Quick Links

HomeThe ProcessApplication



About the Application

The application for accreditation is designed to gather information on how an applicant carries out the indicator practices from Land Trust Standards and Practices. The indicator practices were designated by the Land Trust Alliance Board of Directors and were selected to indicate a land trust's ability to operate in an ethical, legal and technically sound manner and ensure the long-term protection of land in the public interest. Click here for the full list of indicator practices.

Each applicant for first-time accreditation is required to submit a complete application questionnaire with all required attachments. The application asks for a significant amount of detail.

  • Applicants for first-time accreditation should carefully review chapters 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and 8 of the Applicant Handbook to understand the process of accreditation and for specific instructions on how to prepare an application for accreditation. The Handbook contains all necessary information on eligibility and readiness, tips for getting started, how to complete the application, what to expect once an organization has applied, and Commission policies and procedures.
  • Applicants for first-time accreditation should carefully read the Requirements Manual for information on the elements the Commission evaluates for every indicator practice.

Please note that if your organization has a related entity, such as a supporting organization or an LLC, there is important information about the application for accreditation from your organizations. An organization should understand the application requirements prior to registering to apply for accreditation. Please read our fact sheet for more information. Application addenda are available in the Application Toolkit to the right.

Sample Documents

To help better prepare applicants for the process, the Commission released three sample documents you might expect to receive during the first-time accreditation process. The first is a sample agenda for the applicant’s call with the Commission review team; the second is a sample follow-up letter requesting additional information (this letter is typically sent within a few weeks after the call); and the third is a sample award letter to a newly accredited land trust, including expectations for improvement. These documents are not intended to reflect the length of actual call agendas, follow-up letters or award letters, but are intended to show questions, requests and expectations that have appeared in actual documents. View the sample documents (PDF):

  • 2014 Round 2 application due date: October 9, 2014 (pre-application due July 15, 2014) – 32 slots will be filled via lottery registration
  • 2015 Round 1 application due date: April 9, 2015 (pre-application due January 13, 2015)
  • 2015 Round 2 application due date: September 17, 2015 (pre-application due June 23, 2015)

April 24, 2013: Application Materials Updated
We have revised the first-time application materials as a result of program developments and feedback from applicants; these changes are effective for land trusts applying in 2014 and beyond including those planning to register for the 2014 lottery. This is the culmination of the program's evolution over the past 3+ years and as we developed the renewal program and published the Requirements Manual. The Commission last updated its first-time application for accreditation in 2010. The changes are not extensive and should not present significant challenges for groups that have been using the 2010 edition as a guide. A redlined version of the changes to the application questionnaire, master attachment checklist, and project documentation checklist is available so land trusts can see the changes.  

  • The application questionnaire was revised to streamline the language, to request required documentation earlier in the application process rather than during the call with the land trust or the subsequent follow-up information request, to remove references to the now-obsolete Guidance Documents, and now questions in the application and associated attachments are more closely aligned with the Requirements Manual
  • The following application materials were revised:
    • Application Questionnaire
    • Master Attachment Checklist
    • Project Documentation Checklist
    • Multiple-corporation materials (if applicable)
  • Land trusts that are registered for first-time accreditation for 2013 round 2 and that do not have a copy of the previous version of the application materials should This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Application Toolkit

To save these documents to your computer, right-click and choose the Save As option.

Note:  To view, right-click and save application PDF files to your computer, and to see “Working with Commission’s PDF Forms” for other tips.

Application Addenda for Organizations with Multiple Corporations (please see related policy for complete details)