Rules & Requirements

VCS Version 3 Updates List

Below is a list of all updates to VCS Version 3 documentation since March 2011, when Version 3 was first released.

VCS documentation is updated periodically and individual updates are incorporated into the relevant documents. Updates strengthen or expand the scope of the program.



Update Overview (release date: 21 June 2017)

  • Streamlined project review processes for projects using both the CCB and VCS Programs
  • Expanded types of methodologies that can undergo a streamlined approval process, which requires just one VVB assessment
  • Updated source of global warming potentials to IPCC Fourth Assessment Report

Update webinar video (11 June , 12 June) and slides.



Update Overview (release date: 19 October 2016)

  • Clarified requirements for right of use
  • Introduced requirements for addressing negative environmental and socio-economic impacts
  • Introduced requirements for conducting local stakeholder consultations
  • Introduced requirements for public comment periods for projects

Update webinar video and slides



Update Overview (release date: 23 September 2015)

  • Removed validation deadline for projects applying a standardized method for demonstrating additionality
  • Released clarification to the VCS Standard
  • Released errata for the Non-Permanence Risk Report Calculation Tool


Update Overview (release date: 25 March 2015)

  • Introduced methodology concept screening process
  • Introduced procedure for Joint Implementation projects to register with the VCS Program
  • Updated program fee schedule (released 12 January 2015)



Update Overview (release date: 30 October 2014)

  • Revised JNR Requirementsto provide additional clarification and guidance.
  • Released new JNR monitoring report template and jurisdictional representations.
  • Updated several project proponent representations.
  • Released clarifications to the VCS Standardand Registration and Issuance Process.


Exclusion of HFC-23 (release date: 9 January 2014)

  • HFC-23 excluded from the scope of the VCS Program



Update Overview (release date: 8 October 2013)

  • A new process for reviewing project registration and issuance requests
  • Revised templates for project development, monitoring, validation and verification
  • Updates to the methodology approval process to clarify and streamline the process
  • Revised templates for methodology development
  • New JNR documents and tools



Updates Overview (release date: 4 October 2012; updated: 17 December 2012)

  • Jurisdictional and Nested REDD+ (JNR) requirements released
  • Wetlands Restoration and Conservation (WRC) requirements released
  • Introduced requirements on rotation of validation/verification bodies (VVBs)
  • Updated VCS Standardto include requirements for project description deviations
  • Updated methodology grace period rules to limit grace periods to projects listed on Project Pipeline
  • Revised Registration and Issuance Processto require all registered projects register publicly
  • Updated requirements on materiality, models, REDD project eligibility and other requirements
  • Released Validation and Verification Manual


Updates Overview (release date: 1 May 2012)

  • Project Pipeline launchesd


Updates Overview (release date: 1 February 2012)

  • Standardized methods requirements released
  • Expanded requirements and procedures for AFOLU projects registering and issuing credits under VCS and an approved GHG program
  • Updated grace periods for methodologies that are revised
  • Inserted criteria and procedures to determine the baseline pattern of carbon loss in soil, wood products, dead wood and below-ground biomass
  • Revised additionality regulatory surplus rules to differentiate between Annex I and non-Annex I countries
  • Clarified complaints and appeals procedure
  • Updated rules on double counting to clarify requirements governing double monetization and double selling versus double claiming. See Double Counting Policy Brief



Updates Overview (release date: 19 October 2011)

  • New Avoided Conversion of Grasslands and Shrublands (ACoGS) project category
  • Clarified methodology review process
  • Release of Methodology Assessment Report Template
  • New pathway for temporary VVB accreditation


Updates Overview (release date: 15 July 2011)

  • Introduced policy on VCU tags
  • Extension of AFOLU validation/verification deadlines for pre-2002 projects
  • Requirements for projects registered sequentially under the VCS Program and a non-approved GHG program
  • Clarified grace period rules for projects using new methodologies
  • Clarified qualifications for AFOLU experts


Version 3 released

Other Programs

Initiative for Climate Action Transparency

Supporting countries around the world in the evaluation of the climate, sustainable development and transformational impacts of their policies and actions 

Learn More >

Jurisdictional and Nested REDD+ (JNR)

Driving private investment in REDD+ at multiple scales

Learn More >

California Offset Project Registry

The Offset Project Registry (OPR) facilitates the participation of offset projects within the California cap-and-trade program

Learn More >