Joint Implementation Accreditation Standard for Independent Entities

The JISC introduced the Joint Implementation Accreditation Standard at its 21st meeting.  The document consolidates into a single standard all previous and current JI accreditation requirements with the objective of facilitating and promoting a clear and common understanding of the JI accreditation requirements. The standard came into effect on 15 April 2010.

The Accreditation Standard covers the following areas:

  • Legal status;
  • Financial stability and insurance;
  • Management structure;
  • Impartiality;
  • Human resources and competence;
  • Determination and verification processes;
  • Quality management system;
  • Confidentiality;
  • Complaints, disputes and appeals handling processes; and
  • Pending judicial processes.

Legal Status

An IE must be registered under applicable national and/or international law so that it can enter into contracts and sue and be sued for its determination or verification work (JISC 21, Annex 1, paragraph 31).

Financial Stability and Insurance

An IE must have the financial resources and stability required for its determination and verification work, and demonstrate its financial resources and stability through:

  1. Documentary evidence of financial resources, such as assets, savings and/or line of credit, etc.; and
  2. Externally audited financial statements (e.g. balance sheets, financial results, profit and loss statements) for the last three years or, for newly established entities, other relevant documentary evidence, such as shareholders commitment (JISC 21, Annex 1, paragraph 34).

Independent entities must also carry their own liability insurance to cover legal and financial risks arising from their determination or verification work (JISC 21, Annex 1, paragraph 35).

Management Structure

An IE shall have documented organizational and management structure that includes:

  1. Definition of responsibilities and allocation of functions of top management, operational management, determination and verification personnel, quality manager and other personnel involved in determination and verification work, including any operational or supervisory committee;
  2. The names, qualifications, experience and terms of reference of top management and operational management;
  3. An organization chart showing top management and operational management and lines of authority (JISC 21, Annex 1, paragraph 36).

IEs must also establish a procedure for the allocation of responsibilities within the entity and make this documented procedure publicly available (JISC 21, Annex 1, paragraphs 34-35).

The Joint Implementation Accreditation Standard further outlines the specific functions of the operational management that cannot be delegated to other personnel (JISC 21, Annex 1, paragraph 36).

Impartiality

An IE shall establish and implement a documented policy to commit the entire entity to act impartially in its determination and verification work. Its policy must also be made publicly available (JISC 21, Annex 1, paragraphs 41-42).

An IE shall establish a structure, such as a committee, that is separate from, and reports directly to, the top management, is independent from the IE's personnel performing determination and verification work, safeguards impartiality and ensures that its impartiality policy is effectively implemented.  An IE shall establish and implement a documented procedure, in line with its impartiality policy, to identify and avoid conflict of interest situations and mitigate or eliminate threats to its impartiality (JISC 21, Annex I, paragraphs 45-46).

The requirements for the IEs impartiality procedure is detailed in paragraph 47 of the Joint Implementation Accreditation Standard.

Human Resources and Competence

An IE shall establish and implement a documented policy that ensures it has the necessary expertise to carry out its determination and verification work and have sufficient knowledge and understanding of:

  1. The JI guidelines and other relevant decisions of the CMP and the JISC;
  2. Environmental impacts and issues associated with JI projects relevant to each technical area, within sectoral scopes, in which the IE operates; 
  3. Technical processes and aspects of JI projects associated with each technical area, within sectoral scopes, in which the IE operates; 
  4. Baseline and monitoring methodologies in each technical area, within sectoral scopes, in which the IE operates, including methodologies for the accounting of emission reductions and removal enhancements; and
  5. Relevant environmental auditing requirements and methodologies (JISC 21, Annex 1, paragraph 48).

An IE shall define the competence criteria for each function of its personnel performing determination and verification work, including operational management, determiners, verifiers, determination and verification team leaders, technical experts, internal reviewers and the quality manager, and periodically review these criteria (JISC 21, Annex 1, paragraph 50).

The operational management must have sufficient competence relevant to the sectoral scopes in which the IE operates (JISC 21, Annex 1, paragraph 53).

The Joint Implementation Accreditation Standard further outlines the particular competency requirements for the entity's operational management and personnel (JISC 21, Annex 1, paragraphs 54-62).

An IE shall establish and implement a documented procedure for ensuring recruitment of competent personnel for performing determination or verification work, including determiners, verifiers, determination and verification team leaders, technical experts and internal reviewers (JISC 21, Annex 1, paragraph 63).

An IE shall establish and implement a documented procedure for monitoring the performance of its personnel performing determination and verification work, including determiners, verifiers, determination and verification team leaders, technical experts and internal reviewers (JISC 21, Annex 1, paragraph 64).

