Nature conservation

Biodiversity Reform

Applying for assessor accreditation

Individuals wanting to become accredited to apply the Biodiversity Assessment Method (BAM) are required to have:

  • appropriate knowledge, skills and experience (such as academic qualification and/or relevant work experience)
  • successfully completed the Biodiversity Offset Scheme Training for accredited assessor.

The BAM training provider will inform DPIE of the successful completion of the 6 compulsory modules for accreditation after each training course.

Applications for accreditation must also include:

  • completed fit and proper person declaration
  • completed code of conduct declaration.

Requisite skills, experience and qualifications

The accredited person's experience and qualifications listed below provide guidance to the type of skills that are required for accreditation.

  1. A person’s relevant academic qualifications, being either:
    • relevant tertiary education in the natural sciences including subjects that relate to the observation and description of terrestrial biodiversity and landforms
    • such other qualifications as are, in the opinion of the Environment Agency Head relevant to exercising the functions of an accredited person.
  2. A person’s relevant work experience in environmental science or environmental management or environmental impacts assessment or preparation of conservation management plans, being experience that includes:
    1. conducting plant and animal surveys
    2. identification of plant community types
    3. identification of ecological communities.
  3. In the case of a person possessing the relevant academic qualification, at least three years of experience within the last 7 years.
  4. In any other case, at least 5 years of experience, two of which have been gained within the last 7 years.

Ongoing accreditation will also require ongoing involvement in maintaining skills and knowledge related to the BAM and its application.

Notes regarding relevant work experience – and demonstration of technical skills

The BAM requires an assessor to have a strong focus on botanical skills, involving plots, quadrats, and transects to sample species composition. This sampling is used to identify plant community types and ecological communities.

Assessor applicants should be aiming to demonstrate a reasonable level of recent relevant work experience. As a guide approximately 50 days (cumulatively) over the last 3 years of plant-based field work, involving plots, quadrats and transects is considered reasonable. This is a guide only, and each application is considered individually, and on its merits against the criteria. This figure is based on experience of previous assessors.

Note: There will also be continuing professional development requirements for assessors to carrying out a similar level of field work to maintain their botanical skills once accredited.

Application process

People wishing to become accredited will first need to successfully complete the Biodiversity Offset Scheme Training for accredited assessors through the training provider, Muddy Boots (Green Cap). When the training provider notifies DPIE that the training course participant has been evaluated as competent in all the assessment tasks presented during the training course, DPIE will send an invitation to submit an application for accreditation (including access to the Biodiversity Assessor Accreditation System, BAAS).

The training is current for 6 months. All applications are to be submitted within six months of completing the training. An application is to be made by submitting the following:

  1. a completed Accredited BAM Assessor Application Form (DOCX 74KB) (including Fit and Proper Person Declaration)
  2. a completed Accredited BAM Assessor Code of Conduct Declaration (DOCX 65KB)  
  3. a completed Accredited BAM Assessor Experience and Qualification Report (DOCX 69KB)
  4. two completed Accredited BAM Assessor Referee Reports (DOCX 66KB)
  5. certified copies of originals of relevant academic transcripts
  6. payment of the Application Fee.

An Accreditation Term Fee will be payable after your application has been assessed and approved. Fees are paid via BAAS portal.

See the list of current fees.

The Biodiversity Assessors Accreditation System (BAAS)

The Department has developed an online portal (BAAS) to support the Accreditation Application process, including fee payments. It is also the gateway to the version of Biodiversity Offsets and Agreement Management System (BOAMS) and the credit calculator only accessible by accredited assessors (once they have completed the accreditation process).

DPIE will email successful course participants the link for the registration page during the two week period after the completion of a course. Assessor applicants will use this portal to upload application documents, pay fees and track the status of their application.

Training for accreditation

People interested in undertaking accredited assessor training should complete an Expression of Interest with the training provider.

The training provider will advise you when training courses are being offered.

Training is competency based, with assessment tasks to be completed prior to and during the course. People undertaking the training will need to demonstrate knowledge of the Biodiversity Offsets Scheme (BOS) as well as competency in the use of the BAM, including allocating Plant Community Types and Threatened Ecological Communities from field data collection.

More information is available through the training provider Muddy Boots.

Accredited assessors who work within a project team

DPIE is aware that many companies undertake biodiversity assessments in project teams. This means that there are times where the accredited person who prepares and submits the BAR for a particular project is unlikely to do all the ecological assessment and writing of the BAR.

Where an accredited person is working within a project team or using information required by the BAM that was gathered or prepared by another person, the accredited person must:

  • be accountable for correctly applying the BAM and preparing the BAR
  • ensure staff and contractors operating under their direction have adequate skills and knowledge to undertake the field work accurately and in accordance with the BAM
  • have knowledge and skills (pre-requisite and BAM-training skill competency) required to provide quality control, confirm validity and accuracy of all information used in the assessment, oversee preparation and sign-off on this work
  • operate within the code of conduct
  • acknowledge the roles of support team members in the preparation of a BAM report and include it in the BAR write up.

To help ensure the quality of work carried out by non-accredited staff and contractors, DPIE recommends they attend the BAM Field Skills training course provided by Muddy Boots.

Page last updated: 15 July 2019