The process for Validation & Verification Body (VVB)

VVB accreditation

VVBs must be accredited by Riverse in order to validate DPDs for Riverse-issued credits. To be accredited, VVBs must:

  • Have the ISO 14065 accreditation or equivalent (i.e. COFRAC ISO:17029 - CSR)
  • Have more than 5 years of auditing experience, including at least 2 years in environmental auditing
  • Sign Riverse’s Conflicts of Interest Policy
  • Prove experience in the sectoral scope of accreditation

New VVB Application Process

Upon receipt of the VVB application form, Riverse reviews the information provided and responds once the review is complete. Riverse rejects applications where it determines that the applicant does not possess the required competencies.

Upon application approval, Riverse asks the VVB to submit a signed copy of the Riverse Conflict of Interest Policy, to ensure all parties respect Riverse’s independence criteria.

Once the Riverse VVB Agreement is drawn up and signed, the VVB can begin conducting audits under Riverse programs. The VVB organization is added as an approved VVB on Riverse’s website.

Projects eventually choose their own validators and verifiers and pay them directly. Riverse Standard remains independent from this process.

VVB accreditation is valid for a duration of 3 years.

Audits guidelines

Validation objectives

The audit process is designed to ensure the integrity and effectiveness of projects under the Riverse Standard. The audit focuses on several critical aspects:

  1. Consistency Verification: meticulously validate the consistency and validity of the responses and evidence provided for each criterion of the Riverse Standard.
  2. Model Assessment: For projects not covered by Riverse's sector-specific methodologies, ensure that their Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) encompasses all necessary life cycle stages and aligns with our LCA practices.
  3. Data authenticity and estimates: the auditor scrutinize the project's data inputs, ensuring they are based on actual data supported by technical information from reliable sources. Where estimates are used, they must be appropriate and justifiable.
  4. Model usage: It's essential that the project employs LCA for estimating carbon removals and avoidance, thereby determining the appropriate issuance of carbon credits.
  5. 5-Year carbon credits estimation: the audit confirms the projected quantity of carbon removal or avoidance credits per annum. This validation is based on the modeled emission reductions and the project's expected output or production capacity.
  6. Monitoring Plan: the Monitoring Plan is reviewed to ensure that the suggested documents and indicators will enable the Verification and Validation Body (VVB) to accurately verify project eligibility and carbon credit issuance in the upcoming years.

Site validation

A site audit is mandatory within two years of the project’s crediting period start date and/or before the second verification audit. This punctual site audit is complementary to the annual operations audits, which are checked during verification via documents and photos.

The goal of the site audit is to confirm that:

  • The project exists and is functional
  • The scale of the project is in line with the description
  • Key processes operate as described in the project DPD

Projects that issue more than 10,000 credits per year must undergo an in-person site audit. Otherwise, a remote audit is allowed because 1) it eases the time and cost burdens of project developers and VVBs and 2) it is satisfactory for the industrial projects, which usually consist of small, unchanging, easily documentable sites.

Verification objectives

Once the project has undergone validation, it transitions to the verification phase with a designated Validation and Verification Body (VVB). The primary objectives of VVB verification are to ascertain the project's ongoing integrity, eligibility, and alignment with the initial projections. Verification is done for each year of the crediting period.

This involves a thorough:

  • review of the validity and proof of indicators presented in the Monitoring Plan.
  • evaluation of any major reported changes to the project, such as changes in operations or production output. Ensure that the project still meets the eligibility criteria.
  • validation of updated LCA calculations (using indicators from the Monitoring Plan), and the corresponding amount of carbon credits to issue.

The output of this verification will be used to verify and issue the expected amount of credits, cancel (in case of underachievement) or issue additional credit (in case of overachievement).

This ensures that the credits generated genuinely reflect the project's carbon mitigation impact. The VVB team must follow the procedures outlined in the “Annual monitoring & verification” section of the Procedures Manual.