Water quality trading programs are being proposed and implemented across the US in a variety of forms and with differing objectives. The programs being proposed and implemented in the Chesapeake Bay region are no exception. Against this background the Chesapeake Bay Program's Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee and the Mid-Atlantic Water Program requested a general framework to inform and guide the evaluation of the performance trading programs. This resulting report was developed by a workgroup comprised of ten individuals with extensive experience in the study, design, and evaluation of trading programs. While the impetus for this report was to improve evaluation of trading programs in the Chesapeake Bay region, the evaluation framework is broad enough to apply to trading programs in general.