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Standard Setting
How are FSC rules and standards developed?

The FSC Normative Framework comprises a large number of standards, policies and procedures that govern our activities and ensure that the FSC brand remains equitable, credible and practical.

The process to develop, review and revise normative documents is comprehensive, transparent, inclusive and robust, aiming to promote stability and predictability within the FSC system.

All FSC standards and policies are developed by the Policy and Standards Unit based at the FSC International Center in Bonn. Proposals for development of new normative documents may come from any stakeholder. They often originate from membership motions passed at the General Assembly, or the Board of Directors. Stakeholders are invited to comment on proposals before they are presented to the Board of Directors for decision taking.

An internal steering committee is established to oversee the process and a working group to provide technical input and advice during the entire development or revision process of a normative document. Some of these working groups are balanced between environmental, social and economic membership. Interested stakeholders are invited to actively participate in a consultative forum.

The Policy and Standards Unit develops a draft normative document in collaboration with the working group. Public stakeholder consultation is carried out on the first public draft and where needed on following public draft versions before the working group is ready to recommend a final draft for approval by the Board of Directors.

We actively seek input from our membership and other stakeholders, which is fundamentally important for the consensus-building that we foster around even controversial issues. Current normative documents are reviewed and where necessary revised according to a regular cycle. The revision process is implemented following the same requirements as the development process of a new normative document.

We follow the Code of Good Practice for Setting Social and Environmental Standards produced by ISEAL, the global association for social and environmental standards systems. FSC is the only forest certification system recognized by ISEAL as following best practice in standard setting.

Learn more about ISEAL