IUCN Red List Assessor Training

In an effort to provide easy access to IUCN Red List training on a global scale, IUCN has partnered with ConservationTraining.org to offer this multiple-module, self-paced course on the rules and standards used for IUCN Red List assessments. In this free curriculum, you will learn about the IUCN Red List assessment process and how to compile a scientifically rigorous IUCN Red List assessment.

Getting Started

Preparing IUCN Red List assessments requires comprehensive knowledge on the application of the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria, to ensure that assessments are conducted according to scientifically underpinned and exacting standards. This process differs slightly depending on whether you are a Global Assessor assessing the global extinction risk of species for publication on the IUCN Red List, or a Regional Assessor assessing species’ subglobal extinction risk for a regional or national Red List.

Global Assessors: Please complete Modules 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 (Module 7 is optional, but is important for assessing subpopulations within a species)

Regional Assessors: Please complete Modules 1, 2, 3, 7 (Modules 4, 5 and 6 are optional, but are important if you intend to submit endemic species assessments for publication on the global IUCN Red List, and are required if you are working on an IUCN-led regional assessment project.)

We advise you to take Modules 1-3 in order. Once you have completed Modules 1-3, the other Modules can be taken in any order. Module 1 is open to the public. To take Modules 2-7, just create an account on this site and follow the steps to enroll when prompted. A record of completion for each Module can be obtained after successfully passing the lesson assessments with a score of 70% or higher.

In order to receive a Certificate of Achievement to prove you have successfully passed the course, you must complete the final exam for Global or Regional Assessors with a minimum grade of 75%. We recommend completing the training in the various modules before starting this exam.

Click on the course title to enter the course room and begin the lessons. Please remember to have pop-ups enabled within your browser for ConservationTraining.org as many lessons open in pop-up windows.


Acknowledgements: IUCN gratefully acknowledges the MAVA Foundation and Environment Agency Abu Dhabi for their generous support of IUCN Red List training.


Need help? Contact ctptraining@tnc.org



The IUCN Red List assesses the relative risk of species becoming extinct and monitors that risk over time. This module introduces you to the IUCN Red List, and highlights how IUCN Red List data is used to inform and catalyse conservation action.

Duration: 35 minutes

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This module provides an overview of what an IUCN Red List assessment is and how to transform raw data into a published IUCN Red List assessment.

Durataion: 40 minutes

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To carry out an IUCN Red List assessment, you need to fully understand the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria. This module covers all aspects of the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria and how to use this methodology to assess a species’ extinction risk.

Duration: 6 hours

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In this module, you will learn what supporting information is required before your assessment can be published on the IUCN Red List.

Duration: 30 minutes

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A distribution map is important to support the Red List assessment and to allow useful analyses of spatial data for threatened species. Use this module to learn how to create a distribution map that meets all the requirements of the IUCN Red List mapping standards.

Duration: 30 minutes

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The IUCN Species Information Service (SIS) is a centralized online database used for storing, managing and publishing data on the IUCN Red List. This module explains more about what SIS is, who can access it, and how to use the system.

Duration: 45 minutes

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Regional Red Lists are important tools for conservation, informing and influencing conservation policies, actions, and decision-making at regional and national levels. This module outlines how to use the IUCN Red List methodology to complete scientifically rigorous Red List assessments for a regional or national Red List.

Duration: 60 minutes

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Test your knowledge of the Red List Assessor Curriculum and print out your certificate of achievement.

In order to receive a Certificate of Achievement for the course, you must complete the final IUCN Red List Assessor Exam for Global or Regional Assessors with a minimum grade of 75%.

Duration: 2-3 hours

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This exam is available for specific groups of people who are required or strongly encouraged to pass the exam with a higher score.

If any of the following roles apply to you, please contact the IUCN Red List Unit (email: redlist@iucn.org) for an enrolment key to get access to a separate exam page. Note that the groups listed below may be expanded in future:

  • IUCN Red List Trainers
  • IUCN Red List Unit staff
  • Staff involved in managing IUCN Red List assessment projects
  • IUCN Red List Partner staff involved in managing assessment projects

Note: Requirement and pass mark ≥90% at the discretion of Red List Partner institutions

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Meta course - Glossary