UKWAS 5 Pre-approval Draft gains national-level approval

A Pre-approval Draft of the UKWAS 5th Edition has gained national-level approval following more than two years of work.

The draft prepared by a multi-stakeholder working group was approved at national level by the UKWAS steering group and has been submitted to FSC UK and PEFC UK who are responsible for preparing the documentation required to achieve approval / endorsement at international level.

Working Group Chair, Peter Wilson said: “I am absolutely delighted that the steering group has endorsed the Pre-approval Draft. I pay tribute to the working group members for their tireless work over the last two years and for completing this draft on schedule despite the difficulties caused by the pandemic. All decisions required consensus and it is inspiring to work with knowledgeable people representing diverse interests but all of whom focused on achieving a common goal.

“Special thanks are also due to those who shared their views over three consultation opportunities. In fact, we received a record number of responses. Building on the structural changes introduced in UKWAS 4, the main thrust in this revision has been to increase the focus on issues such as forest resilience, climate mitigation, the biodiversity crisis and the historic environment. At the same time the working group always sought to achieve an appropriate balance between economic, environmental and social aspects.

“FSC UK’s and PEFC UK’s contribution to the process was invaluable in advising the working group on their scheme requirements. It is usual for some conditions to be attached to any scheme endorsement / approval so users should be aware that some further changes might be requested by FSC or PEFC at international level, but the target is for UKWAS 5 to be confirmed and effective in April 2023.”

Copies of the Pre-approval Draft, including a version showing all the text changes, are available here alongside a Consultation Report setting out Working Group responses to the issues raised by consultees in the final round of consultation.

Documents are also available in Word format on request from the UKWAS Support Unit on