Falcon: A tool for formatting of transaction verification data
During the last years of practical implementation of transaction verification, we have gathered information about which parts of transaction verification is difficult and time consuming for our certificate holders, their auditors, ASI and FSC.
Transaction verification is the verification process required by the FSC chain of custody standard (FSC-STD-40-004 V3) to ensure that FSC output claims made by certificate holders are accurate and match the FSC input claims of their trading partners. The verification is conducted by a certification body and Accreditation Services International (ASI). It is only required for defined regions, species, and/or product groups. For transaction verification to work, all required data must be submitted in the same format.
We have identified that even when providing a template Excel sheet with example, certificate holders often have issues providing data uniformly and in a consistent format, which causes the Excel sheet to go back and forth between ASI, the CB and the certified company several times. This process costs all parties a great deal of time.
A new tool to validate your data quality
To alleviate this administrative burden for all parties, FSC has developed Falcon, which will be released at the end of February 2019.
Falcon is a simple Excel formatting tool that is locally hosted, so does not involve the upload of data into the cloud or outside company firewalls. Falcon empowers FSC certificate holders to prepare for transaction verification by allowing certificate holders to easily check their transaction verification Excel sheets prior to sending them to their auditor. The tool validates that all required fields have been filled in the proper format – e.g. that fields for units are filled with identified possible units, that license numbers have the right format and similar checks.
Falcon will remain a voluntary tool and is primarily relevant for certificate holders subject for transaction verification.
When using the tool, certificate holders can either verify full spreadsheets with claims in a predefined format or enter claims one by one.
Falcon can also be used as a volume summary tool that provides your claims in a preapproved format for audits.
The tool does not, however, perform transaction verification or compare claims across certificate holders. This part of the transaction verification process will still need to be completed by ASI.
For certificate holders interested in using Falcon, the Falcon user guide more information is available at fsccredibility.zendesk.com from where the FSC credibility intervention team can also be contacted for further support.
More advanced tools planned in 2019
In 2019, FSC aims to pilot a blockchain solution with the goal of both dramatically lowering costs and strengthening the integrity of FSC claims, and we believe that emerging technologies like blockchain can be employed in ways that extend the reach of certification to small and medium-size companies.
If you are interested in learning more about this, we encourage you to follow our group on LinkedIn called FSC Digital Innovations.
Input on Falcon is encouraged
We need and value the input of our stakeholders on this new application. It is important to us, that our tool works for you and does not add to your administrative burden. As a result, the new tool will be released in a beta version from the end of February to June 2019 and input is encouraged.
Retirement of the current version of the OCP Software
As part of the process of improving current platforms, we are retiring the current version of the OCP software. We will continue to support all active users until end of May 2019 and will actively help users transition to the Falcon tool, which will be launched by the end of February 2019, and by request facilitate users’ access to archive their information on the platform on the retired version of the OCP platform.
FSC will reach out directly to all active users of the OCP and support migration to other platforms.
Read more on the retirement here.