Harvesting machine

Forest certification standards set principles and criteria that are universally applicable and not negotiable. The standard documents consist of core 'Principles', under which a number of compliance Criteria are listed. Each national initiative develops Indicators and Verifiers for each Criterion, which detail the necessary measures to deliver the Principles and Criteria. Guidance is provided to clarify the requirements of Indicators where necessary.

The following hierarchy describes the function of each level in the certification standards:

  • Principle - What is wanted
  • Criterion - What needs to happen
  • Indicator - What can be measured

The documents and templates developed as part of the group certification project aim to assist owners in complying with certification principles.

arrowFull Forest Management Manual can be downloaded Here pdf s

For ease of reference, the individual templates are listed below under general Principles employed in forest certification standards:

Table of Contents Forest Management Manual pdf s
Glossary of Terms pdf s

1: Compliance with Laws and Certification Principles

Tem.1.5a Illegal/Unauthorised Activity Policy [Only applicable to large forests over 200Ha] pdf s
Tem.1.5a Illegal/Unauthorised Activity Policy [Only applicable to large forests over 200Ha] word s
Tem.1.5b Record of Illegal/Unauthorised Activity pdf s
Tem.1.5b Record of Illegal/Unauthorised Activity word s

2: Tenure and Use Rights and Responsibilities

Tem.2.1 Legal Ownership/Third Party Rights pdf s
Tem.2.1 Legal Ownership/Third Party Rights word s

3: Indigenous Peoples' Rights

4: Community Relations and Workers' Rights

Tem.4.1 Third Party Rights Granted Notification Letter pdf s
Tem.4.1 Third Party Rights Granted Notification Letter word s
Tem.4.2a Operational Monitoring Checklist pdf s
Tem.4.2a Operational Monitoring Checklist word s
Tem.4.2b Emergency/Contingency Planning pdf s
Tem.4.2b Emergency/Contingency Planning word s
Tem.4.2c Training (Competency) and Insurance Record (Forestry Worker | Shooting & Game)pdf s
Tem.4.2c Training (Competency) and Insurance Record excel2 s
Tem.4.2d Accident and Incident Reporting Record pdf s
Tem.4.2d Accident and Incident Reporting Record word s
Tem.4.3e Lone Working Emergency Plan pdf s
Tem.4.3e Lone Working Emergency Plan word s

5: Benefits from the Forest

Tem.5.1 Annual FMU Budget pdf s
Tem.5.1 Annual FMU Budget excel2 s
Tem.5.3 Tree Sales Agreement (ITGA) pdf s

6: Environmental Impact

Tem.6.1 Environmental Impact Assessment pdf s 
Tem.6.1 Environmental Impact Assessment word s
Tem.6.2 Third Party Rights Held Notification Letter pdf s
Tem.6.2 Third Party Rights Held Notification Letter word s
Tem.6.6a Integrated Pest Management Strategy pdf s
Tem.6.6b Pesticide Use Record pdf s
Tem.6.6b Pesticide Use Record excel2 s
Tem.6.7 Waste Disposal Policy pdf s

7: Management Plan

The Forest Management Plan consists of two parts: the Forest Management Plan (Tem.7.1a) and the Forest Inventory and Work Plan (Tem.7.1b)

Tem.7.1a Forest Management Plan (FMP) pdf s
Tem.7.1a Forest Management Plan (FMP) word s
Tem.7.1b Forest Inventory and Work Plan pdf s
Tem.7.1b Forest Inventory and Work Plan excel2 s
Tem.7.1c Forest Management Plan (FMP) - Notes pdf s
Tem.7.1d Forest Management Plan (FMP) - Summary Plan pdf s
Tem.7.1d Forest Management Plan (FMP) - Summary Plan word s
Tem.7.3 Work Planning Checklist pdf s
Tem.7.3 Work Planning Checklist word s

8: Monitoring and Assessment

        Tem.8.1c Forestry Operations Contract  pdf s
        Tem.8.1c Forestry Operations Contract  word s

See also Part 4: Monitoring Plan Summary of the Forest Management Plan (Tem.7.1.a pdf s)

9: Maintenance of High Conservation Value Forests

See Forest Management Plan (Tem.7.1.a pdf s) and FMP Notes (Tem.7.1c pdf s) containing a decision tree for identifying High Conservation Value Forests.

10: Plantations

Plantations should adhere to Principles 1-9 above. See Forest Management Plan (Tem.7.1.a pdf s)


For more information on forest certification standards, see www.fsc.org , www.pefc.org and www.pefc.ie 

Timber Extraction

The Group Management Manual sets out guidelines for the Management of a Group for Forest Certification purposes.

Following the completion of this pilot project, documents used for the group certification project will be available on request for those wishing to set up a forest certification group.

