FSC Check: The first glimpse

FSC / Jesús Antonio Moo Yam
Mexican forest
FSC / Jesús Antonio Moo Yam
June 13, 2023
Category : General news

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is developing a tool to conduct a risk assessment of organizations that want to join or re-join the FSC system to ensure that their values are aligned with those of FSC. This tool, called FSC Check, will be launched on 31 July 2023 and everyone applying for certification or membership will have to go through this new step in the process for getting associated with FSC.

At this stage, existing certificate holders and members are not required to submit their organizational information in FSC Check.

FSC Check will focus on identifying whether applicants for certification or membership have any connection to the six unacceptable activities mentioned in FSC’s Policy for Association. If the results of the information check show that there might be a risk of the applicant being in violation of the Policy for Association, then FSC will not associate with such organizations or individuals.

Through this tool, FSC is implementing the normative procedure called Disclosure Requirements for Association with FSC, which will become effective on 1 July 2023. FSC Check is an online questionnaire that applicants will be required to complete. This questionnaire is based on information requirements identified in the Disclosure Requirements for Association with FSC.

The tool is integrated into FSC’s Trademark Licence Agreement (TLA) signing process – for certification applicants – and the membership approval process for prospective members. Upon receiving an applicant’s information, an automated system will conduct a risk assessment.

The results of the risk assessment will show whether the applicant is low or high risk. Low risk applicants will be redirected to the TLA signing process automatically. For high-risk applicants, FSC will conduct further verification and may ask applicants to submit additional information. If evidence of involvement in unacceptable activities is found, FSC will not accept their application for association.

Main steps of FSC Check:

  1. The certification bodies managing the certification process for their respective new clients, or FSC Membership team receiving an application for membership, will start the process by creating a new applicant in FSC’s certification database.
  2. The applicant will be invited to answer the questionnaire and submit the requested information.
  3. An automated system will compare the applicant’s information against a list of disassociated entities and members to gauge the risk level of the applicant.
  4. Based on the result of the risk assessment, an applicant will either be directed to TLA signing or final steps for membership application process or be contacted by FSC for additional information. If an applicant has engaged in any unacceptable activity, FSC will reject the application.


To read the Disclosure Requirements for Association with FSC, click here.

For more information about the unacceptable activities listed in the Policy for Association, click here.

Find answers to questions about FSC Check in these FAQs by clicking here.


This article was updated to reflect the current launch date of FSC Check.