An IE shall establish, periodically update and implement a documented training plan, including competence development, for its personnel performing determination or verification work, including determiners, verifiers, determination and verification team leaders, technical experts and internal reviewers, in order to improve their competence or to address new technical or regulatory needs (JISC 21, Annex 1, paragraph 67).

The Joint Implementation Accreditation Standard further provides for standards regarding the use of external personnel and subcontractors (JISC 21, Annex 1, paragraphs 70-75).

Determination and Verification Processes

An IE must establish and implement a documented procedure for reviewing requests from potential clients for determinations or verifications and for evaluating whether the IE is capable of carrying out the requested work (JISC 21, Annex 1, paragraph 76).

The IE's proposal and contract review procedure shall ensure that, before submitting any proposal to potential clients for carrying out determination or verification work and before concluding any contract for carrying out such work, the IE has established that:

  1. The project falls within the IE's accredited sectoral scopes or those applied for accreditation;
  2. The IE and its personnel to be involved in the requested determination or verification do not have any conflict of interest with the client or the project and can perform the work impartially, in accordance with section V. above;
  3. The IE has available personnel to perform the requested determination or verification with necessary competence (JISC 21, Annex 1, paragraph 77).

An IE shall also establish and implement a documented procedure for the selection of determination and verification team members and, if necessary, technical expert(s), as well as establishing and implementing a documented procedure for conducting an internal review of each determination or verification opinion and report prepared by a determination or verification team (JISC 21, Annex 1, paragraphs 79-88).

Quality Management System

An IE shall establish and implement a quality management system (QMS) to ensure and demonstrate that its determination and verification work consistently complies with:

  1. The determination and verification requirements of the JI guidelines and relevant decisions of the CMP and the JISC;
  2. Its own documented policies and procedures (JISC 21, Annex 1, paragraph 89).

An IE shall appoint a JI quality manager who, regardless of other responsibilities, shall be responsible for:

  1. Ensuring that the IE establishes and implements procedures for its QMS;
  2. Reporting the performance of the QMS to the top management and proposing improvement, as needed (JISC 21, Annex 1, paragraph 93).

The Joint Implementation Accreditation Standard also contains provisions relating to; documents and records that must be kept by the entity; internal audits that must be conducted; corrective actions following a complaint by internal or external audits or by assessments conducted by JI-ATs; and procedures for management review of the entity's quality management system (JISC 21, Annex 1, paragraphs 94-103).

Confidentiality

An IE shall establish and implement a documented procedure for safeguarding the confidentiality of client information that is marked proprietary or confidential, unless the JI guidelines or a relevant CMP or JISC decision requires them to be made publicly available (JISC 21, Annex 1, paragraph 104).

Complaints, Disputes and Appeals Handling Processes

An IE shall establish and implement a documented procedure for receiving, managing, evaluating, deciding and taking any follow-up actions, on expressions of dissatisfaction, by any person or organization relating to the IE's determination or verification work (JISC 21, Annex 1, paragraph 106). An IE's complaints handling procedure must be made publicly available (JISC 21, Annex 1, paragraph 108).

The IE's complaints handling procedure shall include provisions for:

  1. Receiving, acknowledging of receipt of complaints and keeping records of complaints and any actions taken in response to them;
  2. Gathering and evaluating of all necessary information for assessing the nature of the complaint, investigating the motives of the complaint and deciding on the actions to be taken in response to the complaint, if any;
  3. Evaluating whether the complaint relates to determination or verification work for which the IE is responsible;
  4. Ensuring that, if an investigation reveals the IE's non-compliance with a JI accreditation requirement, appropriate corrections and corrective actions are taken;
  5. Keeping confidential the identity of the complainant and the details of the complaint;
  6. Ensuring that the IE's personnel engaged in the complaint handling process are different from those who are subject of the complaint;
  7. Providing the complainant with a formal notice of the outcome of the investigation resulting from the complaint (JISC 21, Annex 1, paragraph 107).

An IE must also establish and implement a documented procedure for receiving and handling disagreements between the IE and a client or requests by its clients for reconsideration of a decision made in its determination or verification work (JISC 21, Annex 1, paragraph 109-115). 

An IE shall not have pending any judicial process for malpractice, fraud or other activity incompatible with its determination or verification work and must make a declaration to that effect.  IEs must also  maintain a record of all past and pending judicial processes for malpractice, fraud or other activity incompatible with its determination or verification work.  If the IE becomes involved in a judicial process of that nature, it must immediately inform the JISC (JISC 21, Annex 1, paragraphs 116-119).