Technical Updates


Wednesday, 09 October 2013
Consultation on the guiding and normative framework for the Dispute Resolution System (DRS)

(c) FSC International

FSC’s Quality Assurance Unit is launching a public consultation on the guiding and normative framework for the Dispute Resolution System


This revision is needed for the following reasons:

  • The normative documents which constitute the present DRS were approved in 2009. Over the past four years, they have been through minor revisions but it is only in the past two years that FSC has tested them on the ground. The complaints that we have managed highlight shortcomings and the need to make the DRS more effective.
  • Many stakeholders think the DRS is too complex. There is a clear demand for simplification at all levels. With this revision, we aim to streamline the procedures and eliminate aspects that stakeholders find confusing.
  • The language of the DRS documents should be improved and inconsistencies addressed.

There are three proposed key changes to the DRS:

  • FSC-STD-01-005 will become a Guidance Document.
  • There will be no procedure for informal complaints. FSC-PRO-01-008 will be used for formal complaints while FSC-PRO-01-009 will be used for Policy for Association (PfA) complaints.
  • The ‘Guidance for Panels evaluating complaints under the Policy for Association’ (FSC-GUI-01-004) will be integrated into the ‘PfA Complaints Procedure’ (FSC-PRO-01-009).

This revision of the DRS was initiated and approved before the revised version of the ‘FSC Procedure for the Development and Revision of FSC Normative Documents’ (FSC-STD-01-001 V3-0) was published.

A separate consultation process was initiated in early September 2013 to revise the ‘Policy for the Association of Organizations with FSC’ (FSC-POL-01-004) and the ‘Due Diligence Evaluation for the Association with FSC’ (FSC-PRO-10-004).

The deadline for comments is 1st December 2013 and further information about the consultation can be found here.

There are a number of areas of work currently open to stakeholder consultation and details of these can be found here.


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