Issuing of Corrective Action
Requests for Certification Bodies
Comparable to the evaluation of FMUs, the FSC provides a system that evaluates CBs towards the requirements of FSC-certification (FSC-accreditation).
This means that every CB is evaluated every year to establish whether it is qualified to do FSC-audits in compliance with FSC’s P&C.
In the same way as a CB can correct actions in FMUs, FSC is able to correct the actions of CBs, if there are non-compliances observed. These evaluations are done by ASI on behalf of FSC.
The content of the CAR
Non-conformity may be identified by ASI through audits or review of documentation of certification bodies, or through stakeholder notifications or complaints. The root cause of non-conformity shall be analysed by the lead auditor to determine the need for corrective action. According to its severity, non-conformity shall be graded as MINOR or MAJOR.19 MINOR non-conformity shall trigger a Minor CAR; a MAJOR non-conformity shall trigger a Major CAR. The following table gives an overview on the difference.
The CAR shall describe the nonconformity in a clear and concise manner with the required level of detail to allow the recipient to implement a meaningful corrective action.20
The procedures for Implementing Correction Action Requests are more or less the same if implemented through FMUs according to a non-complaint or implemented through ASI according to a non-conformity.21
An unsuccesful CAR – What now?
Whether or not a corrective action was successful is verified by ASI for each CAR. Measures for not implementing a Major CAR within the allotted time are additional surveillance audit(s) or recommendation of suspension of accreditation to the FSC Board of Directors.
If a Major CAR has not been closed out to the satisfaction of ASI within six (6) months after subsequent suspension of accreditation, and all reasonable attempts by ASI to encourage the certification body to rectify the non-conformance have failed, action shall be taken to withdraw accreditation or reduce the scope of accreditation.22
If a certification body does not fully implement a Minor CAR within the allotted time, the CAR will be upgraded to a Major CAR, unless the ASI Director grants an exceptional extension.23 It is not possible to downgrade a Major Car (see 5.2), but to close a Major Car and to open a Minor Car belonging the same issue.24
CARs and their implementation on this level must be recorded in evaluation reports. Public summaries of these reports are available on ASI’s website.