COVID-19 Outbreak: How NEPCon is Taking Action

First published in April, 2020

Updated in July, 2020 / September, 2020

The current COVID-19 outbreak is having a profound impact around the world. NEPCon is taking the situation very seriously and we are committed to doing what it takes in order to protect health and lives. 

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We are following the situation closely and briefing staff continually to ensure appropriate measures are implemented throughout the organisation to safeguard against the impacts of the virus. 

While some of our offices have been closed due to national lock down, our staff has been asked to work from home wherever possible in order to proceed with the delivery of our services and projects as efficiently as the current situation allows. We paused our training courses until the end of June 2020.

We have also given careful consideration on how we can best protect the integrity and credibility of the certification systems we work with during this time. We invite all clients, partners and stakeholders to collaborate with us on ensuring this. 

New plans for Training

In consideration of the escalating situation related to COVID-19 virus outbreak and to safeguard our participants and trainers health and safety NEPCon decided to postpone the training events scheduled until end of June 2020.

On 1st July, in order to respond for the training demand, we were excited to announce our 1st online course edition of FSC Forest Management auditor training* to take place in August 2020 (GMT-4 timezone) and to re-schedule our two traditional classroom trainings for Europe in October. 
*Following the recent FSC derogation (FSC-DER-2020-004) which allows remote auditor trainings in case travel restrictions are in place.

We are also preparing additional online courses to give our participants an option to participate and get their training certificate without leaving home!

Update 8th September: Taking into account that COVID-19 outbreak is ongoing and travelling is still largely restricted, we have decided to conduct more of online trainings in order to satisfy the request of attendees whose original course was postponed or did not manage to attend our remote auditor trainings held earlier this year. As such, no classroom trainings will be held in 2020 and these will be rescheduled for 2021.

In the meantime, NEPCon's Training Hub offers great materials to familiarize yourself with FSC Forest Management and Chain of Custody processes.

Feel free to browse hours of video content and quizzes from our expert trainers available in English, Russian, French and Spanish. All for free!

Check out our Training Calendar and register to courses to receive updates on new dates!

A risk-based approach to audits

NEPCon is using a risk-based approach to determine appropriate measures for planned audits in each country, or, if relevant, region. Depending on the specific risk assessment, NEPCon may conduct on-site audits with comprehensive additional safety measures or substitute on-site audits with partially or fully remote audits, if the scheme in question allows it.  

We are in contact with relevant certification scheme directives on this matter and our staff will be in touch with all clients who have audits planned in the coming months.

We realise that the situation can change rapidly and are constantly monitoring developments to update the risk level and adjust procedures if needed.

Read our full Policy on Auditing during COVID-19 Outbreak, including a guide to our risk classification, here.

We have also created an updated map of our current COVID-19 risk designations in relation to NEPCon's auditing activities

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While we are doing our best to keep these risk designations updated and accurate, we can only do this according to the best of our knowledge and information available at any given time. Therefore, we cannot take liability for the information presented on the map. If you have any feedback on this map, please contact us at

Please note that this map does not necessarily coincide with other risk maps of COVID-19 transmission – please consult your local authorities for information on the situation in your country or region regarding this matter. 



Feel free to contact us at with any questions about future trainings.