How Programs can apply for assessment

The Core Carbon Principles are designed to catalyse growth of a high-integrity voluntary carbon market that attracts private investment at speed and scale to support climate solutions that would not otherwise be viable. 

Carbon-crediting Programs have actively collaborated in the development of the Core Carbon Principles (CCPs) and our Assessment Framework. We now invite them to apply for assessment against the CCPs and strengthen the development of a high-integrity voluntary carbon market that finances the reduction and removal of billions of tonnes of emissions.

The CCPs set out ten fundamental principles for high-integrity carbon credits based on the latest science and best practice. They set a global benchmark for quality, which will build trust, overcome market fragmentation and reduce confusion for buyers. The CCP label will make it easy for buyers to identify high-integrity credits across different Programs wherever they are in the world. 

We know there is demand for high-integrity credits and we expect them to trade at a premium. Companies that want to use credits to make credible claims about their progress towards net zero commitments should buy credits that meet the CCP quality threshold, according to the Claims Code of Practice published by the Voluntary Carbon Markets Initiative. 

Programs who are CCP-Eligible will only be able to tag CCP-Approved credits from Categories that ICVCM has approved. To ensure CCP tagged credits can enter the market as soon as possible, ICVCM will be assessing Categories of credits in parallel with its assessment of Programs.

Read on to find out more about how to apply…

Who can apply?  

Programs issuing credits that are traded on the voluntary carbon can apply for CCP assessment, which will confirm whether they meet the program criteria set out in the Assessment Framework. 

We’ve designed a streamlined process for Programs that are already approved as CORSIA-Eligible. To be CCP-Eligible, Programs that are already CORSIA-Approved need only to provide evidence that they meet the CCP’s additional high-integrity criteria around effective governance, credit tracking, transparency and robust, independent third-party validation and verification. 

If a program isn’t already approved as eligible for CORSIA, that program can still apply for assessment, but it will need to provide evidence that it meets both the CORSIA requirements as well as the additional CCP criteria.  

All Programs regardless of CORSIA status will have to provide evidence they meet the criteria for other CCPs including, but not limited to, sustainable development benefits and safeguards, no double-counting and robust quantification. Read more about the CCP criteria here. 

Once a program has been assessed as CCP-Eligible, it can then apply CCP labels from Categories that have already been CCP-Approved, and to additional Categories as they become approved.

What does the Integrity Council mean by a “Program”? 

For the process of assessing whether those applying to become CCP labelled are a program under ICVCM terminology, we ask potential Programs to answer the following two questions: 

  1. Does your organisation develop and maintain a Standard that is used to register/approve mitigation activities?  

> Please provide the name of the Standard and a link to the Standard documents. 

(2) Does your organisation issue carbon credits from mitigation activities following this named Standard? 

> Please provide a link to the registry containing the mitigation activities and carbon credits generated via your program. 

 This is asked as part of the assessment process. If your organisation can meet these requirements, and prove them, it is likely that you will be considered as a program. 

Programs will then be invited to complete an application via the Assessment Platform and submit evidence and documentation to show how they meet the criteria.

Answers to most questions can be found in the user guide (accessible to registered applicants) –otherwise applicants are invited to raise a ticket via the assessment platform or email [email protected].

Successful applicants will be assigned a Relationship Manager – their main point of contact within ICVCM throughout the assessment process. The Relationship Manager will share updates on progress, request additional information or action from the program, resolve any queries the program may have and update on any changes to the timeframe for assessment, all via the application platform.

The Relationship Manager will be available for an optional kick-off meeting with the program and monthly update calls with the program will also be offered.  

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.

How long does the assessment process take? 

The assessment process is estimated to take approximately two months for CORSIA-eligible Programs and four months for non-CORSIA Programs, subject to operational considerations.  

Is there anything else that applicants need to know? 

Here are the key points:  

  • We aim to announce the first CCP-Eligible Programs and CCP-Approved Categories in early 2024.
  • A PDF version of the application questions on the Assessment Platform is available as a reference guide. 
  • Applications will be processed in the order they are found to be completed.
  • Completed applications will be publicly available on the ICVCM website.
  • Assessment of a Program application is treated in the strictest confidence.
  • Programs may withdraw program applications at any time before a final decision has been taken by emailing [email protected].
  • Programs will be asked to abide by standard ICVCM terms and conditions. 
  • There are three possible outcomes from the Program assessment process:
    1. the Program is approved as CCP-Eligible.
    2. the Program is approved with remedial actions to be completed within two months.
    3. the Program is rejected (rationale will be shared with the program; who can reapply in six-months).
  • Programs which the ICVCM decides do not meet the criteria for CCP certification can appeal the decision by requesting a hearing with the governing board where they can present further evidence supporting their case for CCP-Eligibility.  

Ready to apply?  

Click here to email the ICVCM or click here to read more about the CCPs, the Program-Level Assessment Framework and Assessment Procedure.