Now used worldwide by over 60 organisations on every continent, the Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation (OS) are what it says on the label:

Open – the intellectual property is non-propriety and shared. There is a ‘place for everything’ and ‘everything has a place’ within the framework, thus tools from a huge variety of sources can be slotted in and used within the overall framework.

Standards – if the steps of the process are used well, you will have the best possible chance of doing things correctly and having the best outcomes.  As there is a common lexicon, communication between projects is easy – everyone can understand exactly what you mean.

Practice – the OS are focused on change and having real impacts in your area and project.

Conservation – the OS have been developed specifically for conservation although they use tools from many different disciplines.

The five steps of the management cycle are:

CMP Open Standards for planning, managing and monitoring at all scales

1) Conceptualizing the project: defining exactly what your project is trying to achieve, how success and progress will be measured and forcing you to be explicit about how you think your project sits in its context.

2) Planning actions and monitoring: again, explicit and measurable goals and objectives and a clinical approach to assessing how your actions are intended to make the changes defined;

3) Implementing actions, monitoring and work planning cycles: the work itself, doing and measuring outcomes.

4) Analysing monitoring data and using the results to adapt; the review and reflective part of the cycle: what your monitoring is telling you and what changes to your approaches are needed to ensure the impacts that you seek.

5) Capturing and sharing learning with others both inside the project and the wider community: critical to building success is sharing the results and impacts both internally and externally.