Certification roadmap

The process for being granted a Better Biomass certificate is described in the roadmap. Certified organizations are included in the register of certificate holders.

  1. Preparation
  2. Initial audit
  3. Granting of certificate
  4. Maintenance of certificate


1. Examine criteria
Organizations are advised to become well informed of the requirements that have to be met in order to obtain a certificate. These requirements depend on the field of application and are published in NTA 8080.

2. Perform self-assessment
Before contacting a certifying body, the organization investigates whether it meets the certification requirements (self-assessment).

3. Implement improvements
Based on the results of the self-assessment any necessary actions are performed. These may be administrative measures or involve physical measures. In addition, agreements with suppliers, buyers or other involved parties may be necessary. A useful tool to coordinate the improvements is a project plan that describes the necessary actions, the persons involved, the resources needed and the time frame. If necessary, steps 2 and 3 are repeated until the criteria are met according to the self-assessment.

4. Contract a certification body
If the self-assessment results in the conclusion that the organization meets the requirements for certification, it can contract a certification body for an audit trail. Only certification bodies that have entered into an agreement with NEN may perform a certification audit for a Better Biomass certificate. Consult the list of certification bodies to find the bodies that are affiliated to NEN.

5 . Become a Better Biomass member
In addition to contracting a certification body, the organization needs to register as a Better Biomass member. Members benefit from the exchange of knowledge and experiences with peers and from a close relation with the scheme manager (NEN).

Initial audit

The initial audit is performed in two stages: the pre-audit and the on-site audit. Based on the initial audit the certificate may be granted.

Phase 1

1. Research
After concluding the contract, the certification body will request documentation to prepare the audit visit. This documentation can include:

  • permits
  • research reports

Based on this and other information, the auditor carries out a risk analysis and prepares an audit plan.

2. Prepare audit visit
The on-site audit is prepared in consultation with the certification body. The preparations mainly include ensuring availability and accessibility of the necessary information, facilities and persons during the planned auditing period.

Phase 2

1. Company visit
During on-site audit the auditor assesses the conformity to the requirements laid down in NTA 8080. For this purpose, the auditor will need to study documentation, interview employees and do visual inspections. The findings are recorded in the audit report.

2. Feedback
Based on the audit report the certification body decides whether the certificate will be granted or not. If the organization is not granted a certificate, it can take the necessary measures to correct the non-conformities. Subsequently, a new audit can be applied for.

Granting of certificate

1. Grant certificate
If the organization is eligible for a certificate, it will be granted to the organization. The certificate includes a description of the scope and the production processes. For each certificate an annual fee will be charged by the certification body on behalf of the scheme manager. The amount to be paid can be found in the tariff chart.

2. Include in central register
The names and certificate details of organizations that have been granted a certificate are published in the register of certificate holders on this website.

3. State certificate on website
The ‘Better Biomass’ logo will be placed on the certificate that has been issued. Certified organizations may put their certificates with the logo on their website. The logo must always be linked to the relevant certificate, in order to make clear for which part of the activities the organization has been certified. It is not allowed to use the logo for other purposes.

Maintenance of certificate

1. Surveillance audits
The certificate is granted for a maximum period of five years. During the validity of the certificate, surveillance audits are carried out at least once a year to assess conformity to the certification criteria. If the organization continues to comply with the certification criteria, the certificate remains valid. Otherwise, the certificate will be suspended or withdrawn. This information is also recorded in the central register.

2. Re-certification
The re-certification assessment needs to take place before the certificate expires, in order to extend the certificate for another five years. For re-certification, the same criteria apply as for the initial audit.