Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

GS4GG Certification Process

In the previous lessons, we built the foundations to learn how to carry out the GS4GG certification process. In the next lessons, we will dive into more detail on the key processes and milestones that you need to reach to successfully reap the rewards of this process. So, first, let’s look at the project cycle of this process.


The GS4GG Project Certification process operates on a renewable five-year certification cycle, encompassing the following key attributes:

According to the GS4GG Principles & Requirements (PAR) v1.2, the Project Cycle is organized as follows:

These stages include processes that lead to important milestones. Moving forward through the process depends on achieving successfully each milestone.


The GS4GG certification process includes procedures to certify a stand-alone project and/or a Programme of Activities.

What is a Programme of Activities (PoA)?

A Programme of Activity (PoA) is a set of related activities with a common objective. PoAs enable replicable projects access to carbon finance through coordinated implementation. This document provides minimum requirements and procedures for Coordinating/managing entities (CMEs) and/or Voluntary Project Activity (VPA) implementers for designing, implementing, monitoring, and seeking issuance of Gold Standard Certified Impact Statements or Products and related actions under a PoA.

The PoA Requirements and Procedures follow a similar process as a stand-alone Project. Please refer to this corresponding documentation in Programme of Activity: Requirements and Procedures (version 2.0, 05.05.2022)

This course will focus on the process for certifying a stand-alone project and will be updated in the future to include the PoA process.




The GS4GG timeline encompasses three primary statuses that lead to the issuance of the certified SDG Impact.


  • Includes Planning a project
    • Check eligibility criteria
    • Plan and conduct stakeholder consultation
    • Assess project design against safeguarding principles and estimate SD impacts
    • Finalize stakeholder consultation report (SCR)
    • Prepare GS4GG Preliminary Review Request (PRR) Form
    • Prepare other documents like:
      • Terms & Conditions
      • ODA Declaration Form
      • Submit on SC Platform
  • Ends with Draft Project Design ready for submission for Preliminary Review


  • Requires to undertake a Preliminary Review (upload Key Project Information and complete a Stakeholder Consultation Report.
  • The invitation for the consultation meeting shall be given at least 30 days before the meeting takes place.
  • Retroactive projects shall submit the required documents for preliminary review (time of first submission) within one year of the project start date. 
    • A project with a Certified Design requesting to include a new technology/measures shall submit the request for approval of design change to Gold Standard within one year of the start date of the proposed technology/measures (design change component).
  • The Stakeholder Feedback Round remains open for a minimum of 60 days.

GS Certified Design (Design Certification)

  • Projects may then seek Gold Standard Certified Design status by successfully completing Validation (within two years of the date of Listing) and a subsequent Design Review.
  • The number of Performance Certifications in a five-year certification cycle is not limited although it must take place at least once, no later than two years after Project implementation or Design Certification, whichever is later.

Performance Certification

  • Gold Standard for the Global Goals Project Certification is based on a five-year renewable certification cycle.
  • There can be an unlimited number of GS Performance Certifications, a minimum of once in a 5-year cycle.
  • This depends on Project Type
  • The certification cycle can be renewed through a Design Certification Renewal process.
  • During years when there is no Performance Certification, the Project Developer must submit an Annual Report.

Annual Reporting

Annual update reports must be provided for Projects that have achieved the Project Design Certification stage or have successfully transitioned to the GS4GG and made publicly accessible (even if verification is still in progress but not yet finished, an annual report must still be submitted by the end of the calendar year). Failure to submit the required annual reports will lead to the decertification of the Project.

Note:  Annual Reporting does not constitute Certification, nor does it involve any decision-making or agreement by Gold Standard regarding design changes.  The goal is to share progress, track key updates, and confirm that the Project is still active. Any changes in approach will be implemented only after a formal review of conformity to Requirements during Performance Certification.


(*)Please be advised that this is an introductory level guidance. During the lessons, we will refer to relevant documentation to help you navigate the requirements of the GS4GG certification process.