Expressions of Interest inviting forest contracting businesses from across Australia to participate in the ForestFit Certification pilot opened this week. The Australian Forest Contractors Association is working in partnership with Ernst and Young to deliver the certification pilot. Source: Timberbiz
The standards and criteria to be piloted align with industry standards and regulatory requirements to create a certification program that promotes best practice implementation and risk management.
The industry-led development of the certification standards and criteria, where possible, align with existing schemes, regulatory requirements, Australian Standards and industry codes of practice.
“AFCA is excited to have reached this point in the ForestFit project, and the certification pilot is key to testing the standards and criteria with a range of different forest contracting businesses before the national rollout” said AFCA’s General Manager, Ms Stacey Gardiner.
“One of the key objectives of the ForestFit certification is to create efficiencies and opportunities for a ‘deemed to comply’ with existing auditing programs and schemes, ultimately reducing costs while providing confidence that certified businesses are operating to a high standard,” she said.
The certification Standards to be piloted are:
- Standard 1: General requirements (mandatory)
- Standard 2: Business sustainability
- Standard 3: Work, health and safety
- Standard 4: Environmental practices.
Forest contracting businesses participating in the pilot will have the opportunity to be one of the first ForestFit certified businesses in the country and have the chance to demonstrate their safe, environmental and sustainable business within the forest industry.
“ForestFit is being developed with substantial input from industry representatives and forest contractors like me, who have informed every stage of the certification development,” Chris Mangan, a director at Mangan Logging, said.
“As part of the ForestFit Industry Reference Group, we are excited to have reached the pilot stage of certification and look forward to having ForestFit create efficiencies across our industry,” he said.
The AFCA is encouraging all forest contracting businesses to submit an EOI by 16 August 2021. A selection panel will assess all EOI’s based on a criteria that ensures the pilot captures a range of business sizes and operations nationally. The certification pilot will take place between September and December this year.
Visit the ForestFit website at https://www.afca.asn.au/certification-pilot to download the EOI and submit your interest to AFCA.