Information for Verification Bodies
UEBT’s Verification System relies as much as possible on existing mechanisms. As such, it has avoided developing an accreditation mechanism and relies on systems that have demonstrated their adequacy for carrying out verification in the UEBT Standard. Field-tests with different Verification Bodies, pertaining to different accreditation/endorsement systems, have been carried out in several countries in Latin America and Africa.
Trading Members, who need to reach compliance with the UEBT’s Standard, should follow the UEBT Critical Path and Application Process in order to join UEBT. Qualified Verification Bodies participate in the process for third-party audits.
Please have a look at the following webpages:
- Critical Path
For more information and supporting documents click here
At the present time, as a result of field tests, the following verification systems have been identified as responding to the UEBT’s requirements in terms of auditors’ qualification and accreditation:
- The Forest Stewardship Council:24 certification bodies, from small NGOs to transnational companies. Certification operational in 79 countries. Web: www.fsc.org
- The RainForest Alliance/ SAN (Sustainable Agriculture Network): 10 certification bodies in Latin America and USA, all NGOs. Certification operational in 19 countries (Latin America, Ethiopia, Indonesia and Philippines). Web: www.rainforest-alliance.org
In order to be a Verification Body qualified by UEBT, Verification Bodies should:
- Be correctly accredited to verify producers and/or buyers (see boxes below);
- Sign a letter of agreement with the UEBT Secretariat;
- Be well trained against the UEBT verification system.
Verification of buyers
Accreditation under ISO/IEC Guide 65, recognition by an ethical certification scheme, and conformity with ISO 19011 (Guidelines for quality and/or environmental management systems auditing), with emphasis on the latter.
The transmission of the requirements of the Standard from buyers up to producers relies heavily on the existence of effectively implemented management systems. Additionally, buyers can be fairly large and complex organisations. As such, auditors need to be trained in management system auditing, as well as being able to assess the effects of these systems on the ground.
Verification of producers
Accreditation under ISO/IEC Guide 65 (General Requirement for Bodies Operating Product Certification Systems) in relation to natural resource management, and recognized by an ethical certification scheme, with emphasis on the latter.
Auditors need to be able to interpret the requirements of the UEBT Standard in contexts that vary significantly and cannot all be described in a guidance document.
They also need to assess whether the work-plan for complying with the Standard is realistic and recommend it for the decision of the Membership Committee and Board of Directors. For these reasons they need to be experienced in schemes verifying standards related to sustainable development.
Organisations that comply with the first requirement as listed above, and/or that are interested in becoming qualified Verification Bodies for UEBT should send us a request to this effect.
The request should provide details of the experience and credentials of the applicant. The request will be evaluated by the UEBT Secretariat. If positive, the applicant will be included in the roster of pre-qualified organizations. UEBT will get back to you and suggest a process to achieve the status of qualified Verification Body.