Step 2: Submit an application to the certifier
When you have decided what the most relevant certifying body for your product or service is, consulted its standards and, if available, gone through the pre-assessment process, you are ready for step two, which is to submit your application to the certifier.
Getting ready to make an application
Each certifying body will have its own specific requirements, but there will be a number of standards or criteria that your business is expected to meet. Your certifier may work with you to plan the assessment process, for example, by specifying which standards your business will be assessed against. You may also wish to form an assessment team at your company, with each member taking responsibility for achieving specific standards. There are also consultants who can help you through the process.
What is the certification fee?
When you apply for certification, you will need to pay a certification fee. The fee varies and is often negotiated between the client and the certifying body. If you are applying to become Forestry Stewardship Council certified, the typical fee for a medium-sized business would be between $2,000 and $3,000. Part of this fee is paid to the certifier for the auditor's time and the application process, and a small program fee—starting at $10 a year—is paid to the FSC's International Centre. Other certifying bodies may have a fee scale that depends on how big your company is and the type of product or service you wish to get certified.
Is there financial assistance?
There is currently not a program to help private companies offset the costs of certification.
Productivity Investment Program
This program is designed to encourage businesses to become more productive, innovative and globally competitive, and it includes two incentives:
Step 3: Assessment