Certification is the process of validating an organisation is in compliance with the Responsible Wood Certification Scheme.

Certification is the tool to verify that forests are being managed responsibly to deliver social, environmental and economic benefits now and in the future. It is also the tool to connect the consumer with the sustainable origins of wood and wood products.

To ensure that certification is objective and impartial, it is carried out by independent accredited certification bodies.

After a forest owner or company is satisfied that they meet the requirements of the Responsible Wood Certification Scheme, they need to contact an accredited certification body and request an audit to confirm their practices. During an audit, the auditor will assess whether practices on the ground meet the Standards through, for example, field visits and consultations with stakeholders.

If compliance is demonstrated, the certification body issues a certificate valid for three to five years, after which the operators must become re-certified.

Additional checks are done through annual surveillance audits to proactively verify on-going compliance. Only operations who continuously meet our standards earn the right to make “Responsible Wood-certified” claims and use the Responsible Wood label.

Three Pillars of Credible Certification

Credible certification requires certification decisions to be impartial, independent and competent. This means that standard setting, certification and accreditation must be completely separate in order to eliminate the risk of conflicts of interest and ensure the highest level of competency

Standard Setting

The process of defining certification requirements in collaboration with stakeholders.


The process of checking whether a forest owner or company fulfils the certification requirements, carried out by a certification body.


The process of assessing the competence of the certification body, carried out by a national accreditation body recognised by government.


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Detailed requirements for certification