FSC has developed a new digital audit reporting system to standardize audit reports across all certification bodies and enable better data management and analysis. FSC has piloted this solution and is now ready to expand it to all certification bodies across the globe.

The system will also allow FSC to appropriately access audit data and easily identify trends, impacts and risk areas to evaluate and improve the FSC system. It will also automatically create and translate public summaries from certification processes, ensuring a reduced workload for certification bodies as well as improved quality of the publicly available data.

Currently, only digital reporting on forest management certification is available, and auditors across the world will be trained in their use. Digital reporting for chain of custody certification is planned at a later date.

Usability as key focus

For FSC, it is key that the system is easy to use and integrate into the everyday work of certification bodies. As a result, the developed format for the report is a simple Microsoft Word template with relevant add-in, that can ensure that information is automatically synchronized with the central FSC database.

All information from audit reports inserted into predefined data fields will be captured. However, only a portion of the audit report – that is the public summary – will be open and accessible from the FSC International website. There is no change in what information will be available for the public, but the information will be more accessible and of an improved quality.

The template has been tested by auditors prior to being finalized. It is now available in nine languages and will be translated into more languages where needed.

More information and training are available

A related podcast episode, training videos and an extensive FAQ on the digital system are available. These can be found here.

FSC invites all interested stakeholders, auditors and staff to an introduction webinar, where the new templates and integration with FSC databases will be shown. The webinar will be held on 8 October 2020 at 16.00 Central European Time. Sign up for the webinar here.