UKWAS Pre-Approval Draft Released for 30-day consultation

Stakeholders are urged to take their final chance to comment on the latest draft revisions to the UK Woodland Assurance Standard issued today (29th April 2011).

UKWAS Executive Chair, Peter Wilson, said: The UKWAS is a key document for the UK forestry sector as it provides the certification standard used for certification by the two leading global forest certification schemes  FSC and PEFC.

The Steering Group has now analysed the feedback received from the consultation held in December and January and made further changes to the draft UKWAS standard to produce a Pre-approval Draft for a final round of consultation. This is the third and final phase of a 3-year revision process and feedback must be received by 31st May 2011.

All the necessary documents including a consultation feedback form are available on

The feedback received will be considered by the UKWAS Steering Group and any further changes considered necessary will be incorporated into a Final Draft and FSC UK and PEFC UK will then be invited to submit the standard to their international parent bodies for approval. The aim is for the Third edition of the UKWAS to be available for use in November 2011.

Notes to editors

The UK Woodland Assurance Standard was first launched in 1999 and a revised second edition was released in 2006 and further amended in 2008 following a review which tried to make greater provision for smaller woodland owners.

Under the UKWAS standard setting process which conforms to FSC and PEFC requirements the standard must be revised every five years by means of a three-year revision process. The Steering Group drew up a process and timetable for the revision to be undertaken between 2009 and 2011. All decisions are based on consensus amongst the economic, environmental and social stakeholders.

The revision and consultation process have been taken forward in three main phases with three opportunities for stakeholders to make input:
“Phase 1 in 2009 was an evidence gathering phase including an initial stakeholder consultation
“Phase 2 in 2010 was the main revision drafting phase leading to a revision draft for consultation
“Phase 3 in 2011 is the conclusion phase including further revision and preparation of a pre-approval draft for a final consultation. After further amendment, FSC UK and PEFC UK will be invited to submit the standard to their international parent bodies for approval and it is hoped that necessary approvals will be received in time for a launch of the UKWAS Third edition in November 2011.