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4. Validation - Initial project check

What is validation?

There are two stages to 3rd party audits of WCC projects which are undertaken by a body accredited by the UK Accreditation Service:

  • Validation is the initial evaluation of a project or group against the requirements of the Woodland Carbon Code.
  • Verification is the ongoing evaluation of the project against the requirements of the Woodland Carbon Code.  Verification will asses the carbon sequestration that has actually occurred as well as continuing management to the UK Forestry Standard. Find out more.

In both cases, the validation and verification body will check that statements about predicted or actual carbon sequestration are materially correct, with a reasonable level of assurance.


Who can validate my project?

Acoura is accredited by the UK Accreditation Service to certify Woodland Carbon Code projects. Soil Association Certification are working through the accreditation process by demonstrating their validation skills. Both bodies can validate WCC projects.

Acoura (formerly SFQC)

Acoura logo

Contact: Jane Ellis / Tel: 0131 335 6632

Soil Association Certification

Soil Association certification logo

Contact:  Andy Grundy / Tel: 0117 914 2435


Getting your project or group validated

There are a number of steps involved:

  • You need to have registered your project and completed your project design document.
  • The Project/Group Manager should then contact one of the accredited validation bodies to arrange for a project/group validation.
  • The Project/Group manager will then submit all relevant documentation (the Single/Group Project Design Document and additional evidence as detailed in the Code) to the validation body.
  • Host field audit(s) if required. In general, where an approved Forestry Commission, WAG or Forest Service woodland creation grant is in place which involved field assessments, a field visit will not be required for validation. Where there is no grant aid but there is sufficient evidence from a Forestry Commission or other independent site visit/audit, then a field visit by the validation body will not be required. If there is insufficient evidence from these sources, the validation body will conduct a site visit. For groups, the number and selection of projects to be sampled will be determined using a risk-based approach.
  • The validation body will assess the project/group, and may suggest some corrective actions. These should be addressed within one month (except in exceptional circumstances) before the project/group can be validated.
  • If validation is successful, the validation body will issue a Validation Statement and confirm the status of the project/group to the Project Developer/Group Manager and the Forestry Commission. They will also provide final documentation (final PDD, map, carbon calculation) to the Forestry Commission and the project developer or group manager. The statement will have an expiry date of up to 5 years.
  • The project developer or group manager will need to upload the final PDD, map, carbon calculation and Validation Statement to the UK Woodland Carbon Registry and update the fields in the registry if necessary.
  • The project developer will also need to upload either a 'communications agreement' (to show the landowner is happy for the project developer to represent them in the registry) or a 'proof of right' (to show the project developer owns the rights to the carbon) to confirm that they have the right to list the project's carbon units in their account. (If the Markit account holder is the landowner then neither document is required). Contact or for a template documents.
  • The project developer/ group manager should then submit the project/group as 'Validated' in the Registry.


What next?

  • You will receive an email from Markit confirming the updated status of your project in the registry.
  • Markit will setup Pending Issuance Units to represent all the predicted carbon sequestration of your project. You will be invoiced 6 pence per unit and upon payment the units will become active in your account.  See Registry Details.
  • If you've made any sales you need to transfer them to the account of the carbon buyer.


Last updated: 11th July 2016