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New Validation and Verification Standard and other Gold Standard news


Dear VVB Community,

There have been some important developments at Gold Standard recently that we wanted to draw your attention to:

You may have read about some of them in other Gold Standard newsletters, but here we are presenting them from a VVB perspective.  

Thank you for reading.


Gold Standard’s Validation/Verification Standard Released

Earlier this year, we received valuable feedback from you on an important and highly anticipated new document, the Gold Standard for the Global Goals Validation and Verification Standard (VVS). We are pleased to share that we recently published the final VVS on our standard website. Below is the key information which you should take into consideration as a VVB.

Benefits of the VVS

The VVS will give you more clarity of the minimum requirements for validation and verification activities under Gold Standard for the Global Goals (GS4GG), making it easier, for example:
  • for quality managers: to check the completeness of audit templates.
  • for team leaders and technical reviewers: to check the completeness of audit plans and audit reports.
  • for validators/verifiers: to justify findings to project developers.
It will also help Gold Standard in general, to improve the quality and consistency of GS4GG validation and verification activities performed by different teams and VVBs, and to reduce design and performance review timelines.

Entry into Force

The new standard document was published in early March and will come into force on 05 June 2023. VVBs may apply the new standard requirements to audits before the date of entry into force, and are encouraged to do so, however it does not become obligatory until 05 June 2023.
Please note:  the entry into force depends on the date of signature of the validation/verification contract, and not, as is more common, on the date of submission for design/certification review. Should you have contracts that are multi-year, please take into account the date of confirmation of the site visit or another relevant date.
Please review timeline below which illustrates the applicability of the document over the next few months.

Implementation by VVBs

We encourage you to take these 90 days to review the document in full and ensure your processes and audit templates are in alignment with the VVS.
For further clarity, we have created a Q&A document to answer the main questions we believe you may have. Should you still have questions, do not hesitate to send a clarification request to  
We will also present the VVS during the quarterly VVB update training organised by SustainCERT in mid-April. We will provide more information on that soon.


Related Documents

In our continued effort to improve the quality and consistency of the GS4GG assurance process, we introduced the following changes:
  • In January 2021, we revamped our general Validation and Verification Body Requirements to ensure VVBs have the right quality management and team capacity
  • In November 2021, learning from the COVID-19 interim measures, we introduced the Site Visit and Remote Audit Requirements to allow for flexibility through remote audits while maintaining audit rigour.
  • In August 2022, we introduced the GS-VVB Terms and Conditions to ensure the legal framework between Gold Standard and the VVBs.
  • Later in 2023, we will introduce new standardised audit reporting templates to streamline services and enable more efficient, improved, and consistent reviews. We hope that this will standardise the audit and review process and reduce the rounds of review significantly. We are currently developing these and expect to road-test them with you in Q2 2023.


Safeguarding Principles and Requirements version 2.0 for stakeholder consultation

As part of a scheduled update, the Safeguarding Principles and Requirements have been updated to align with the Paris Agreement provisions and recent updates of the underlying environmental and social framework. In addition, the revised draft further strengthens the safeguards and requirements for core principles such as human rights, gender equality and women's empowerment, Indigenous people, labour rights and working conditions.

Important for VVBs: Annex 1 of the document introduces a checklist for risk assessment for ease of implementation and application to help both project developers comply with the requirements, and VVBs to assess compliance. We are particularly interested in your feedback on this section, its relevance and auditability.

We are now seeking stakeholder feedback on the revisions and the assessment questions, until 27 April 2023.


Microscale Mainstreaming into GS4GG

We are seeking VVB feedback on the proposal to mainstream the microscale project requirements into Gold Standard for the Global Goals (GS4GG), particularly on the need for third-party validation/verification.

The microscale scheme was originally introduced in version 2.2 of the Gold Standard to help smaller projects - generally those that deliver less than 10,000 tCO2e a year and provide a wealth of other development benefits to vulnerable communities - gain access to carbon finance through a simplified requirements and methodologies. We also introduced internal validation/verification and an overall simpler certification process.
The programme has seen great success with over 900 microscale projects certified since its inception. Today, the microscale project requirements need to evolve to align with changes in the voluntary carbon market.
Since the adoption of the Paris Agreement, the market has evolved with new compliance schemes and regulatory bodies - such as CORSIA and the Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market’s (IC-VCM) upcoming Core Carbon Principles (CCPs) – establishing new minimum criteria for standard setting and assurance. A key principle within the criteria is the need for audits by third-party validation and verification bodies, which means microscale projects that continue to use internal validation and verification processes will not be compliant under these evolving market conditions.
To continue supporting microscale projects in accessing climate finance, we are proposing to mainstream the microscale project requirements within GS4GG.  
One of the main changes this will imply is the requirement for the regular validation and verification of microscale projects by an approved Gold Standard Validation/Verification Body, as for all other project scales.
The proposed date for entry into force is 20 September 2023.
Please provide your feedback until 27 April 2023 in the stakeholder consultation link below.


Methodology concept note on early phase-out of coal-fired power plants

The IPCC report published last week suggests that the number one solution for climate change mitigation is to retire coal plants, and second is to invest in clean energy and efficiency. And it is imperative that this is done in a manner that is just and equitable for all stakeholders.

A proposed methodology concept released by Gold Standard will encourage the early phase-out of coal-fired thermal power plants, and their replacement with renewable energy. To be eligible for certification, early phase-out shall be supported by robust sustainable development contributions that ensure a just energy transition.

Gold Standard also intends to further explore other fossil phase-out options towards grid decarbonisation. Gold Standard will start work on the methodology and guidance immediately and welcomes feedback and input from stakeholders.

You can read the article here.

Gold Standard is welcoming views from VVBs for the next 30 days.




We are excited to announce our upcoming two-day conference taking place on 26 and 27 June 2023 in London, in line with London Climate week.  

This conference will mark Gold Standard’s 20th Anniversary by bringing together industry experts, policymakers and thought leaders to discuss how two decades of learnings can feed into current and future trends, to accelerate our collective impact on climate action and sustainable development.  

With keynote presentations from guest speakers, round tables with industry experts, deep-dive breakouts and networking sessions, it is sure to be an exciting programme with something to interest all our stakeholder groups. On the evening of the first day, we invite you to join us in celebrating our 20th Anniversary with a networking party in central London. This will be a great opportunity to connect with fellow attendees and continue the discussions in a more informal setting. 

Please save the date in your calendar and register your interest to ensure you are first to receive details about the conference in the coming weeks, including the programme and registration information. 

We believe this conference will be a valuable opportunity for you to network, share your experiences, and gain new insights. 


Further updates from Gold Standard

We recently published a general newsletter with important updates around just transition, government collaboration and more.


Thank you for your continued work with Gold Standard. I look forward to hearing from you on these important topics!

Best Regards,


Martha Djourdjin
Senior Manager, Oversight, Compliance & Innovation
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