Under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 (BC Act), assessors must be accredited to apply the Biodiversity Assessment Method (BAM). The Biodiversity Assessment Method is applied to all development or clearing applications that are entered into the scheme and sites where a landholder proposes to enter a Biodiversity Stewardship Agreement (BSA). The accredited assessor documents the results of the biodiversity assessment in a Biodiversity Assessment Report (BAR). A proponent must provide a Biodiversity Assessment Report to the decision maker as part of their development, clearing activity or biodiversity certification or to the Biodiversity Conservation Trust (BCT) for a stewardship site application. The decision maker will use the information in the Biodiversity Assessment Report to decide on whether to approve the development or Biodiversity Stewardship Agreement application.
The accreditation scheme is designed to ensure that the Biodiversity Assessment Method is applied by people with appropriate ecological skills, knowledge and experience, and a demonstrated understanding of the method.
The department 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 (Accreditation Scheme Order 2017) under the BC Act.
The department initiated a compliance audit of accredited assessors as part of our commitment to continuous improvement and providing assurance.
The department conducted a Compliance Audit of Accredited Assessors during 2020-21 in accordance with section 20 of the Accreditation Scheme Order 2017, which may include:
- compliance by an accredited person with the conditions of their accreditation
- biodiversity assessment reports prepared by an accredited person
- the application of the Biodiversity Assessment Method by an accredited person.