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Procedure for the Accreditation of Certification Bodies for the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Chain of Custody and/or PEFC Chain of Custody programs

PUBLIC PROCEDURE PRO-PR-155-SFI Issued: 2016-4-21, Revision: 1

References PRO-FR-104: Application for Accreditation of Product Certification Program
PRO-FR-134: PRO Assessor Qualification Requirements and Record
PRO-FR-135-SFI: ANSI Checklist for Accreditation Annex 2 SFI Chain of Custody Standard October 2006 & to PEFC Chain of Custody of Forest Based Products Requirements, Annex 4 (June 05 – Revised 10/27/06)
PRO-PL-101: Policy and Criteria for Accreditation of Product Certification Programs
PRO-PL-102: Manual of Operations for Accreditation of Product Certification Programs
PRO-PL-103: Operating Procedures of the Accreditation Committee
PRO-PR-112: Information on the Application Process
PRO-PR-116: Surveillance and Reassessment of Accredited Product Certification Bodies
PRO-PR-118: Witness Assessment of Product Certification Bodies
PRO-PR-120: Assessment Report
PRO-PR-146: Technical Assessor
Annex 2 – SFI Chain of Custody Standard
Annex 3 – Rules for Use of SFI Product labels
Annex 4 – Chain of Custody of Forest Based Products – Requirements
Annex 5 – PEFC Logo Use Rules
Annex 6 – Certification & Accreditation Procedures
Audit Procedures & Qualifications (SFI APQ)
ISO 19011:2002, Guidelines for quality and/or environmental management systems auditing
ISO/IEC 17065:2012, Conformity assessment - Requirements for bodies certifying products, processes and services
PEFC Council Minimum Requirements Checklist GL 2/2005
1.1This procedure provides ANSI criteria and guidelines for the accreditation of certification bodies in accordance with ANSI and ISO/IEC 17065 requirements. This procedure applies to the accreditation of certification bodies for the Sustainable Forest Initiative Chain of Custody (SFI CoC) and/or the PEFC Chain of Custody (PEFC CoC) programs for forest based products from the forest to the end use.
1.2Scope: An organization must meet requirements for chain of custody, if its declarations and /or labels referring to the origin of raw material used in the products sold/transferred are to be recognized as credible and reliable. The term, “organization,” is used to cover any body harvesting, transporting, handling or processing forest based products at any stage from a forest to a final consumer. Chain of custody requirements describe the process of how to precede from the informational stage regarding the origin associated with the procured raw material to that regarding the origin which is attached to the organization’s products.
NOTE : A list of applicable program documents can be found on - the ANSI website: - the SFI website: - the PEFC website:
2.1As a general rule, definitions of ISO/IEC 17000 and ISO 9000 are applicable. Additionally, the definitions in the SFI & PEFC Program Documents apply.
SECTION 1 - Requirements and Process to Accredit Certification Bodies in Accordance with the SFI CoC &/or PEFC CoC Program requirements.
3Accreditation Requirements
3.1ANSI Requirements
3.1.1In order to be eligible for accreditation, the applicant Certification Body shall comply with ANSI criteria, as defined in PRO-PL-101 and PRO-PL-102. International consistency is further reinforced by ANSI’s adherence to the requirements of the International Accreditation Forum, Inc. - Guidance on the application of ISO/IEC 17065 and the Pacific Accreditation Cooperation, as detailed in PAC Product Certification – Supplement Guidance on the application of ISO/IEC 17065.
3.1.2ANSI, as a recognized Accreditation Body, shall ensure that accredited SFI CoC &/or PEFC CoC Certification Bodies meet the requirements contained in the ANSI policy and procedures and the SFI CoC &/or PEFC CoC program documents.
3.2Sector Specific Requirements
3.2.1SFI CoC &/or PEFC CoC Accreditation Requirements specific accreditation requirements are contained in SFI Annex 2 “SFI Chain of Custody Standard” & PEFC Annex 4 “Chain of Custody of Forest based Products - Requirements” (SFI CoC &/or PEFC CoC).
3.2.2Scopes of Accreditation scope of an applicant body shall be defined in accordance with the methods set forth in SFI CoC &/or PEFC CoC program documents. Using these methods ensures that applicants are provided with an accurate and unambiguous description of the areas of capability within which the certification body is accredited. applicant can apply for one scope or both scopes at the same time. an extension of scope, the accredited certification program shall formally apply to ANSI by letter or e-mail. Each request for an extension of scope will be individually reviewed, and a decision on whether or not the extension of scope requires additional assessment will be determined by ANSI.
