The participants in a Programme of Activities (PoA) and component project activities (CPAs) within a PoA engage a designated operational entity (DOE) to verify the data which has been collected by the project participants in accordance with the monitoring plan. That data will be set out in a monitoring report, which must be provided to the DOE engaged to conduct the verification.
The steps involved in verification are set out in 3/CMP.1, Annex, paragraph 62, and are as follows:
The designated operational entity contracted by the project participants to perform the verification shall make the monitoring report publicly available, and shall:
- Determine whether the project documentation provided is in accordance with the requirements of the registered project design document and relevant provisions of decision 17/CP.7, the present annex and relevant decisions of the COP/MOP;
- Conduct on-site inspections, as appropriate, that may comprise, inter alia, a review of performance records, interviews with project participants and local stakeholders, collection of measurements, observation of established practices and testing of the accuracy of monitoring equipment;
- If appropriate, use additional data from other sources;
- Review monitoring results and verify that the monitoring methodologies for the estimation of reductions in anthropogenic emissions by sources have been applied correctly and their documentation is complete and transparent;
- Recommend to the project participants appropriate changes to the monitoring methodology for any future crediting period, if necessary;
- Determine the reductions in anthropogenic emissions by sources of greenhouse gases that would not have occurred in the absence of the CDM project activity, based on the data and information derived under subparagraph (a) above and obtained under subparagraph (b) and/or (c) above, as appropriate, using calculation procedures consistent with those contained in the registered project design document and in the monitoring plan;
- Identify and inform the project participants of any concerns relating to the conformity of the actual project activity and its operation with the registered project design document. Project participants shall address the concerns and supply relevant additional information.
The role of the DOE is to not only verify the PoAs reported emissions reductions but also to verify the method in which the monitoring report and other documentation was produced:
The DOE shall assess whether the data collection system meets the requirement of the monitoring plan as per the applied methodology including applicable tool(s).
In addition to the monitoring documentation the DOE shall review:
- The registered PDD and the monitoring plan, including any approved revised monitoring plan and/or changes from the registered PDD, and the corresponding validation opinion;
- The validation report;
- Previous verification reports, if any;
- The applied monitoring methodology;
- The monitoring report to verify that is as per the standardized format;
- Any other information and references relevant to the project activity's emission reductions (e.g. IPCC reports, date on electricity generation in the national grid or laboratory analysis and national regulations (Validation and Verification Standard, paragraphs 211-212).
Where no specific means of verification is specified in the methodology the DOE shall apply standard auditing techniques to assess the quality of the information, including but not limited to:
a. Desk review, involving:
- A review of the date and information presented to verify their completeness;
- A review of the monitoring plan and monitoring methodology, including applicable tools, paying particular attention to the frequency of measurements, the quality of metering equipment including calibration requirements, and the quality assurance and quality control procedures;
- An evaluation of data management and the quality assurance and quality control system i the context of their influence on the generation and reporting of emission reductions.
b. On-site assessment, involving:
- An Assessment of the implementation and operation of the registered project activity as per the registered PDD or any approved revised PDD;
- A review of information flows for generating, aggregating and reporting the monitoring parameters;
- Interviews with relevant personnel to determine whether the operational and data collection procedures are implemented in accordance with the monitoring plan in the PDD;
- A cross check between information provided in the monitoring report and data from other sources such as plant logbooks, inventorying, purchase records or similar data sources;
- A check of the monitoring equipment including calibration performance and observations of monitoring practices against the requirements of the PDD and the selected methodology and corresponding tool(s), where applicable;
- A review of calculations and assumptions made in determining the GHG data and emission reductions;
- An identification of quality control and quality assurance procedures in place to prevent or identify and correct any errors or omissions in the reported monitoring parameters (Validation and Verification Standard, paragraph 217).
A DOE that has not performed validation/inclusion/renewal of crediting period activities for a particular PoA must also do the following:
- Indentify those CPAs that it shall consider for verification in accordance with the method/procedure to be used for verification of the amount of reductions of anthropogenic emissions by sources or removals by sinks of greenhouse gases achieved by CPAs under the PoA and determined in the CDM-PoA-DD;
- Take into account the possible existence of different version of the PoA and the need to account for this in its sampling approach, to ensure that a statistically sound sample of CPAs from each version of the PoA are being verified;
- Make all monitoring reports received from the coordinating/managing entity immediately publically available in accordance with the Project cycle procedure;
- Systematically verify and certify the correct implementation and operation of the record-keeping system (Validation and Verification Standard, paragraph 292).
Non-conforming monitoring data
Where it is discovered that monitoring has not been carried out in accordance with the registered monitoring plan, DOEs are required to make the most conservative assumptions theoretically possible when conducting verification:
An indication of whether data were not available because activity levels or non-activity parameters were not monitored in accordance with the registered monitoring plan as well as any actions taken by the DOE to ensure that the most conservative assumption theoretically possible has been made (Validation and Verification Standard, paragraph 246(a)).
Changing the monitoring period undergoing verification
At EB 41, the Executive Board decided to allow DOEs to request a change in the dates of a monitoring period undergoing verification, provided the change is the result of the corrective action request raised by the DOE during the verification process (EB 41, paragraph 78).