Certification

About Certification

WHC Conservation Certification®, is more than just a certification program. It’s a continual process by which activities are maintained to offer ongoing benefit to biodiversity and people. WHC Certification programs can be found in 47 U.S. states and 19 countries. 

Start a certification application or track its progress.

Alliance Landfill Bird Banding

WHC Certification Benefits

Established in 1989, WHC Conservation Certification®, continues to be the world’s only voluntary sustainability standard designed for broad-based biodiversity enhancement and conservation education activities on corporate landholdings. 

Recognizes meaningful wildlife habitat management and conservation education programs

Provides third-party credibility and an objective evaluation

Produces an aggregated metric for reporting and disclosure

Helps companies demonstrate a long-term commitment to managing quality habitat for wildlife, conservation education and community outreach initiatives

WHC Certification recognizes a diversity of project types. Examples of the wide-ranging projects recognized under WHC Certification include: native landscaping, mangrove restoration, butterfly monitoring, sustainable hunting to control deer populations, PhD projects, and community Earth Day events. 

A Global Presence

WHC Conservation Certification programs can be found in 47 U.S. states and 19 countries.

What Does It Mean to Be WHC-Certified?

Conservation Certification is more than just a certification. Its a continual process by which activities are maintained to offer ongoing benefit to biodiversity and people.

Certification Lifecycle

Application and Review Process

Applications may be submitted through our online application any time during the calendar year. Applications must have at least one qualifying project*.

Qualifying projects:  

  1. Are locally appropriate
  2. Exceed regulatory requirements
  3. Have a conservation or conservation education objective
  4. Provide conservation or education value
  5. Have documented measurable outcomes 

Visit the Certification Support Center for more details about the Review and Evaluation Process and Appeals. 

Reviews are conducted by external reviewers. Reviewers follow specific procedures and guidance. All projects in an application are reviewed against certain criteria specific to the project type.

Each project is scored with a project specific Scoring Sheet and the project scores are summarized in an overall Program Summary Sheet. The scoring criteria were developed with technical expert and stakeholder input.

If a program is not certified following the initial review, the applicant may submit an appeal with additional/clarifying information within 14 days using the provided Appeal Sheet. The appeal will then be re-reviewed.

Visit the Certification Support Center for more details about the Review and Evaluation Process and Appeals.

Programs that have achieved WHC Conservation Certification are given one of the following designations: Certified, Certified Silver or Certified Gold. This tier system was established to recognize levels of achievement and encourage improvement.

2023-2025 Tiers:

Tiering levels are reviewed each year and are subject to change from one year to the next. These adjustments do not change previously certified program levels.

2023 Certification Fees and Deadlines

USD 250New program registration
USD 1,400Per application for members
USD 2,800Per application for non-members

Reviews are conducted by external reviewers. Reviewers follow specific procedures and guidance. All projects in an application are reviewed against certain criteria specific to the project type. Each project is scored with a project specific Scoring Sheet and the project scores are summarized in an overall Program Summary Sheet. The scoring criteria were developed with technical expert and stakeholder input.

Deadline to submit application and application fee for consideration in 2023. Programs whose certification is expiring on Dec. 31, 2023 must apply by this date to maintain certification. 

December 1, 2023

Apply Here

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