Firstly, the Board removed confusion about the conditions of company-conducted risk assessments, deleting the term ‘simplified risk assessments’ from the standard, and asking the FSC global office to provide an alternate name.

Secondly, the Board removed the deadline by which company-conducted risk assessments (soon to have a different name) were allowed. The original deadline was 31 December 2017, at which time FSC’s risk assessments would replace company-conducted risk assessments. However, the Board decided that current company-conducted risk assessments could continue until FSC delivered its own assessment, no matter how long that takes.

Finally, where a national risk assessment process is taking place, companies will be able to use part of the assessment that was agreed through national consensus, even when only some, but not all, categories of the national risk assessment are nationally concluded

The revised standard still applies, and the requirements for previously-named ‘simplified risk assessments’ still apply as well. However, the standard will be amended by the end of 2016 to reflect the decisions taken by the Board. The deadlines will be removed, the name ‘simplified risk assessment’ will be changed, and the rules for using national risk assessments in progress will be updated.

The transition period for all certified companies to implement the standard remains the same, that is, companies must be using the latest version (V3-0) after 30 June 2017.