FAIRMODE’s implementation strategy is common to each crosscutting task (CT). It secures a chronological three-step working process.

1 Benchmarking is intended here as a first step that aims at exploring and comparing results from different approaches. The goal is to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the different approaches. This stage also requires developing and testing a standardized evaluation or inter-comparison methodology (possibly supported by common tools and common datasets) for collecting and reporting model inputs and outputs in a way that enables relevant comparisons;
2 Recommendations: Based on practices identified via benchmarking, we further identify best practices and elaborate recommendations on which approaches are better suited for different applications. These recommendations constitute a necessary step before reaching the level of the guidance documents. They include the list of actions and tests necessary before compiling the final guidance;
3 Guidance is the last and more effort and resource demanding step of this process. Guidance is compiled in an evolving document that includes a detailed description of all steps required to choose and apply a fit-for-purpose approach for a given modelling application;

The stage of each crosscutting task is set by the FAIRMODE community according to its level of maturity. While an exploration and testing phase (benchmarking), is necessary for a newly introduced CT (e.g. near real-time assessment with sensors), the guidance stage will be appropriate for more mature CTs (e.g., source apportionment). Each stage lasts for three years at most.