Current location: Home » Committee Programs » Certification Standards

Certification Standards

Final Certification Criteria for Non-Federal Regional Information Coordination Entities (RICE) as Approved by the Interagency Ocean Observing Committee (IOOC) is now available. Click here to access the final report on IOOS Certification Criteria.

Certification Requirement

These criteria enable Regional Association to become certified as a regional governance entity with the associated civil liability protection arising from the dissemination and use of IOOS data. In order to be integrated into IOOS, an entity must demonstrate certain attributes and meet requirements called out in the Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observing System Act of 2009 (ICOOS Act). The criteria in the report have been formally adopted by the IOOC as the final non-federal certification criteria. To find applications and guidance, click here. 

Elements of the Report

  • Executive Summary
  • Certification Criteria
  • Organizational Structure
  • Strategic Operational Plan
  • Gaps Identification
  • Financial Oversight
  • Appendix A. Definitions
  • Appendix B. Relevant ICOOS Act Sections

Benefits

Upon meeting the specific criteria, entities will have demonstrated their ability to sustain organizational capacity and supply quality data necessary for operating under the auspices of IOOS. Advantages to becoming certified include federal liability protection for the use of their data as well as ancillary benefits when engaging in requests or proposals, the entity can advertise that they have received federal approval.

Background

On 30 March 2009, President Barack Obama signed into law the Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System Act of 2009. Among the requirements in the Act is a directive to the IOOC to “develop contract certification standards and compliance procedures for all non-Federal assets, including regional information coordination entities, to establish eligibility for integration into the System and to ensure compliance with all applicable standards and protocols established by the Council, and ensure that regional observations are integrated into the System on a sustained basis.” The IOOC chartered two working groups consisting of subject matter experts on IOOS data partners and regional entities to draft recommended certification criteria. The recommended draft criteria were approved by the IOOC on 20 October 2011 and released for public input. After a sixty-day public comment period and adjudication of public input the IOOC drafted final certification criteria. Access the final Federal Register notice here.

Statutory Language

The ICOOS Act Section 12304(c)(2)(E) states: “The Council shall establish or designate an Interagency Ocean Observation Committee which shall— develop contract certification standards and compliance procedures for all non-Federal assets, including regional information coordination entities, to establish eligibility for integration into the System and to ensure compliance with all applicable standards and protocols established by the Council, and ensure that regional observations are integrated into the System on a sustained basis.”