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  • Writer's pictureGraham Harris

What’s new in ISO 14064-3:2019? Updates to version 2 of the GHG validation & verification standard.

Updated: Nov 19, 2019

At the end of June, I had the pleasure of teaching the CSA’s ISO 14064-3 course on ‘Greenhouse Gas Validation and Verification” to a group of engaged and eager students in Calgary. I’ve been teaching this course, and its precursors, for around 10 years. However, the first version of the ISO 14064-3 standard was published in 2006, and the second version was published just a few months ago (in April 2019) so, this was my first time teaching a group to use Version 2 of the standard.

With that in mind, it felt like a good time to discuss some of the changes in Version 2. In some respects, it’s easy to say that not much has changed. Version 2 of the standard essentially addresses the same activities (validation and verification of greenhouse gas assertions) and contains many of the same key requirements.

In other respects, however, the standard is completely changed – while Version 1 of the standard was only 6 pages long, with a single, supplementary Annex, Version 2 is 34 pages long and has four supplementary Annexes! Given the scale of the changes, I shall not attempt to cover them all in a blog post. However, here’s a flavour of some of the changes, which include updates that:

1) Tighten up the definitions of “validation” and “verification” so that it is now clear that validation refers to future activities and verification refers to historical activities.

2) Change the principles of validation and verification

o In Version 1, these were: fair presentation, ethical conduct, due professional care and independence;

o In Version 2, these are: fair presentation, evidence-based approach, impartiality, documentation and conservativeness.

3) Add a new validation and verification fundamental: “Type of Engagement” (i.e. validation, verification or the new ‘agreed-upon procedures’) alongside the familiar ‘LOCSM’ (that is, Level of Assurance, Objectives, Criteria, Scope and Materiality).

4) Include more detail regarding the validation/verification process, including changes such as:

o Splitting the validation and verification processes apart, such that they are separately described and include separate and specific requirements;

o Explicitly including a step on selecting a verification (or validation) team;

o Detailing the types of opinion that can be issued, including the conditions under which these can be issued.

5) Make carrying out an independent peer review a requirement of completing a validation or verification.

6) Strengthen the requirements around how to handle material facts discovered after the validation or verification, including explicitly requiring that the validator or verifier must communicate this to the client, responsible party and the GHG programme.

7) Provide modifications to the requirements of the standard for limited level of assurance engagements in Annex A;

8) Include guidance on completing an AUP (Agreed-Upon Procedures) or a Mixed engagement.

In short, if you are a validator or verifier, a GHG programme authority, or a GHG project or inventory quantifier, it’s probably time that you reviewed version 2 of this standard (if you have not already done so!) And if you are interested in receiving training around the use of ISO 14064-3, please do get in touch.

In the meantime, happy validating and verifying!

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