Applying for assessor accreditation

There are a number of requirements for assessor accreditation and a number of steps in the accreditation process.

An accredited assessor is a person who, in the opinion of the Environment Agency Head (EAH), has been accredited in accordance with the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 Offset Scheme for the purposes of applying the Biodiversity Assessment Method (BAM).

If you want to be accredited to apply the BAM you need to:

  1. Successfully complete the Biodiversity Offset Scheme Training for accredited assessors.
  2. Be able to demonstrate appropriate knowledge, skills and experience, including academic qualifications and relevant work experience. 

After each training course, the training provider informs the Department.

The Department then sends an invitation to apply for accreditation and provides access to the Biodiversity Assessor Accreditation System (BAAS).

The training is current for 6 months and applications for accreditation must be submitted in BAAS within 6 months of completing the training.

Apply by submitting a completed application form and supporting documents.

Download the application form (DOC 125KB).

The form has 6 parts:

Part 1 – Applicant details

Part 2 – Fit and Proper Person Declaration

Part 3 – BAM assessor code of conduct 

Part 4 – BAM Assessor Experience and qualification report 

Part 5 – Certified copies of relevant academic transcripts

Part 6 – BAM Assessor Referee Report (2 reports from recent referees are required).

An application fee needs to be paid when you submit your application.

An accreditation term fee will be payable after your application has been assessed and approved.

Fees are paid via the BAAS portal.

See the current list of fees.

A renewal process is required when your accreditation expires.

The experience and qualifications required for accreditation include:

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 
  • any other qualifications that 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, including: 

i conducting plant and animal surveys

ii identification of plant community types

iii 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 about 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. The figure is based on experience of previous assessors. 

Note: There are also continuing professional development requirements for assessors to carry out a similar level of field work to maintain their botanical skills after accreditation.

The Department emails successful course participants the link for the BAAS registration page within two weeks of course completion. Applicants can use the portal to upload application documents, pay fees and track the status of their application

BAAS is the gateway to the accredited assessor access of Biodiversity Offsets and Agreement Management System (BOAMS). The BAM credit calculator can only be accessed after accreditation has been approved.

If you want to complete accredited assessor training you should submit an Expression of Interest to the training provider.

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

Training is competency based, with assessment tasks to be completed before and during the course. You 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 from the training provider Muddy Boots.

Maintaining accreditation

Accredited assessors must 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. 

The accreditation scheme also allows the Department to audit Biodiversity Assessment Reports (BARs) and review application of the BAM by accredited assessors. The Department can also vary, cancel or suspend accreditation. This helps to ensure that assessments comply with the BAM. For example, we 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.