Application and Review Process

How to apply
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

2023 Certification Fees and Deadlines**
USD 250 per new program registration
USD 1,400 per application for members
USD 2,800 per application for non-members

December 1, 2023   |  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.

Review process
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 30 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.

2020-2023 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.

**Fees may be subject to change at the beginning of any calendar year. Existing programs are not charged a registration fee. Programs that utilize WHC strategy and planning services before registering online may have their registration fee waived. Contact your WHC relationship manager or email us for more information.

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