The world's leading voluntary GHG program

Rules and Requirements

The VCS Program rules are the backbone of the program. They define the standards and processes which all projects must follow in order to be certified. The VCS rules are set out in a suite of documents which include three types of program documents:

Requirements documents

Requirements documents set out the core principles and requirements for developing projects and generating GHG credits that are real, additional, permanent, independently verified and transparently registered. All VCS projects are assessed against these requirements to determine whether they are eligible to register with the VCS Program.

Procedural documents

Procedural documents describe the steps required to perform different functions of the VCS Program, including how to apply for project registration and how to submit new methodologies for VCS approval. These documents guide users of the VCS Program through these different processes.

Templates & Forms

Templates and forms are provided to ensure that users of the VCS Program have a consistent structure to work from when completing certain documents. These templates are required for the completion of project descriptions, monitoring reports, verification reports and other required documentation.

Other Documents

VCS also periodically publishes guidance documents to illustrate different aspects of the VCS rules using examples and other guidance.

Finally, note that the VCS Program rules have progressed through a number of iterations over time. Previous versions of the VCS Program rules which are no longer in use are archived on the VCS website.

Find a program document

Find a guidance document

Previous versions of VCS rules

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