Preliminary verification, or "initial verification" as it is commonly termed, is a voluntary measure undertaken by project participants whereby a DOE is engaged to assess the likelihood that a project activity will be able to generate and monitor emission reductions in accordance with the project design document (PDD) and monitoring plan respectively. Preliminary verification is generally undertaken prior to the date that a project activity commences generating emission reductions (for example, during construction of the project activity).
The purpose of preliminary verification is to ensure that a project activity will be implemented and operated in accordance with the project participants' expectations. A preliminary verification is designed to identify any problems or faults in the project activity at an early stage and prior to scheduled project operations. In the absence of preliminary verification, there is a risk that problems may not be identified until the time at which the emission reductions which occur in the first verification period are verified.
Preliminary verification is not required by the international rules, and any report arising from a preliminary verification is not required to be certified or submitted to the Executive Board. The decision to conduct preliminary verification lies within the discretion of the project participants.
Preliminary verification should not be confused with the first verification of a project activity's operations. Preliminary verification is usually performed during the latter stages of development of a CDM project and prior to commissioning and focuses on verifying that the project will operate according to predicted standards. In contrast, verification (in the regular sense) takes place during and/or after project implementation and focuses on verifying data which relates to emission reductions/removals which have occurred.