Approval of Independent Experts 

Independent Experts (IEs) can be individuals or teams of experts. IEs are embedded in the validation or verification audit for microscale projects, by carrying out site visits and recording validation and verification findings and filling out the IE validation/verification report . IEs must have the following qualifications and skills:   

  • Education - Bachelors’ degree or higher in a subject relevant to the evaluation 

  • Work Experience - At least five (5) years of work experience in a field related to the project type 

  • Professional qualifications (at least one of the options outlined): Successful completion of the Plan Vivo Independent Expert Training including a Plan Vivo Independent Expert Exam (mandatory if none of the other options apply); Existing certification in relevant GHG accounting for forest and land-use projects, such as GHGMI; Evidence of relevant training for other Forest Carbon Standards; Membership in relevant professional associations.  

  • Country-specific knowledge/language skills 

  • Interviewing, listening, and observing skills 

  • Sensitivity towards socio-economic matters and also environmental and social safeguards 

  • No prior auditing experience is required to become an approved Plan Vivo Independent Expert and approval for Independent Expert status will be handled on a case-by-case basis by PVF.  


Independent Experts (IEs) can be proposed by projects or apply directly, which requires a Curriculum Vitae and evidence of their qualifications. This will be assessed against the required expertise outlined in Section 5.1 in the Validation and Verification Guidance Manual.

If the IE has no prior relevant qualifications relating to forest carbon audits, their approval is based on training administered by the Plan Vivo Foundation (PVF) to ensure that approved IEs in the Plan Vivo roster have the same level of knowledge and expertise and to ensure a threshold for quality of validation and verification site visits. PVF reserves the right to mandate specific training in areas where the IE has not demonstrated sufficient experience to certify projects, or to remove active site auditor status when reports of site visits are not completed in a satisfactory manner.   

All IEs are required to schedule at least 3 information sessions with the Plan Vivo secretariat before carrying out individual audits. These include:  

  • Training on PV Climate and relevant documentation.  

  • Training on the Validation and Verification guidance and V&V templates. 

  • Project-specific information prior to site visits, especially how to develop an audit plan (to be completed once the IE has been contracted for a site visit). 

Please consult the Validation and Verification Manual for further details.  

Once approved, the IE will be listed on a publicly-available roster of Plan Vivo-approved Independent Experts. No validation or verification activities shall take place prior to an Independent Expert’s approval by PVF and all contracts with Independent Experts should be co-signed by PVF. 

A Conflict of Interest (COI) form must be submitted to PVF when an IE is contracted for a site visit. The cost of the validation and verification audits to the project will include the cost of contracting the IE (paid directly to the IE), in addition to a validation and verification review fee raised by PVF.


 Conflict of Interest Form > 


Application form and documentation

Below you can find the relevant documentation needed in order to apply to become a PV Climate approved Independent Expert, as well as the Validation Report Template and Audit Plan associated with PV Climate project audits undertaken by IEs. 


Application Form >

Terms of Reference >

Audit Plan >

Validation Report Template >


Approved Independent Experts

The Plan Vivo Foundation currently authorises the following Independent Experts to conduct project validations and verifications: 

Name of Independent Expert  Contact Information Location Experience/ expertise
Amade Martin Mario Real [email protected] Mozambique African forest researcher from Mozambique. Experience working with biomass and carbon quantification since 2014 in the Miombo Forest and Agroforestry system.


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