Chain of custody group schemes

Group chain of custody has been developed to help smaller enterprises achieve FSC certification by reducing its costs and becoming jointly certified under one certificate.

Man stacking boxes

In the UK, groups can only contain businesses that have under 15 employees (or under 25 employees, with a turnover of under $1 million). Small businesses can join up with an existing group chain of custody scheme (see table below). Trade associations, marketing groups or other groups with a common need to achieve chain of custody certification, can potentially run their own. A certification body audits a sample of members and carries out risk assessment of the entire group scheme rather than auditing each individual business. A group manager will be assigned to ensure that all members of the group are using systems that satisfy the FSC rules.

NOTE: Although it can be more cost-effective to be part of a group scheme it is also worth getting quotes direct from FSC-accredited certification bodies for comparison. Group chain of custody schemes are issued with a single certificate; group members do not hold individual FSC certificates in their own right. Therefore, if the central office or any group member contravenes the requirements of the relevant standards it may lead to the whole group being suspended or terminated.

COC certification of multiple sites (FSC-STD-40-003 V2-1)
PDF, Size: 413.81KB

Group certification standard

This standard provides the conditions and requirements for the establishment and management of chain of custody certificates with multiple sites, including group certificates.

Part I, clause 3 provides eligibility criteria for the inclusion of multiple sites in group certificates. Part II provides specific certification requirements for group chain of custody certificates.

Group scheme


Contact information

Certification and Timber Grading Ltd


Timber Industries

Gail Sumner


Enviaudits Ltd



Adam Moore


Fenestration Commercial Ltd t/a FenCert


All type of Industries including processors and traders

Greg Moore 


Print and Media Certification Ltd


Print, Media, Publishing, Paper and Packaging Industries

John Dick