Forest Certification Auditor Qualifications

Lead Author: Kathryn Fernholz

Publish date: 04.18.2006


A common question about forest certification is, who are these auditors and what are their qualifications? While sometimes posed as a fairly hostile question, it is nonetheless, a legitimate one. For many potential participants in certification or critics of the systems, auditor credibility is at the heart of certification credibility. Qualifications for auditing firms and auditors are outlined by each individual certification program. These programs often draw upon other sources of auditing standards, the frequently citied one is ISO 19011:2002 Guidelines for quality and/or environmental management systems auditing.


This report provides information about auditor qualification requirements for the two most widely used forest certification programs in the United States, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).