Forest owners can become certified jointly under one certificate, or if their estates are managed by a resource management company, the resource manager can establish their own group scheme for those owners who wish to participate.
A group scheme manager will be responsible for ensuring that all members of the group are using systems that meet the FSC rules. In the case of Resource Manager groups, the resource manager will be the group manager. Certification bodies will check group scheme management procedures and audit a sample of group members, rather than auditing each individual forest owner.
NOTE: Group Chain of Custody schemes are issued with a single certificate; group members do not hold individual FSC certificates in their own right. Therefore, if the central office or any group member contravenes the requirements of the relevant standards it may lead to the whole group being suspended or terminated.