Our job at AGC is to make the auditing and certification processes as simple as possible. And as FSC certification auditors, you can bet we’ve seen a thing or two during our annual audits.

It’s in that spirit that we’ve put together a few common audit findings we’ve found over the years (pun intended). In addition, we’ve included suggested best practices for you so you can avoid a few of the more common “findings” during your next annual audit.

Finding: Operations Manual (OM) does not reflect the Organization’s current business practices.

Best Practice: Remove or update the sample language from the AGC template to ensure your Operations Manual (OM) has been updated to reflect your company’s processes. Red instructional text should be removed, and sample language should be updated and/or removed.

Finding: Promotional trademarks have not been approved.

Best Practice: FSC trademarks used on websites, advertising materials, and other promotional products must receive approval prior to use, similar to on-product trademarks. When in doubt, submit it for approval.

The FSC Trademark Standard (FSC-STD-50-001) contains specific requirements for trademark usage. You can also request support from AGC’s trademark guru, Jess Gillen.

Finding: Outdated certificate code is used on sales and delivery documents and/or promotional materials.

Best Practice: Read through recent email updates from Jess Gillen to ensure you’ve captured all updated information. Although we try to keep emails to a minimum, this year (2020) has seen an increase of updates.

If you see an update come through, please pay close attention. If you’re unsure of your certificate code, check with us or check your certificate on info.fsc.org.

Finding: Sales and delivery documents do not contain the required FSC details.

Best Practice: At a minimum, sales documents for FSC jobs must contain the FSC claim and certificate code. However, it is highly recommended you include this information on both sales and delivery documents.

Reminder: Your supplier sales and delivery documents must include their CoC code and full FSC claim. Your Organization should then include the FSC claim and your CoC code on sales and delivery documents to your customer.

Finding: Corrective Action Requests (CARs) have not been addressed within the required timeframe.

Best Practice: If you have Corrective Action Requests (CARs) issued during an audit, be sure to set a reminder in your calendar to address them in a timely manner. Not addressing CARs could have a negative impact on your certificate.

Reminder: Minor CARs must be corrected within 12 months from issuance. Major CARs must be corrected within 90 days along with a root cause analysis.

As always, AGC is here to help!

If you have any questions or need additional support, feel free to reach out to us anytime.