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Steps for designation


The steps for designation as an FAO Reference Centre are:


steps diagram


  • The institution submits an application and declaration of interest to the concerned FAO technical unit.
  • The FAO technical unit evaluates the application, including the declaration of possible conflicts of interest.
  • The FAO technical unit and the institution agree on a work plan.
  • The technical unit submits recommendations to higher FAO management for approval in principle.
  • FAO consults government authorities in the country of the applying institution and seeks their endorsement.
  • The designation letter is drafted and shared with the applicant.
  • Once all clearances are received, the final designation letter is sent to the institution for signature.


Areas of collaboration, the institution’s mandate, annual reporting, and terms of use for the FAO logo are described in the Reference Centre designation letter, which is valid for four years.

If an application does not meet the criteria (e.g., lack of a leading scientific role, inadequate biocontainment level and/or level of collaboration with the developing world), the technical unit invites the institution to reapply should the situation change.