Application Outcomes

Outcome Process

  1. Applications are evaluated at the project level, and these evaluations determine the project class and project score. The overall program score and tier are based on the combined project level outcomes. 
  2. After the review process is complete, an email with an official outcome letter is sent to the main site contact and main corporate contact. This email includes the outcome of your application, program and project scores, and, if applicable, tier and renewal term information.

Scoring Sheets

Once an outcome is sent, the project Scoring Sheets are available to review. 

To access completed scoring sheets:
  1. Click on the Past Applications button on your homepage
  2. Open the application you would like to review (check the Date Submitted column to ensure you select the most recent application)
  3. Open the project you would like to review, and click Open next to Review Results at the top of the page
To see all possible scores for each scoring question, consult the corresponding Scoring Sheet.

Project Class

Depending on which of the project specific requirements are met, each project in an application is given a project class based on the 5 requirements:
  • Early projects - Do not meet requirements 1 & 2
    Not eligible to earn points
  • Contributing projects - Meets requirements 1 & 2 but not all 5
    Earn points towards a program’s overall score but are not recognized as full projects
  • Qualifying projects – Meets all 5 requirements
    Recognized as full projects (which enables a program to be certified)

Project Score

The project score is a sum of all points achieved for each question in the Project Scoring Sheet. Projects classified as Early receive 0 points (see Project Class section). 

Project scores can range from 0-100. However, the Scoring Sheets were designed to provide opportunities to recognize efforts at various stages – from new projects to longstanding projects. As a result, for most project types it is not feasible to earn 100 points as you will earn points for longevity or new project design. Therefore the goal for any project should not be to earn 100 points, but rather to have the strongest possible application, which will be reflected in the highest possible score. 

Program Score

Based on the project scores and classes, programs are scored and the certification outcome is determined. At least one habitat, species or education project must be qualifying for the program to be certified. 

The program score is calculated as the sum of the scores for all qualifying and contributing projects. The program score determines a program’s tier. 

Unsuccessful Applications

Not all applications are successful. If an application does not meet certification requirements, the program will have an opportunity to submit supplemental information through the appeals process. If an appeal is not submitted or the appeal is unsuccessful, the program will receive  an outcome of Not Certified.

Programs that are Not Certified can no longer publicize that they hold Conservation Certification. Certification signage can not be displayed if the program is Not Certified.


Tiers are designed to provide an additional level of recognition for strong and exceptional programs. The score ranges associated with each tier are determined by analyzing percentile ranks of scores. The ranges for each tier are updated every 3 years to accurately reflect recent applications and to drive change as programs improve over time.     

2023-2025 Tiers

Certification Renewal Terms

In order to ensure that Conservation Certification remains credible and is therefore valuable to all participants, programs need to apply for renewal every 2 to 3 years. The length of each renewal term is determined based on the tier, which is part of the outcome of each application. As a result, a program could have a 2-year term following one application and a 3-year term following a subsequent application. 

The vast majority of applicants will receive a 2-year renewal term. Programs that are Certified Gold receive a 3-year term in recognition of the strength and scope of their application. 

The certification renewal term can be found in the outcome letter, which provides the expiry date (the date by which the program must submit a renewal application to maintain certification).
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