Redwood Inspection Service

In January, 2017 the Redwood Inspection Service (RIS) and Western Wood Products Association entered into an agreement for WWPA to assume RIS’ function as the rules-writing agency for Redwood lumber and provide mill supervisory services and grading and inspection of Redwood lumber previously provided by RIS. WWPA is granted the exclusive license to use RIS grade marks and to issue RIS grade stamps to Redwood producers who enter into agreements to use WWPA inspection services.

The Redwood Inspection Service is accredited by the Board of Review of the American Lumber Standard Committee, Inc. as the exclusive rules-writing agency for Redwood lumber. WWPA is also exclusively authorized to formulate and maintain grading rules for Redwood lumber known as The Standard Specifications for Grades of California Redwood Lumber, which are in accordance with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Department of Commerce’s Voluntary Product Standard PS 20 and have been accredited by the Board of Review of the American Lumber Standard Committee, Inc.

These Standard Specifications apply to California Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) and to no other species. WWPA’s exclusive licensing agreement to use RIS grade marks and issue RIS grade stamps allows Redwood producers access to a wide range quality assurance programs that are unique in the Western lumber industry including:

  • Design Values Assessment. WWPA staff are experts in assessing design values for various species, sizes, and characteristics, and able to develop custom design values specific to proprietary structural products.
  • Grader Training.  WWPA staff provides regular training to member companies on proper methods to measure and assess lumber characteristics, and how those characteristics are used to identify the appropriate grade for each piece of lumber.
  • Lumber Grader Certification. After lumber graders reach an acceptable level of expertise, WWPA recognizes those graders’ hard work and high level of achievement by issuing WWPA Grading Certificates. The certificates and wallet cards presented to the newly certified grader identify their proficiency by grade category. There are nearly 500 WWPA certified graders employed at member companies.
  • Hi-Q Awards. The Association recognizes the commitment member companies and their certified graders make to improve the quality of the lumber produced.  The Hi-Q Mill Awards program acknowledges the highest level of grading proficiency by certified graders and participating mills for their overall dedication to improving lumber quality.
  • Quality Management System (QMS) Program. Member companies can participate in a quality management system developed by WWPA specifically for lumber manufacturers wanting the highest level of quality assurance for their products. WWPA staff work with participating members to increase grade and fiber recovery, identify and solve quality problems, and increase overall quality awareness.
  • Quality Assurance for Special Products. The Association pioneered the quality assurance procedures used by the lumber industry to make MSR products, and also provides quality control for more finger-jointed lumber operations than any other lumber grading agency in North America. Every six months WWPA staff conducts detailed assessments of members’ glued products lines and MSR machines, training members in the latest product testing techniques. 
  • Inspection-Based Reporting. WWPA provides regular reports to members identifying grading and sizing accuracy, seasoning, sorting accuracy, and stamp legibility. Detailed reports can be provided to each mill on lumber graders’ accuracy by product.

For more information on California Redwood species uses, properties and environmental information go to www.calredwood.org.


Related Publications

ris-grade-book (1)

Grades of CA Redwood Lumber



Redwood Architectural Guide