How to submit an assessment

An overview of the steps for submitting an HCS assessment to the Quality Review Process has been outlined below. To gain a full understanding of the Peer Review Process, it is advised to review the Quality Review Process Guide for Companies and Practitioners. It is also important to note that for first time submissions from Registered Practitioner Organisations that have paid a registration fee, the procedure will be slightly different. Please refer to the Quality Review Process Guide (page 6), for further information.

HCS Assessment Registration Phase (beginning of study)

  1. Inform the HCS Approach Secretariat that you are interested in submitting an assessment to the Quality Review process by contacting QA@highcarbonstock.org. The Steering Group also welcomes completed and ongoing assessments for registration.
  2. You will be asked to provide basic information on the HCS assessment you intend to submit by filling out the HCS Assessment Registration template, and returning the form to the HCS Approach Secretariat.
  3. The Secretariat will post the basic information on the assessment on the Registered HCS Assessments page of the HCS Approach website.

Peer Review Phase (once assessment is completed)

  1. Once the assessment has been completed, inform the Secretariat. For first time submissions from Registered Practitioner Organisations that have paid the registration fee, it is recommended to use the Peer Review Panel before the assessment is completed.
  2. You will be asked to submit your assessment by filling out the Summary Report template and returning the report to the Secretariat, along with any supplemental data/documents (indicated in the template to be provided separately).
  3. The Peer Review Panel is selected, and the review conducted.
  4. Once the review is complete, the Secretariat will inform you that the results are available. You may, within a two week timeframe, submit a response and/or make changes and re-submit the Summary Report before the findings are published.
  5. The Peer Review Panel finalises the review in light of comments/new evidence. You have the option to submit a public response to the Secretariat to accompany the findings from the Peer Review Panel.
  6. Results are published on HCSA website, and the Secretariat changes the Peer Review Status in the Registered HCS assessment list. You may now state that your organisation has completed the HCS Approach Steering Group’s Quality Review Process. You can also refer people to the website to show status of completion[1].

Important Documents & Information

Prior to submitting your HCS assessment, we recommend reviewing the below documents:

  • Quality Review Process Guide for Companies and Practitioners – provides full guidance on submitting an HCS assessment to the Quality Review Process, and includes a Step plan and FAQs.
  • Summary Report template – template detailing the information required to be submitted to the Secretariat. The published Summary Report will exclude all supplemental information requested in the document for review by the Peer Review Panel.
  • Peer Review Report template – template that the Peer Review Panel will use to provide feedback on the review. The final Peer Review Report will be published alongside the Summary Report.

Costs

  • Companies not listed as Registered Practitioner Organisations: USD 2500 for each assessment submitted for peer review.
  • Companies listed as Registered Practitioner Organisations: USD 1750 for first time submissions. USD 2500 for each assessment submitted thereafter.
  • Payment for review is submitted to the HCS Approach Secretariat. The Secretariat will coordinate payment of the respective fees to the peer reviewers.

Timeline

  • The actual review time for each assessment submitted can vary from 1-3 months, as each review will depend on the availability of the appointed peer review panelists. The review period starts from the submission date of the assessment to the Secretariat and is finalised once the Summary Report and accompanying documents have been published on the HCS Approach website.
  • For first time submissions from Registered Practitioner Organisations, it is recommended to use the Peer Review Panel before the assessment is completed.

[1]. No official ‘approval’ will be provided as this is not certification.