in the supply chain from forest to the consumer.


The demand for certified forest products has grown dramatically in recent years, and companies that wish to trade in them need to attain their own CoC certification and be independently audited by an accredited Certification Body to allow them to do so.  Part of this process requires them to keep detailed records of their purchases and sales in order that the certified goods can be traced back to source.


Who are FSC and PEFC?


FSC is an acronym for The Forest Stewardship Council whose mission is to promote environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world's forests.


It is an international organisation founded in 1993 that brings people together to find solutions which promote responsible stewardship of the world’s forests.  For example:

  • It sets international standards for responsible forest management.
  • It accredits independent third party organisations who can certify forest managers and forest product producers to FSC standards.
  • Its “tick-tree” logo provides international recognition to organisations that support the growth of responsible forest management and allow consumers to identify products that support the growth of responsible forest management worldwide.

FSC also enjoys the full support of the environmental NGOs, in particular Greenpeace and WWF. It is the only certification system that is currently recognised by the WWF-UK Forest and Trade Network and is regarded as the benchmark for all forest management standards.


For more information, see the Links towards the foot of this page.


PEFC stands for the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes and is an independent, non-profit organisation that was founded in 1999. PEFC shares some common aims with FSC in that it promotes sustainably managed forests through independent third party certification and provides an assurance mechanism to purchasers of wood and paper products that they are promoting the sustainable management of forests.


PEFC operates on the basis of mutual recognition of independent national forest certification standards that effectively operate under a single brand.  PEFC certification offers an efficient mechanism for companies to demonstrate compliance with the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) which came into force on 3rd March 2013, making it illegal to place illegally harvested timber and timber products on the EU market.


What can The Wood Shop Consultancy do for me?


We’ve been involved with FSC and PEFC since the turn of the century and through our consultancy activities we are able to offer our customers the benefit of our many years of auditing experience and close contact with FSC, PEFC and the certification bodies.


As a wood products consultancy business, we specialise in the timber and wood products sector but have also worked extensively with print and packaging companies. A significant part of our business is now dedicated to helping to ensure that our clients CoC systems are regularly reviewed and maintained.


Need FSC and/or PEFC Certification?  


You need to follow our Four Steps to Certification, a typical example of which would be: 


  1. Scoping Visit - We conduct an initial scoping visit to your company to learn about your business, your existing procedures and processes in order to establish how the CoC requirements can be incorporated into your current systems. 
  2. Document Procedures - We then develop a draft set of Procedures based on information gained during our scoping visit which will detail how you are able to address the requirements of the CoC schemes. 
  3. Review Visit –On our second visit, we are often able to complete the procedures, undertake staff training and review the initial implementation of the systems, leaving you with a complete Chain of Custody Manual ready for audit.
  4. Become Certified! – We are then in attendance to guide you through the audit from your chosen Certification Body and upon successful completion you will be awarded your CoC Certification. 

We don’t stop there…


Certification can be granted, but it can also be taken away!  For this reason, many of our clients engage us to provide ongoing consultancy following certification to ensure that their procedures and systems are kept up to date.


Some of our clients whom we have helped to achieve certification are shown here


We also act when things don't go quite according to plan, such as in the cases below, where we are able to offer our "FSC SOS" (Save Our System) service! 


"Help!! Our details have been taken down from the FSC website and our customers can no longer buy from us!"


If your systems have not been maintained, perhaps due to a change of personnel or over-stretched resources, then you may risk having your certification suspended and your details removed from the FSC and PEFC websites.  This can have a dramatic effect as your customers that require certified products can no longer place orders with you! 


Under these circumstances, we are able to help take all necessary action to get you back on track and on the FSC and PEFC websites ASAP.


"We are pursuing FSC Project Certification and have discovered that we have installed non certified product in the building"


All products supplied to an FSC project must either be supplied as FSC Certified or otherwise meet the requirements for FSC Controlled Wood.  We are experienced in conducting FSC controlled wood Risk Assessments in order that the product can be included in the project; the alternative of having to replace the goods once installed is not a good one and can lead to significant disruption, delay and additional costs.


One project where FSC Project Certification ran smoothly was

Marks & Spencer’s new store at Cheshire Oaks where we were appointed as the external auditor on behalf of BM TRADA Certification.


Free Downloads


Our Download Centre contains useful documents that are free to download to help companies maintain their CoC procedures.


The FSC and PEFC scheme documents are freely available from the relevant websites but for convenience you can also download the core documents from our Download Centre.  Alternatively, visit the FSC and PEFC websites on the links below:






Verify CoC Certificates by visiting the FSC & PEFC certificate checker links below:


FSC Certificate Checker


PEFC Certificate Checker