Key

The following abbreviations have been used throughout the text to highlight sources of additional information. More info.

Managment
Planning

Biodiversity
Action Plan

Forest
Reproductive
Material
Regulations

References


Compliance with the law and conformance with the requirements of the certification standard

1.1Compliance and conformance
1.1

Requirement

The owner/manager shall establish and maintain woodland management practices, the requirements of which are described in the whole of sections 1 to 8 of this certification standard.

1.1.1

Requirement

There shall be compliance with the law. There shall be no substantiated outstanding claims of non-compliance related to woodland management.

Means of verification

All woodlands:

  • No evidence of non-compliance from audit
  • Evidence of correction of any previous non-compliance.

Non-SLIM woodlands:

  • A system to be aware of and implement requirements of new legislation.

Guidance

Certification is not a legal compliance audit. Certification bodies will be checking that there is no evidence of non-compliance with relevant legal requirements including that:

  • Management and employees understand and comply with all legal requirements relevant to their responsibilities
  • All documentation including procedures, work instructions, contracts and agreements meet legal requirements and are respected
  • No issues of legal non-compliance are raised by regulatory authorities or other interested parties.

In the event of a perceived conflict between the requirements of the certification standard and legal requirements owners/managers should seek guidance from the UKWAS Interpretation Panel.

1.1.2

Requirement

There shall be conformance to the spirit of any relevant codes of practice or good practice guidelines.

Means of verification

All woodlands:

  • No evidence of non-conformance from audit
  • Evidence of correction of any non-conformance.

Non-SLIM woodlands:

  • A system to be aware of and conform to new codes of practice and good practice guidelines.

Guidance

The Appendix provides further information on good practice guidelines and codes of practice.

Conformance to the spirit means that the owner/manager is aiming to achieve the principles set out in relevant codes of practice or good practice guidelines and that:

  • Management and employees understand and comply with all legal requirements relevant to their responsibilities
  • All documentation including procedures, work instructions and contracts meet legal requirements
  • No issues of legal non-conformance are raised by regulatory authorities or other interested parties.

In the event of a perceived conflict between the requirements of the certification standard and relevant codes and guidelines, owners/managers should seek guidance from the UKWAS Interpretation Panel.

1.1.3

Requirement

Legal ownership or tenure shall be proven.

Means of verification

  • Long term unchallenged use
  • A signed declaration detailing nature and location of tenure documentation
  • Solicitor’s letter
  • Title deeds
  • Land registry records.
1.1.4

Requirement

Mechanisms shall be employed to resolve disputes over tenure claims and use rights.

Means of verification

  • Use of dispute resolution mechanism.

Guidance

Disputes of substantial magnitude involving a significant number of interests will normally disqualify an entity from being certified.

1.1.5

Requirement

The owner, manager or tenant shall:

  • Commit to conformance to this certification standard; and
  • Have declared an intention to protect and maintain the woodland management unit and its ecological integrity in the long term.

Means of verification

All woodlands:

  • Signed declaration of commitment
  • Dissemination of the requirements of this certification standard to the forestry workforce.

Non-SLIM woodlands:

  • Public statement of policy.

Guidance

Examples of declarations of commitment are available from the UKWAS website.

The forestry workforce should be informed of the aim of the certification standard and, to the degree that is relevant, of the practical implications for them in carrying out their work functions. This might be done through, for example, meetings or briefings and the provision of appropriate written material.

If a substantial failure has led to withdrawal of a woodland certification to this standard in the past, then substantial changes in ownership, policy commitment and management regime should have been implemented or a two-year track record of conformance established.

Advice to owners/managers

Certificate holders may be subject to additional requirements from their certification scheme relating to any adjustment of the area in the woodland management unit. Owners/managers are advised to seek guidance from their certification body or group scheme manager.