Available Services and Client Responsibility
Futurepast operates as a validation/verification body serving clients in most organizational sectors. We currently provide services in all sectors defined in Table 1 of ISO 14066 Annex G.3 except for carbon storage in geological reservoirs. Our validation/verification teams serve clients who voluntarily report their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for internal management purposes or for public disclosure. Our clients are responsible for the accuracy of the statements that they submit for validation or verification.
Futurepast operates its validation and verification program in accordance with the requirements of ISO/IEC 17029 and ISO 14065. Our validation/verification teams employ ISO 14064-3 as the validation/verification process standard. ISO 14065 defines six main stages in the validation/ verification process:
- Validation/verification execution
- Decision and issue of the validation/verification opinion
During the pre-engagement stage Futurepast obtains information from the client about the requested validation/verification service. This permits us to understand the scope of the service requested, the criteria that apply, and whether Futurepast has access to the necessary resources and personnel to provide the requested service.
The engagement stage results in a contract for services between Futurepast and the client. The contract, also referred to as an “Agreement” or “Engagement”, defines the obligations of the client with respect to access to information and facilities and sets out the rules that govern the validation/ verification engagement. In the contract the client confirms that it has engaged Futurepast to undertake validation or verification activities.
The planning stage is central to the successful implementation of validation/verification services. Futurepast’s validation or verification team performs a strategic analysis and risk assessment in order to plan an efficient examination of key data and information. Where available, this includes data from prior reporting periods and results from previous verifications. The outputs of the planning stage are a validation or verification plan, which is shared with the client, and an evidence-gathering plan which guides the team’s application of procedures to test the accuracy of data and information and the effectiveness of data and information management system controls.
During the execution stage Futurepast’s validation or verification team executes its validation or verification plan and evidence-gathering plan. The team seeks to obtain evidence of the accuracy of information and the conformity of the client’s greenhouse gas (GHG) statements to applicable requirements. The team will record any misstatements found and any nonconformities with criteria. The team will communicate identified issues to the client or responsible party who will have the opportunity to correct errors and to update their GHG statements. During a completion step the team leader evaluates the sum of the evidence gathered and forms conclusions about the results of the engagement. The team leader prepares a report and drafts a validation or verification opinion.
The documentation developed by the validation or verification team is submitted to (a) person(s) designated by Futurepast to carry out an independent review. The review serves as quality control over the planning and execution of the validation or verification service. During the review the independent reviewer may seek clarification on certain points from the team leader. In turn the team leader may contact the client or responsible party for additional information which is then shared with the independent reviewer. When satisfied that the validation or verification has been carried out in accordance with Futurepast’s procedures and applicable audit criteria, the independent review approves the team leader’s report and draft opinion.
Decision and Issue of the Validation/Verification Opinion
Futurepast makes the decision to issue the validation or verification opinion and associated report based on the approval of the independent reviewer. It then issues the opinion and transmits it with a report to the client or responsible party (or both). Opinions may be of one of the following types:
An unmodified opinion (sometimes also referred to as an “unqualified” opinion) reports no exceptions to the favorable opinion. A modified opinion (sometimes referred to as a “qualified” opinion) lists the reasons justifying any exceptions to a fully favorable opinion. An adverse opinion concludes that an unfavorable opinion must be issued due to the nature of misstatements or the existence of nonconformities to the criteria governing the GHG statement. Futurepast may also disclaim the issuance of an opinion. This can occur if Futurepast concludes that there is insufficient information to support the issuance of an opinion. In such a case, Futurepast will notify the client and explain the reasons for disclaiming the opinion and ending the validation or verification engagement.
Reference to Validated/Verified Statements and Use of Marks
In accordance with Futurepast’s policies on reference to validated/verified statements and use of marks, clients may refer to their statements as “validated” or “verified”. Clients may also make public an opinion issued by Futurepast on condition that it be published in its entirety. For a complete description of Futurepast’s policy on references and use of marks, please consult the full text of the policy document.
Facts Discovered After the Issuance of the Opinion
Futurepast validators and verifiers expect to obtain sufficient appropriate evidence to substantiate their conclusions up to the date of the validation or verification opinion. On rare occasions facts may come to the attention of the client or other parties that could materially affect an issued opinion. By contract, clients are obliged to transmit to Futurepast relevant facts that become known after the issuance of an opinion that pertain to the period of time for which the opinion was issued. Regardless of the source of new information, Futurepast will consider it and take appropriate action, including communicating about the matter as soon as practicable to the responsible party, to the client and to the program. Futurepast may also communicate to other interested parties the fact that reliance on the original opinion may now be compromised given the discovered facts or new information.
Handling of Complaints and Appeals
Futurepast maintains a process for the handling of complaints about its activities and appeals on technical matters related to an opinion. Futurepast has described its processes for handling appeals and complaints in a document posted on its website at . This web page includes a form that can be used to submit a complaint or appeal.
Futurepast is required by accreditation standards to maintain records of its validation and verification activities. These records may be retained indefinitely or at least as long as program requirements dictate. Records are maintained securely and confidentially.