Given the recent developments around the global outbreak of COVID-19 and increasing travel restrictions, FSC have updated the derogation that allows Certification Bodies unable to conduct on-site audits to either postpone the audit or replace it with desk audits. Internal auditors of group and multi-site certificates will soon be given similar options.
FSC is aware that desk audits cannot fully replace on-site audits, but they see this derogation as justified in the current situation. “Our priority is to protect the health of staff of Certification Bodies and certificate holders, and to support global measures to minimize the spread of the virus” says FSC. To mitigate the difference in audit intensity and enable FSC to monitor the situation, they are setting up additional reporting requirements for the CBs.
With the flexible audit options, FSC aim 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 FSC derogation (FSC-DER-2020-001). This derogation is valid to 31 December.