Falcon: A Tool For Formatting Transaction Verification Data

Since FSC started implementing transaction verification over the last few years, we have been gathering feedback and information to understand which parts of the process are difficult and time consuming for certificate holders, their auditors, ASI and FSC. We are committed to providing tools that mitigate these challenges.

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Transaction verification

Transaction verification is the verification process required by the FSC chain of custody standard (FSC-STD-40-004 V3) to ensure that FSC output claims made by certificate holders are accurate and match the FSC input claims of their trading partners.

The verification is conducted by a certification body and Assurance Services International (ASI). It is only required for defined regions, species, and/or product groups. For transaction verification to work, all required data must be submitted in the same format. 

When data is requested as part of transaction verification, it is requested in a pre-defined format to make comparison of data between trading parties feasible. We have found that it can be difficult for our certificate holders to provide data in a uniform and consistent format. This results in requests for data going back and forth between certification bodies and certificate holders multiple times, which can be time consuming for all involved.

A new tool to validate your data quality

To alleviate this administrative burden for all parties, FSC has developed Falcon.

Falcon is a simple Excel formatting tool that is locally hosted, so does not involve the upload of data into the cloud or outside company firewalls. Falcon empowers FSC certificate holders to prepare for transaction verification by allowing them to easily check their transaction verification Excel sheets prior to sending them to their auditor.

The tool validates that all required fields have been completed in the proper format (e.g. that fields for units are filled with identified possible units, that license numbers have the right format and other similar checks, etc.)

  • Falcon will remain a voluntary tool and is primarily relevant for certificate holders subject for transaction verification
  • When using the tool, certificate holders can either verify full spreadsheets with claims in a predefined format or enter claims one by one
  • Falcon can also be used as a volume summary tool that provides your claims in a pre-approved format for audits

The tool does not, however, perform transaction verification or compare claims across certificate holders. This part of the transaction verification process will still need to be completed by ASI.

For certificate holders interested in using Falcon, the Falcon user guide with more information is available at fsccredibility.zendesk.com, where the FSC credibility intervention team can also be contacted for further support.