The Group Management Manual consists of the following documents:

Doc.00a Glossary 
Doc.01 Group Rules - document setting out specific requirements members of the group have to comply with as defined by the forest certification standard.  
Doc.02 Consent Form - membership application form and consent form in which group members agree to comply with Group Rules and agree to pay an annual membership fee for a minimum of 5 years.
Doc.03 Group Member Register  - Record of details of group members and their forest holdings.
Doc.04 Group Corrective Action Request (CAR) Record - List of Corrective Action Requests identified for the group that have to be addressed following pre-assessment visit or audit.
Doc.05 Group Member Training - a speadsheet for recording training undergone by group members.
Doc.06 Group Personnel Training Record - Record of training certs and qualifications.
Doc.07 Forest Data - Record of details of member forests within the group.
Doc.08 Audit Checklist - checklist used by Auditor and Group Manager when inspecting member forests as part of an Audit or pre-assessment visit.
Doc.09a Audit Plan - typical letter prior to audit detailing audit date, time and place. 
Doc.09b Audit Report - List of findings (Non-Conformities (NCs) and Observations identified at Audit with CARs.
Doc.10a Membership Decision Record - Form used by Auditor to decide on acceptance of member to Group.
Doc.10b Confirmation of Membership - Copy of a typical confirmation letter when accepted to group.
Doc.11 Suspension/Withdrawal Notification - where member is in breach of group rules and certification standard.
Doc.12 Complaint Record - record of any complaints received and how they were dealt with.
Doc.13a Stakeholder List - List of National and Local stakeholders to be circulated with Stakeholder Consultation details.
Doc.13b Stakeholder Site Notice *) - Example of a typical Site Notice to be placed at forest entrances at time of Stakeholder Consultation.
Doc.13c Stakeholder Briefing Information - Short note explaining when and for what time period Stakeholder Consultation will be undertaken throughout the forest certification process. 
Doc.14 Sales Information and Trademark Use - Information on the use of Trademarks. The use of trademarks is very specific for each forest certification scheme. For more information see www.fsc.org and www.pefc.org
Doc.15 Company Structure & Roles  (see also Group Structure)
Doc.16 Annual Monitoring Report - record of activities over past 12 months, any changes to FMP, incidents, etc and planned activities for next 12 months.
Doc.17 Certification Process Flow (see also Group Certification Process)
Doc.18 Documentary Requirements for Forest Certification in Ireland 

*) Guidance on Placement of Site notices, can be found in the Forest Service Circular 15/2017 Placement of Site Notices pdf s

Additional Resources relating to Group Certification:

For additional information on forest management certification for groups as defined by the forest certification schemes, see www.fsc.org and www.pefc.org 

DangerSignIn addition to the two manuals that were developed as part of the pilot project, a range of resource materials is available online.

arrow Forest Service Guidelines

Forest Service Guidelines should be adhered to for any forestry operation and can be found on the  Forest Service, DAFM website 

See Forest Service Environmental Information & Guidelines

Forest Service regularly updates Registered Foresters and Contractors with additional information on forestry schemes, see Forest Service Scheme Circulars

Forestry Standards Manual (2015)

Code of Best Practice, Ireland

arrow Forestry Act, 2014

The Forestry Act, 2014 came into force 24th May 2017, for more information, 
see Circular 08 - 2017 Commencement Forestry Act, 2014

see also 'Forestry and the Law' on the Department website

and 'Forestry Act 2014' on the Teagasc website

arrow Thinning and Felling Practices 

A good source of information in this regard is http://www.forestry.ie/information-links/thinning-felling-information

See also New Tree Felling Requirements Information Note, 09/06/2017

arrow Health & Safety Guidelines

Health & Safety Guidelines can be found on the Health & Safely Authority (HSA) Website, for example:

arrow Site Safety Guides

Information on Site Safety Guides can be found on the FISA Website

A comprehensive list is also appended to Doc.05 Group Member Training

Health and Safety Authority - Irish Forestry Safety Guides (IFSG)  A suite of Safety Guides modified for Irish use by kind permission of FISA, including:

arrow Plant Health, Habitats & Biodiversity

A good source of information in this regard is www.forestry.ie

See http://www.forestry.ie/information-links/pests-diseases
and http://www.forestry.ie/information-links/invasive-species

See also invasivespeciesireland.com 
and the National Biodiversity Data Centre  (www.biodiversityireland.ie

For Habitat classification, see A Guide to Habitats in Ireland - by Julie A. Fossitt

arrow High Conservation Value Forests (HCVF)

Sources to assist in the identification of HCVF:

Protected sites in Ireland:

arrowChemical Control


arrowTimber Transport

arrowOther Useful Information Links: