External Review Process

1. Once an application is submitted and the application fee is paid, WHC will assign the application to a third party Reviewer.

2. Each application is reviewed by at least two Reviewers.

In the event that there is a notable discrepancy in the review of projects, a project or application may be submitted to a third Reviewer. In the case of a third review, the two reviews that most closely agree will be used for the final outcome

3. Once the review process has been completed, applicants have access to both scoring sheets for each project to review their scores and comments from Reviewers.

4. If the application was unsuccessful, e.g. receives a “Not-Certified” outcome, applicants have an opportunity to submit additional and/or clarifying information in an appeal. Appeals are reviewed by the same Reviewers who conducted the initial reviews and are evaluated using the same Scoring Sheets. 


WHC contracts with a team of third-party freelance professionals with experience in conservation to serve as official Conservation Certification Reviewers.
All Reviewers receive training on the Conservation Certification standard, project scoring, and the supporting guidance on evaluation of applications. In addition to initial training, reviewers receive additional training annually to ensure all Reviewers are up to date on the process and criteria. 

Scoring Sheets

Each project submitted as part of an application is scored using the Scoring Sheet specific to that project type. Scoring Sheets determine the outcome, including the project score, project class, program score, and program tier. 

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