The 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 (PDF 868KB).
The accreditation scheme is designed to ensure that the Biodiversity Assessment Method (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 in 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 qualifications and/or relevant work experience).
To gain accreditation, the applicant first needs to successfully complete BAM training with the training provider, Muddy Boots. When the training provider notifies the Department that the training course participant has been evaluated as competent in all the assessment tasks presented during the training course, the Department will send an invitation to submit an application for accreditation.
An application (together with an application fee of $200) demonstrating how the applicant meets the eligibility criteria is then submitted. The Department will review the application and if 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 are listed on a public register.
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 is maintained.
The accreditation scheme also allows the Department to audit biodiversity assessment reports (BAR) 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.
First audit of Accredited Assessors
The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment will shortly commence an audit of the Accredited BAM Assessors. The audit, in accordance with section 20 of the Accreditation Scheme for the Application of the Biodiversity Assessment Method (BAM) Order 2017, may check either:
- compliance by an accredited person with the conditions of their accreditation
- biodiversity assessment reports prepared by an accredited person
- the application of the BAM by an accredited person.
The audit will focus on Part 4 local development (Council Development Applications) and will be conducted during early to mid 2020. It will seek to assess compliance, identify opportunities for education and ongoing scheme improvement, as well as identify areas to target for future audits.
The Department will select a sample of Biodiversity Development Assessment Reports (BDARs) to audit. Those accredited assessors whose BDARs are selected, will shortly be contacted by the Department for the provision of relevant records and to arrange a time for an interview.
Accredited assessor feedback
If you want to provide feedback about the work or conduct of an accredited BAM assessor, you can 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? The Department 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 the Department to be able to evaluate, including the relevant parts of the BAM to which it relates.
- The Department welcomes both positive and negative feedback about accredited assessors.
Find an accredited assessor
The Department 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 accredited assessors and their contact details.Access the register