Wood Processors Association

Timber Treatment & Grading

WPA, TIF & DBH have worked together over the last 18 months to put together new “Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)” for timber treatment and grading. The SOPs are part of a proposed new Timber Quality Scheme and set out requirements for plants & auditors:

Plant / producer requirements

  • Have procedures for managing product quality
  • Keep records / paper trail
  • Demonstrate staff competency
  • Maintain measuring/monitoring equipment
  • Report non-compliances
  • Take samples / carry out tests correctly
  • Assess product conformity
  • Take corrective actions when needed
  • Brand correct information on timber
  • Deal with audit non-conformances appropriately

Auditor requirements

  • Carry out 3 full audits & 1 surveillance audit per year
  • Assess conformity to SOP (critical, major, minor)
  • Determine audit result
  • Report results to plant

The purpose of the SOPs is to give timber users, the public and the DBH confidence that timber used in houses has the same quality, no matter who is producing it. In other words, they can trust that it meets the branded hazard class and grade.

Basically, the idea is that the producers and treatment plants all work to the minimum requirements set out in the SOPs and the auditors all check the same thing during audits. That way we know there is consistency in the way timber treatment and grading is being done across the industry.

Already several companies have insisted on graded timber using these SOPs. Theses SOPs can increase timber sales and provide a high ROI for any companies implementing them.

Eventually, the plan is to have a “Governing Body” that will “audit the auditors”, issue approvals to plants, producers and auditors, be able to suspend plants / auditors, keep a central register of approved plants and auditors. The Governing Body would give the scheme “teeth” and then DBH could cite the “Scheme” as a compliance option.

Proposed Timber Quality Scheme Structure

Pilot Details

The SOPs are being piloted from mid-November 2010 until mid-May 2011 so that plants & auditors can become familiar with them, and any issues can be ironed out.



Previous work undertaken on timber treatment and grading includes:


P: 64-4-473 9211
F: 64-4-473 9311
E: office@wpa.org.nz

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