3.2.3Administrative and Operational Requirements administrative and operational requirements to which the Certification Body is subject are contained in the SFI CoC &/or PEFC CoC program documents.
3.2.4Subcontracting Certification Body may use subcontractors according to the provisions in ISO/IEC 17065 and any requirement defined by SFI CoC &/or PEFC CoC program documents.
4Application for Accreditation
4.1Information on the Procedure - Preliminary Letter of Application for accreditation
4.1.1ANSI evaluates inquiries from applicants to determine their eligibility in accordance with PRO-PL-101: Policy and Criteria for Accreditation of Product Certification Programs and PRO-PL-102: Manual of Operations for Accreditation of Product Certification Programs.
4.2Analysis of the Preliminary Letter of Application
4.2.1The analysis of the Preliminary Letter of Application is conducted in accordance with PRO-PL-101: Policy and Criteria for Accreditation of Product Certification Programs and PRO-PL-102: Manual of Operations for Accreditation of Product Certification Programs. Applicants found to be in compliance with ANSI eligibility requirements are sent an application package.
4.3The Application
4.3.1The documents, which ANSI provides to the Certification Body applicant, are listed in PRO-PR-112: Information on the Application Process. Applicants shall provide documents and background information to initiate the accreditation process in accordance with PRO-PL-101.
NOTE: Applicants are encouraged to provide electronic versions of application documentation. When electronic submission is not possible, five copies of all application materials must be submitted to ANSI.
4.3.2The application is processed in accordance with PRO-PL-101, PRO-PL-102, and PRO-PR-112. The applicant shall inform ANSI of the scope of accreditation for which it is applying as requested in PRO-FR-104. The applicant can apply for:
a)SFI Chain of Custody
b)PEFC Chain of Custody
c)SFI Chain of Custody and PEFC Chain of Custody
4.3.3ANSI will close any application that has been inactive for more than 90 days. An application will be considered inactive if an applicant does not reply to written informational requests nor actions required by ANSI. ANSI will provide a written notice prior to the 70th day. If the application is closed, and the applicant subsequently decides to apply again, it will have to submit a new application package and pay new initial fees.
4.4Preparation for Assessment
4.4.1The preparation for the initial assessment is described in PRO-PL-102.
4.5Assessment/Qualification of ANSI Assessment Team
4.5.1The assessment team will conduct the initial assessment at the site of the applicant to confirm its full conformance with ANSI and SFI CoC &/or PEFC CoC accreditation criteria. The assessment is conducted in accordance with PRO-PL-102 and SFI CoC &/or PEFC CoC program documents.
4.5.2Qualification criteria, duties, and responsibilities for the technical expert member of the ANSI assessment team are defined in PRO-FR-134 and PRO-PR-146.
4.5.3Initial assessments are conducted at the applicant’s head office and at other locations that perform activities related to the certification process. See requirements defined in PRO-PL-102.
4.5.4The assessment team will produce a draft summary report that details the applicant’s conformance to ANSI and SFI CoC &/or PEFC CoC program documents and complete a non-conformity and corrective actions form that sets out the findings and the related specific requirements. Both the summary report and the form will be presented to the applicant and reviewed during an exit meeting at the end of the on-site visit.
4.6Witness Assessment
4.6.1During the initial assessment ANSI will conduct at least one witness assessment per scope to verify the competency of the Certification Body applicant to conduct visits of its clients for each requested scope in accordance with PRO-PR-018 and SFI CoC &/or PEFC CoC program documents.
4.7Assessment Report
4.7.1The assessment and technical reports are developed in accordance with PRO-PR-120. For the technical assessment, the technical expert shall take into consideration the clauses contained in PRO-PR-146 as well as in SFI CoC &/or PEFC CoC Program Documents. The assessment and technical reports will be sent to the applicant within 30 days of the initial assessment.
4.8Decision on Accreditation
4.8.1The applicant shall send a corrective action plan to address any issued non-conformities and required actions. The response shall either provide evidence of completion of any required corrective actions or shall present a corrective action plan to address the non-conformities. This plan shall include a completion date not exceeding 90 days from receipt of the final report.
