FSC: Updated Covid-19 Derogation for Certification Bodies

Given the recent developments around the global outbreak of COVID-19 and increasing travel restrictions, FSC has updated the derogation that allows certification bodies unable to conduct on-site audits to either postpone the audit or replace it with desk audits.

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

With the flexible audit options, FSC aims 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.