Forest Group Management Certification

What is the group certification?

The certification of the forest management is a process which involves certain costs. They are represented by:

  • 1. direct costs for certification
  • 2. costs required to meet the standards

It has been stated that while for extended forest areas the costs for certification are more accessible, for small forest owners such costs can sometimes become prohibitive. In order to ensure non-discriminatory access to the certification of forest management, specific procedures have been developed for the group certification of forestry units. In the group certification there are several owners or forest managers who intend to follow this process, sharing the costs, thus the cost per owner is diminished. The organisation of a group supposes the existence of a group manager, who makes a "group scheme", to which the forest owners will adhere. The group subsequently functions based on this agreed scheme, and the certification supposes on the one hand the assessment of the group manager and on the other, the assessment of group members, at random, therefore without carrying out the assessment of each group member.

It has to be emphasised that in the case of group certification, FSC standards on the group management and functioning are used together with the forest management standards, as grounds for the actual assessment of the forest management.

A special chapter is represented by the certification of forest areas of reduced size and with small management intensity (the so called "SLIMF"). They follow a simplified process of certification and monitoring, as the impact of the forest management is much diminished. Therefore, the costs for certification are much smaller.

Types of group schemes

Depending on the actual circumstances and the forest management there are two variants of the group scheme:

The Group Administrator or Manager - in this case there is a manager of the group of owners, but the owners continue to manage their forests through their own administrative structures. The most frequent situation in our country is the case of the forest districts constituted as independent structures which supply forestry services for different categories of owners. In such case the Group Administrator can be the private forest range that concluded agreements on service supply with different categories of owners.

The Resource Administrator or Manager - - case in which there is a manager of the forests belonging to the owner group. In such case the resource manager is responsible for the management of the entire forest area included in the group scheme. The owners can make use of different modalities of the management of the forests incorporated in the group, including the existence, within a group scheme, of some situations in which both modalities mentioned above are applied, according to the owners' decision.

The group administrator has the following responsibilities:

  • 1. ensure the information, training and monitoring of the members of the group
  • 2. act as the group contact person in relation to the FSC certifier
  • 3. manage all required steps for the certification of the group
  • 4. keep the certificate on behalf of the group
  • 5. organise and set actions required to fulfil the corrective actions at the level of the entire group

For further details, download "Guidelines on group certification for forest owners"



Marius Turtica
tel: +40 740 300 616

Certificate FSC Romania