FSC is aware that desk audits cannot fully replace on-site audits, but we see this derogation as justified in the current situation: Our priority is to protect the health of staff of certification bodies and certificate holders, and to support global measures to minimize the spread of the virus. To mitigate the difference in audit intensity and enable us to monitor the situation, we are setting up additional reporting requirements for the CBs.

With the flexible audit options, we aim to assure certificate holders that they need not be concerned of losing their certification status because auditors and staff are unable to conduct on-site audits in these challenging times.

Additional information can be found in the amended FSC derogation (FSC-DER-2020-001). A new auditor requirement derogation (FSC-DER-2020-004) is also published, including regulations concerning auditor qualification and continuous auditor qualification.

Both derogations are valid to 31 December.