Nature conservation

Biodiversity Reform

Accreditation to apply the Biodiversity Assessment Method

Under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016, the Minister for the Environment is responsible for adopting a scheme to accredit assessors to apply the Biodiversity Assessment Method (BAM).

Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) is responsible for accrediting assessors under the scheme. The detailed arrangements for the accreditation scheme are set out in the Accreditation Scheme for the Application of the Biodiversity Assessment Method Order 2017.

The accreditation scheme is designed to ensure that the BAM is applied by people with appropriate ecological skills, knowledge and experience, and a demonstrated understanding of the method.

Please note that the BAM is only required for some development or activities, and only where the impacts of a proposal trigger thresholds established by the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016.

This means that suitably qualified ecological consultants, who may not be BAM accredited assessors, may undertake other work related to the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016, such as carrying out a test of significance, or undertaking other environmental assessments required by the consent authority.

For more information about when the BAM will apply (and therefore what circumstances accreditation is required to undertake an assessment of impacts on biodiversity), see Offsets Scheme Entry Requirements.

Overview of BAM assessor accreditation

To be eligible for accreditation, a person must:

  • be ‘fit and proper’, in accordance with the criteria in the Accreditation Scheme Order
  • have successfully completed BAM Assessor training
  • have appropriate knowledge, skills and experience (such as academic qualification and/or relevant work experience).

People wishing to become accredited will first need to successfully complete the BAM training with the training provider, Muddy Boots. 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.

People wishing to become accredited assessors need to submit an application (together with an application fee of $200) demonstrating how they meet these eligibility criteria. DPIE will then undertake a review and approval process, and once approved an accreditation term fee ($300) will need to be paid.

Accredited assessors are required to adopt a code of conduct. This includes a commitment to operating with integrity and within professional standards.

Accredited assessors will be listed on a public register.

Accredited assessors must also complete a continuing professional development log to demonstrate their continued engagement with the BAM and maintenance of technical skills. This helps to ensure a high standard of work is maintained. Details of this log will be provided later in 2017.

The accreditation scheme also allows DPIE to audit biodiversity assessment reports (BAR) and review application of the BAM by accredited assessors. DPIE can also vary, cancel or suspend accreditation. This helps to ensure that assessments comply with the BAM. For example, DPIE may cancel or suspend accreditation where an audit establishes a failure to comply with the requirements of the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016, the Biodiversity Conservation Regulation 2017, or the BAM.

Accredited assessor feedback

If you wish to provide feedback about the work or conduct of an accredited BAM assessor, then you may send it to BAM_accreditation@environment.nsw.gov.au

Please consider the following before you send any feedback:

  • Is your feedback about your experience of the conduct of an accredited assessor?
    DPIE is not able to manage third party comments. Any submissions should be sent from the relevant person raising the issue.
  • Is your feedback about the quality of an assessor's BAM work?
    You will need to include evidence for DPIE to evaluate including the relevant parts of the BAM to which it relates.
  • DPIE welcomes both positive and negative feedback about accredited assessors.

Public register of accredited assessors

DPIE keeps a public register of individuals accredited to apply the BAM, or accredited assessors, as required by the Biodiversity Conservation Regulation 2017. The register helps identify and contact accredited assessors. 

Access the register.

Page last updated: 15 July 2019