NCCF India and  PEFC  International’s Joint Training Course for  PEFC Chain of Custody Certification Auditors Concludes Successfully

Network for Certification and Conservation of Forests (NCCF) organized a two day PEFC CoC auditor’s training on 6th-7th August 2020 in an online mode jointly with PEFC International which was the first training after the revision of the PEFC CoC Standard in 2020. .

The training was attended by 33 auditors and 10 observers and experts representing CBs and accreditation board from several countries including India, Vietnam, Russia, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore and Indonesia. The training included subjects like ‘detailed requirements under PEFC Chain of Custody of forest and tree based products’, ‘PEFC trademark rules’, ‘requirements for CBs operating against PEFC Chain of Custody’, ‘NCCF, AB & CB requirements’ and ‘PEFC & CB engagement’. In addition there was session by NCCF & NABCB covering the national scenario and accreditation scenario respectively.

On day 1, 6th August 2020, Mr. A.K. Srivastava, Director General, NCCF  presented a brief about the objectives and activities of NCCF and the need of CoC certification in promoting sustainability, trade and other social and economic benefits.

Mr. Richard Laity, Projects and Development Officer at Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), South East Asia, gave a brief introduction about PEFC including the work they perform, strength and modalities, the main drivers pushing for certification and how is PEFC different from other certification systems. He maintained that Forest certification should not be an option but an essential requirement.

Dr Mrutunjay Jena, Director, NABCB, highlighted the growing trend in demand for CoC certification and about the accreditation requirements for the CBs.

Mr. Anil Jauhri, Chairperson, Certification Advisory Group, NCCF (ex-CEO, NABCB) mentioned that NCCF’s Forest Management Standard, getting endorsed by PEFC,  is a rare honour, as there are hardly any certification schemes in India which have been able to get benchmarked internationally. As consciousness about sustainability grows, demand for forest produce related certifications is growing and NCCF scheme is ideally placed to address India’s need of certification.

The training sessions were conducted by Mr. Richard Laity, master trainer of the session along with his team comprising of Ms. Linda Matole, Technical Officer, PEFC and Ms. Nga Ha, PEFC SEA Coordinator where, they introduced trainees to the scope and management system of PEFC. Furthermore, presented the detailed requirements necessary under the PEFC Chain of Custody of Forest and tree based Products and also acquainted participants with the requirements for the PEFC trademarks.

PEFC CoC certification helps to demonstrate the consumers that a business is following a legal and sustainable practice while sourcing the forest products. It gives consumers the assurance that the products are manufactured from a sustainable forest. It also enables the consumers to successfully track back the source of the final products. Other than providing the benefits to the consumers, it enhances the reputation of the company.

Second day, 7th August 2020, started with a small recap of the previous day. Modules on “Types of Certification” and “General Trademark Requirements” were presented. During the session on trademark requirements, Ms. Linda Matole talked about the ownership of the trademark, its scope and usage. She also shared a slide on graphic requirements and other essential criteria necessary for the authenticity of the PEFC logo. The participants were provided an insight on requirements for certification bodies to be a PEFC auditor and on the overall certification process.

Dr. Mrutunjay Jena, discussed on ‘NCCF, AB & CB requirements’ where he talked about accreditation system, different standards, conformity assessments, need for confidence in conformity assessment and the need for international acceptability for facilitating the trade.

The comprehensive training module was a mix of presentations, and case studies and trainees gained immensely through the examples explained during the training sessions encompassing the real scenarios in CoC certification. The trainers shared their deep knowledge in the subject and substantiated the same with their eclectic professional experience. The participants exchanged experiences and valuable feedback on the implementation of the standard.    

Trainees will be required to complete an online Knowledge Test 15 days after completion of the training.  Successful participation in this training would make the participating trainees as qualified PEFC CoC Auditors. For existing trained auditors, this training was an opportunity to update themselves on the underlying expectations, clarifications and interpretations related to PEFC Chain of Custody Standard.

The enlightening two day training came to an end with closing remarks delivered by Mr AK Bansal, Chairperson, Standard Development Group, Non Wood Forest Produce and Promotions, Communication & Advocacy Group of NCCF. Mr Bansal summarized the proceedings of the training and emphasised the important of CoC certification as the link between the resource and the consumers, demand for which is having an increasing trend. He also thanked all the participants for being a part of the training and appreciated the hard work and coordination of NCCF and PEFC team for an incredibly interesting training. He particularly mentioned about the efforts put in by Mr Varun Grover, Dr Indu Dwivedi and IT Team in bringing the training to a logical end. Among others, the closing session was also joined by Shri AK Srivastava, DG, NCCF.

Dr Jagdish Kishwan, Chief Executive Officer, GICIA India Private Limited and many international and Indian participants, thanked NCCF and PEFC Team and expressed that the training programme had fully met its objectives.

The participants appreciated the quality of training and expressed keen interest in attending more such training’s and workshops in the future.

The presentations made in the webinar may be seen at:

PEFC NCCF CoC Training NABCBPEFC NCCF CoC Training National SystemPEFC CoC PEFC Introduction