4.8.2Corrective actions for all issued non-conformities must be addressed, verified, and closed before the application can proceed to the approval stage.
4.8.3Once all required actions are satisfied, ANSI forwards the following documents to the Evaluation Task Group (ETG) for its review:
a)Plan for Initial Assessment;
b)ANSI Initial Assessment Report and Technical Assessment Report;
c)Witness Assessment Report on Certification Body;
d)Non-conformity/Corrective Action Record; and
e)Report of the ETG.
4.8.4During a conference call the ETG members review the documents related to the applicant’s initial assessment and decide whether or not to recommend its accreditation to the ANSI Accreditation Committee. The assessment team who conducted the on-site assessment participates in the portion of the conference related to the applicant.
4.8.5The ANSI Accreditation Committee bases its accreditation decisions on ANSI accreditation requirements and SFI CoC &/or PEFC CoC program documents.
4.8.6The ANSI Accreditation Program provides accreditation documents to its accredited bodies in the form of a certificate signed by the ANSI Vice President of Accreditation Services. This certificate will contain the following:
a)Name and address;
b)All sites covered by the accreditation;
c)Scope of the accreditation granted;
d)Effective accreditation date; and
e)Expired date of accreditation.
4.9Surveillance and Reassessment Procedures
4.9.1Surveillance and reassessments are conducted annually in accordance with PRO-PL-102 and SFI CoC &/or PEFC CoC program documents. The witness assessment is also conducted in accordance with PRO-PR-118 during the surveillance and re-assessments.
4.10.1All records are maintained in accordance with PRO-PL-101, PRO-PL-102, and SFI CoC &/or PEFC CoC program documents.
4.11Reference to Accreditation Status
4.11.1ANSI will provide the to Sustainable Forest Board and PEFC International with the list of accredited certification bodies that comply with ANSI and SFI CoC &/or PEFC CoC Program Documents. ANSI maintains this information in a database.
4.11.2ANSI is the owner of the "ANSI accreditation symbol" intended for use under the ANSI Accreditation Program for product certification. The ANSI Accreditation Program for product certification allows an accredited body to refer to "ANSI accreditation symbol" in certificates, reports, stationery, and publicity materials related to its accredited activities.
4.11.3The Accreditation Program does not allow the use of its symbol in any way that implies that ANSI has approved a product or service certified by an accredited body. The Accreditation Program symbol shall not be used on a product or in any other way that may be interpreted as denoting product conformance or endorsement by ANSI.
4.11.4The Accreditation Program will take suitable action, including corrective action, suspension or withdrawal of accreditation, publication of the transgression and, if necessary, any other legal action, to deal with misleading references to the accreditation or a misleading use of the accreditation mark found in advertisement, catalogues, etc.
4.12Certification body personnel (ISO/IEC 17065, Clause 6.1)
4.12.1The management of the certification body shall define the requirements for establishing the competence of the auditors and technical experts that it uses to conduct audits, whether they are employees, employed on contract or provided by external bodies.
4.12.2Auditors shall meet the requirements of the appropriate international documentation. For the audit of a CoC and the relevant guidelines for auditing and the relevant criteria for auditors are those defined in ISO 19011.
4.12.3Technical experts are not required to comply with the requirements for auditors in ISO 19011. Guidance on their personal attributes may be obtained from ISO 19011, Clause 7.2.
4.12.4All auditors and audit team leaders shall possess the competencies identified in ISO 19011, Clause 7.3, and meet the levels of education, work experience, auditor training and audit experience specified in ISO 19011, Table 1. A minimum of two years of the five year period of work experience specified in Table 1 shall involve practical work at a professional or semi-professional level in the wood or forest products sector which contributes to the competence requirements specified at Clause 10.5. Note 2 to Table 1 does not justify reducing this two-year period.
4.12.5The audit team shall collectively possess knowledge and understanding of the following subjects as they apply to the wood and forest products sector. A team may consist of one person if that person has the knowledge and understanding at a) to d) of:
a)forest management practices including procurement and marketing of wood or forest products;
b)inventory, stock, or logistics control;
c)processing and manufacturing or conversion of wood products (eg. from round to solid, paper or board products); and
d)the retail and wholesale timber industry.
