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International Training Programme

This programme provides training in many areas related to the implementation of sustainability initiatives in agricultural commodities and forestry, in both production and supply chains. Proforest offers capacity building and training for auditors and lead auditors, professionals from companies, governments and NGOs, and producers at all scales.

What are our priorities?

The International Training Programme helps people understand and adopt sustainable practices in their production and sourcing of natural resources. Our five-day Annual Training Programme brings the broad principles of sustainability to a wide range of participants.

We run training courses on responsible palm oil production, and the application and use of the HCV approach. These courses are targeted for RSPO auditors, HCV assessors and people who are responsible for implementing the requirements in practice. We offer training for the forestry and timber sectors, particularly about Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT), Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) and the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR). We also provide training on sustainability practices for other agricultural crops, such as sugarcane, soy, cattle and cocoa. Our courses comprise a mixture of classroom sessions, on-line elements and practical work, including realistic mock audits.

What does programme do?

The International Training Programme has five main components:

1. Lead auditor training

We run courses to train auditors and lead auditors. This enables them to assess producers of forest products, palm oil and other agricultural crops against voluntary certification standards including RSPO and FSC. We run the only lead auditor course that is recognised by RSPO and we provide this in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Bahasa.

We also provide training for HCV assessors, using the syllabus from the HCV Resource Network’s Assessor Licensing Scheme.

2. Annual Training Programme

The Annual Training Programme brings together professionals from companies, governments and NGOs from different regions and sectors. We have been running the Annual Training Programme for the past 14 years, and recently held it in Africa. Lecture sessions, workshops and discussion are used to introduce participants to a range of sustainability issues. These are reinforced through a new field component for programme activities in Ghana.

3. Implementing sustainability in practice

Our implementation courses target producers, from smallholders to large companies. They cover the practicalities of meeting the requirements of certification schemes such as RSPO and using the HCV approach. These courses provide a balance of practical field components and classroom sessions.

4. Mentoring

Through our Africa Practitioners’ Network, we provide opportunities for trainees in West and Central Africa to participate in real audits for FSC and RSPO schemes, and HCV assessments. Participants are mentored by experienced auditors. This practical experience gives trainees an understanding of the methods and complexities of these mechanisms.

5. Customised training courses

We also offer customised training courses for NGOs, governments and private sector companies in all areas of expertise. 

Why is it important?

One of the biggest barriers to more sustainable production and sourcing of natural resources is the lack of trained and experienced professionals. This affects the development and implementation of more responsible social and environmental practices, particularly in the tropics.

Funding and implementation partners

Our funders and partners include UK Department for International Development (DFID); Solidaridad; Wild Asia; Ecossistemas; Daemeter and RSPO.

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