The IUCN Red List process is summarized in the following diagram (click for larger view):
Pre-Assessment: This is the first step, involving the compilation of data for a given assessment (i.e. the creation of draft assessments in IUCN’s Species Information Service [SIS]). It can be carried out by the Tier I or Tier II RLA members acting as Project Managers, or by other collaborators, such as interns or Specialist Group members. This step also involves the development of a draft map and a compilation of assessment-relevant questions for experts involved in the process. In instances where a species is being reassessed (and this will likely be the case for most of the amphibians already on the Red List), reassessments build on existing published assessments and maps, which are modified according to newly available data.
Assessment: Using the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria, an assessment of the draft information is requested from experts on that particular species – either through SIS, by email or using the Amphibian Assessment Forum. An appropriate threat category based on the criteria triggered in the course of the assessment is selected. If a new species is being assessed, then one of the authors of the species description is contacted for help in the assessment. If it is a reassessment, then we typically work first with the author/individual who has the most recent information, and then contact previous assessment contributors once there is a new proposed assessment. Experts are given a period of time to provide feedback, after which any new feedback is incorporated into the assessment or discussed (if there are differences of opinion). The assessment is then submitted to the Project Manager or a member of the RLA Central Coordination Team for the next step.
Review and Consistency check: The assessment is checked for internal consistency prior to being sent out for review. At least one independent Reviewer – either an Amphibian RLA member, Species Programme staff or Species Survival Commission member – is contacted. A determined period of time is agreed on for providing the review. If there are any differences of opinion with the assessment, another Reviewer may be asked to join the discussion along with the Project Manager. If needed, the Project Manager gets back to experts with outstanding questions or issues. Once any outstanding questions are addressed the assessment is sent back to Reviewers, and if they consider the issues to be resolved, it has passed review and tagged as ready for publication.
Submission and Final Review: All passed assessments are placed in a specific working set within SIS prior to a pre-determined lockdown date. The Amphibian RLA Coordinator provides the Red List Unit (RLU) with the name of the working set being submitted, a list of the species contained within, and the spatial data for each species. RLU staff perform a final consistency check on threatened species and spot check non-threatened species. Observations on any assessments are sent to the Amphibian RLA Coordinator who in turn contacts the Project Manager for any required follow-up.
Publication: Passed assessments will be published on The IUCN Red List following the scheduled release dates for that year. So, even if an assessment is completed and passed in, for example, January, it will not be visible until a scheduled Red List update is published online, which may be several months later. Red List update release dates are communicated to RLA Tier I Members by the Central Coordination Team.