4.12.6The knowledge and understanding specified at Clause 10.5 may be demonstrated through educational qualifications, sector-specific training and/or onsite experience, or a combination of these.
4.12.7The certification body shall be able to demonstrate using two or more of the methods specified in ISO 19011, Table 2 that the level of competence required of an auditor selected to be part of an audit team is appropriate to the objectives and scope of the particular audit in which he/she participates.
4.12.8In selecting the audit team, consideration should be given to ISO 19011, Clauses 6.2.4 and any specific competence necessary to meet the audit objectives; see Clause 10.5.
4.12.9The certification body shall have personnel with appropriate, defined technical and management competency to:
a)assess applications and conduct contract reviews;
b)select auditors and verify their competence;
c)brief auditors and arrange any necessary training;
d)implement assessment (audit), surveillance, reassessment procedures;
e)decide on the granting, maintaining, withdrawing, suspending, extending, or reducing of certification; and
f)set up operate complaints and appeals procedures.
4.12.10The certification body shall have procedures to ensure that each auditor and audit team leader is fully evaluated on-site by competent CoC audit team leader, or a competent audit team leader from another discipline assisted by a CoC auditor or technical specialist; and found to be competent prior to authorizing the auditor or audit team leader to audit unsupervised. Full evaluation means, where appropriate, evaluating the auditor’s or audit team leader’s planning, leading and auditing skills and technical knowledge as applicable. This should include evaluation against all of the technical elements of the CoC standard. Conversion from auditor to audit team leader may only require evaluation where a previous evaluation verified the auditor’s auditing skills and technical competence.
4.12.11A positive written report on an audit witnessed by ANSI may be used as a demonstration of meeting the requirements at clause 10.10 within the scope of the witnessed audit.
4.12.12If a certification body uses technical experts, its systems shall include details of how technical experts are selected and how their technical knowledge is assured on a continuing basis. The certification body may rely on outside help, for example, from industry or professional institutions or associations. Technical experts shall not perform an independent auditing function within the team and shall be supervised by an auditor who meets the certification body’s generic competence criteria for auditors, and at all times work in close co-operation with such an auditor.
4.12.13The certification body shall assess the conduct of a technical expert the first time he/she is used to assist with an assessment; and subsequently monitor his/her performance and keep records of these assessments.
4.12.14The certification body should establish the frequency of witnessing activities to take account of the criticality and volume of the work being undertaken, the experience and performance history of the auditors/technical experts and any date obtained from other types of monitoring activity such as review of audit reports and market feedback.
4.12.15All audit team operating on-site shall include a member who is a CoC audit team leader.
4.13Changes in the Accreditation Requirements
4.13.1ANSI will give due notice of any changes to be made to its requirements for accreditation and will take into account views expressed by interested parties before deciding on the precise form and effective date of the changes. ANSI shall verify that each accredited body carries out any necessary adjustments to its procedures within a reasonable time period.
4.14Appeals and Complaints
4.14.1Complaints brought before the Accreditation Committee shall be forwarded to the Certification Body for resolution in accordance with the Certification Bodies complaint and dispute procedures. Confer clauses in PRO-PL-002.
4.14.2Complainants have the right to appeal to ANSI if they are not satisfied with the outcome of the Certification Bodies process.
4.15Access to Records of Appeals and Complaints
4.15.1The Accreditation Program requires that each applicant and accredited body make available its records of all complaints and appeals, and subsequent actions available to ANSI, when requested.
4.15.2ANSI shall:
a)Maintain records of all appeals, complaints and mediations relative to accreditation;
b)Take appropriate corrective and preventive action; and
c)Document the actions taken and assess their effectiveness.
SECTION 2 Applications for Certification in Accordance with ISO/IEC 17065 and SFI CoC &/or PEFC CoC Program Documents.
5Notification Requirements
5.1The notification requirements for scopes are contained in SFI CoC &/or PEFC CoC program documents.
6Certification Information
6.1The CB is required to provide certification information as described in License/Sublicense and Certification Agreements.
7Information on the Certification Scheme
7.1Refer to SFI CoC &/or PEFC CoC current Standard.
7.2The CB shall implement the certification activities as defined by ISO/IEC 17065:2012 as applicable, and the SFI CoC &/or PEFC CoC Certification scheme requirements.

Gerald H. Ritterbusch Conformity Assessment Medal