To the attention of SCC-accredited certification bodies certifying sustainable forest management,
As you are aware, in September of 2015 the new version of ISO/IEC 17021-1 Conformity assessment -- Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of management systems -- Part 1: Requirements was published. As part of their plan to transition their scheme towards the new requirements, the Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI) will be implementing new changes to its program.
Specifically, while Management Systems certifications are required to operate on cycles lasting no longer than three (3) years, under the new ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015, clause 220.127.116.11 Note 3 states: “If specified by the industry specific certification scheme, the certification cycle can be different from three years.” As a result, SFI will be transition back to a five (5) year cycle for the SFI 2015-2019 Forest Management Standard, which they had used previously.
This change will take effect upon the certification body (CB) completing its accreditation to the new ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015. While certification bodies have until June 15, 2017 to complete this transition, SFI has stated their hope that this transition can be achieved during the 2016 accreditation assessments.
Once a certification body has successfully transitioned to ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015, SFI Program Participants will be certified to the revised standard(s) as follows:
- Upon successful completion of a full system audit (initial or recertification), the CB can issue a 5-year certification from the effective date of the certification.
- Upon successful completion of an upgrade at a surveillance audit to the revised standard(s), the CB can issue a 5-year certification from the initial date of the current certification cycle (i.e., add two years to the current expiration date).
This can be applied retroactively to any certifications that have been issued to the revised standard(s) since January 1, 2015.
Please note that this change does not affect Appendix 1 of the SFI 2015-2019 Fiber Sourcing Standard or the SFI 2015-2019 Chain of Custody Standard. Both of these standards rely on ISO 17065:2012 and retain their 5 year certification cycles.
If you have any questions, you can contact either Rassoulou Diallo, manager, technical Services at email@example.com or Gregor Macintosh, Senior Director – Standards at gregor.macintosh@sfiprogram.