Improving Assessor Quality

The High Conservation Value (HCV) concept was created by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and has been adopted, referenced or adapted by a wide range of programmes including the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), the Roundtable for Sustainable Soy (RTRS) and BonSucro.

RSPO was concerned that the HCV concept was not being consistently applied by certification applicants, and that certification bodies were not being consistent in their assessments. It approached the HCV Resource Network, an independent organisation originally set up by Proforest with the support of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) to find a solution. The HCV Resource Network commissioned OneWorldStandards to help it devise a long term, financially sustainable assessor training and assurance programme.

That programme is now in place, and is driving improvement in the quality of implementation of a critically important element of the RSPO scheme. A cadre of qualified HCV assessors is now becoming available to provide services to other schemes that make use of the HCV concept worldwide.

“Matthew supported the HCV Resource Network with initial thinking on how to design a scheme for quality control of High Conservation Value assessments and we were greatly helped by his creativity, experience and in-depth familiarity with standards and verification procedures” – Anders Lindhe, HCVRN Technical Manager

  • What people say about us

    “Matthew Wenban-Smith came highly recommended, and provided our non-profit with a great deal of very valuable wisdom and guidance during our start-up phase in creating a new certification program. He has a depth of experience, an ability to focus on the key issues, and a respectful, constructive way of working that we found extremely valuable. Thank you, Matthew!” – Sarah Westervelt, e-Stewards certification program