Why use Accredited Assessors?

The Protocol is a challenging tool to use and the governance council is striving to ensure uniformity of application worldwide. The Protocol ‘Terms and Conditions of Use’ requires the use of Accredited Assessors to undertake official Protocol assessments, this underpins the integrity of Protocol implementation.

Accredited Assessors have been specifically trained to deliver quality and uniformity and the Protocol governance council strongly recommends that where consideration is being given to using the Protocol, be it for training, benchmarking, assessments, or knowledge building, Accredited Assessors are used or consulted.

Clause 7 of the Terms and Conditions set out the requirements to become an Accredited Assessor, these include:

- Completion of a programme of training authorised by the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Council

- Obtaining a License which represents an agreement between the Accredited Assessor and the Protocol governance council regarding the terms and conditions of their accreditation

- Adoption of a code of conduct and compliance with all the terms of that License.

The Management Entity has developed a course to accredit individual experts as Assessors. Assessors will need to have previous experience of the hydropower sector or relevant sustainability issues, and during the accreditation process must participate in at least two assessments as trainees (mentored by existing Accredited Assessors) prior to attending an accreditation course with examination. The accreditation course provides a detailed understanding of the Protocol methodology as well as how to assess best practice, following the ISO 19011 guidelines for quality and/or environmental management systems (EMS) auditing. Aspiring assessors will also be required to be accredited to an auditing course based on the principles of ISO 19001 in a relevant field, such as Environmental Management Systems or social auditing.

This system of Accreditation in combination with the system of global governance will uphold the integrity of the protocol and its use, and ensure that the guiding principles of the Protocol are upheld.