HCV Lead Assessor Training Course, Sierra Leone

The Africa Practitioners' Network is running a High Conservation Value (HCV) Lead Assessor training course in Freetown, Sierra Leone in October 2016.

The Africa Practitioners’ Network is offering a training course for High Conservation Value (HCV) assessors – particularly those who would like to apply to the HCV Resource Network (HCVRN) Assessor Licensing Scheme (ALS).

Proforest is a registered provider of HCV Assessor training courses and the agenda and contents of the course meet the syllabus of the HCVRN ALS.

The course is designed for professionals who will lead HCV assessments. HCV assessments are required by a growing number of certification standards for forestry and agricultural commodities (e.g. FSC, RSPO), and under the RSPO, HCV assessments must now be led by an ALS licensed assessor. The course is based on HCVRN guidance, and combines taught modules and practical workshops, with group work based on a simulated HCV assessment.

Why do this course?

The HCV concept is gaining widespread recognition as an effective land-use planning tool and forms an integral part of a growing number of certification standards for forestry and agricultural commodities (e.g. FSC and RSPO).

However, there have been growing concerns about the quality and results of some HCV assessments. This has been linked to a lack of understanding and capacity among assessors to lead and manage HCV assessments. This course focuses on a practical HCV assessment case study and aims to ensure that HCV assessors are adequately qualified to meet that concern.

Course objectives

  • To provide participants with in-depth knowledge of the latest guidance and best practices for HCV assessments as per the HCVRN Assessor’s manual
  • To train future HCV assessors with a standardised approach to HCV assessments
  • To give participants practical experience of HCV assessment through a realistic, immersive HCV assessment case study

Key focus areas

  • Overview of the HCV concept
  • The HCVRN Assessor Licencing Scheme
  • Determining the scope of the assessment and risk level of a project
  • Selecting and leading/managing a team
  • The logistics of an HCV assessment (including budgeting time and resources)
  • Desk-based pre-assessment study (objectives, information needs, best practice)
  • How to identify data gaps and address them
  • The consultation process (stakeholder identification, approaches, timing)
  • Data gathering and field survey methods
  • Validation of findings
  • Interpretation and identification of the six HCV categories
  • Using maps and geographical data
  • Threats assessment
  • Providing HCV management and monitoring recommendations
  • Reporting requirements

Participant profile

This course is aimed at those with some knowledge and/or experience of HCVs. It is also aimed at those with experience of Environmental & Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) and HCV assessment.

As a minimum, candidates should have some academic training and practical experience in biology, ecology, conservation biology, sociology, remote sensing or participatory mapping.

Places are limited to 15, so applicants with most relevant expertise will take priority. For example, candidates with HCV experience and looking to become licensed assessors will be given priority.


If you wish to participate, please send your CV (list any HCV experience) and a brief letter (max. 1 page) to . State why you wish to take this course and how you plan to use HCV in your professional life.
Deadline for applications: 2 September 2016


This training is subsided through the Proforest Africa Practitioners’ Network (APN), with reduced cost places available for organisations sending multiple participants:

  • Full fee: 1250 USD
  • Subsidised: 500 USD

Organisations that send up to:

  • 2 persons are eligible for one subsidised place*
  • 3 persons are eligible for one subsidised and one free place*

* Please note: all participants will need to meet the minimum application requirements in terms of relevant experience. Independent candidates with highly relevant experience may also be eligible for subsidised rates on a discretionary basis.

Participant evaluation

Evaluation will consist of four components:

  • A short pre-test (10%)
  • A written exam (at the end of the course) (20%)
  • Participation marks (20%)
  • An HCV public summary report (50%)

Participants achieving 70% overall will pass and will receive certificates of successful completion of the course.

Contact | Nana Darko | Nana Darko

HCV Lead Assessor Training Course, Sierra Leone

24-28 October 2016

Freetown, Sierra Leone


There was an error while rendering the portlet.