The CLSAB’s primary role is to accredit and supervise the Lumber Grading Agencies.
These Agencies work with mills and similar lumber manufacturing facilities to see that every piece of lumber produced is given an accurate and complete grade designation, by trained and certified lumber graders.
Because grading is a critical element in the reliability of lumber, it must be supervised by an accredited, independent Lumber Grading Agency. In order to be accredited by CLSAB, each Agency must show that it is not controlled by any of the mills where it supervises grading.
Forest products companies have their own Quality Management systems for lumber products. Programs vary between companies, and can apply from log harvesting right through final delivery of graded lumber.
The companies agree to a system of grading quality control, testing and reporting when they sign grade stamp agreements with an accredited Lumber Grading Agency.
The Lumber Grading Agencies’ primary activities include:
- training, certification, and re-certification of graders, through initial exams and ongoing education
- certification of qualified lumber manufacturers to assign grades and related classifications to their lumber, under strict conditions, verification schedules and controls
- supervision of the work performed by all graders
- regular unannounced inspections at each facility to verify accuracy of visual and/or machine grading
- procedures for ensuring a facility is qualified to perform machine grading and/or finger-joining
- holding any lumber found not to comply with grading rules, and preventing shipment until the lumber has been properly regraded
- in the event of problems, increased supervision and sampling until grading is brought back into compliance
- inventory control of all grade stamps in each facility
- review of operations at the facility, such as kiln schedules and planer calibration
- review of the facility’s grading records