Assessment procedure

  • Iedereen (publiek zichtbaar)

The assessment procedure of the “Dutch advisory commission on sustainability of biomass for energy applications” is described in a document called “toetsingsprotocol” (assessment protocol). The commission has made the assessment procedure public so that it is clear to owners of certification schemes and other stakeholders how the commission performs its task.


The commission published its first assessment protocol in July 2007 and has updated it twice to the current “toetsingsprotocol version 2.0" from January 2018. This document is available in Dutch language only. This web page gives a summary of the assessment procedure and will be updated if the commission decides to make changes to the assessment procedure.


Description of the assessment procedure

The figure below gives the individual steps in the assessment procedure. The commission is empowered to make changes to the procedure based on experiences with earlier assessments.


Figuur toetsingsprocedure 


  1. Prior to the work of the commission
    An administrator of a certification scheme requests for approval of the use of its certification scheme. An approved certification scheme can be used to demonstrate compliance with the Dutch sustainability criteria for solid biomass which is used to receive a subsidy under the so-called SDE+ subsidy scheme. As part of the request for approval the administrator of the sustainability scheme indicates for which biomass categories and for which sustainability criteria the approval of the scheme is requested for. will request the administrator of the certification scheme to make an own assessment of the extent in which the scheme meets the sustainability criteria, and to describe from which parts of the scheme documents this can be concluded.

    Then will check the request for approval for completeness. Subsequently the Dutch minister of Economic Affairs decides whether to ask the commission for an advice. Such an ask for advice forms the start of the assessment procedure of the commission.

  2. External input from stakeholders (4 weeks)
    Directly after the commission is asked to give an advice, it will allow stakeholders to submit external input via the commissions’ website for a period of 4 weeks. In this way the commission collects information on how the certification scheme operates in practice. More information is available on the webpage "Uw inbreng" (in Dutch only). External input can be submitted using the form that is available on that webpage.

  3. Assessment (4 weeks)
    The assessment of the certification scheme is performed on the basis of the scheme documents and on relevant laws and regulations. For information on the use of the scheme in practice, the external input is used. Also audit reports can provide relevant information on the certification scheme.

  4. Preliminary judgement by the commission (4 weeks)
    On the basis of the assessment, the commission comes to a preliminary judgement on the certification scheme. In this judgement, for each of the criteria it is indicated to which extent the certification scheme meets the criterion.

  5. Reactions of the scheme administrator and of stakeholders to the preliminary judgement (6 weeks)
    The commission will send the preliminary judgement to the administrator of the certification scheme. The administrator can react to the preliminary judgement. Besides, the commission can ask for supplementary information.

    Subsequently, the stakeholders that provided external input can comment on the draft reaction of the commission to their earlier external input and on part of the preliminary judgement. This is the part of the preliminary judgement on the sustainability and/or governance criteria that the earlier external input related to.

    The administrator of the certification scheme provides additional information in case the commission has asked for such information.

  6. Advice by the commission (4 weeks)
    The commission will assess the extra information that the scheme administrator has submitted. Then the commission will make its final judgement, taking into account the reactions to the preliminary judgement. Possibly the commission can first perform a further investigation, which can also include an investigation “in the field”.

    The final judgement of the commission describes for all individual Dutch legal sustainability and governance criteria to which extent the certification scheme complies with the individual criterion. The commission sends this advice to the Dutch minister of Economic Affairs.