Plant community types: change control

The Plant Community Type Change Control Panel oversees data quality improvements to the NSW Plant Community Type Classification.

The NSW Plant Community Type Classification is managed within the BioNet Vegetation Classification application.


Specifically, the PCTCCP is the approval body responsible for:

  1. Ensuring that the administration of changes and maintenance to vegetation classification typology are managed in accordance with Department standards and operational protocols
  2. Ensuring that the changes support the operation of the Department administered regulatory tools
  3. Ensuring that decisions about changes are traceable and explainable and are understood
  4. Ensuring that knowledge of changes to classification are understood and communicated throughout the organisation and to external clients
  5. Maintaining awareness of classification projects current or planned to forecast resource demands on other sections of the organisation
  6. Logging and resolving issues or concerns about classification accuracy, completeness or database functionality affecting the operation of regulatory tools.


Executive custodianship for the design, construction and implementation of an integrated NSW Vegetation Information System, including the BioNet Vegetation Classification database and the NSW Master Plant Community Type Classification, resides with the Executive Director Science, Department of Planning, Industry and Environment. The Panel is chaired by the Deputy Executive Director, Science and Public Programs, Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust, and reports to the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment Native Vegetation Steering Committee.

Operational procedures

  1. The Panel will follow the principles, processes and criteria set out in the Plant Community Type Operational Standard (in preparation).
  2. The Panel will work closely with the Biodiversity Information Systems (BIS) team and the Ecology and Classification team to ensure all proposed changes are appropriate, documented, tracked and implemented.
  3. The Panel will review all valid change requests submitted.
  4. Changes to the PCT classification that are accepted by The Panel will be flagged in the VIS Classification module as 'provisionally approved'. Final ‘approved’ status is applied to the classification (and corresponding threatened species associations) when the PCT classification is ready for use in assessment tools.
  5. The Panel will receive support from the Senior Team Leader, Ecology and Classification. This role includes the coordination of incoming proposals for changes and expert reviews of proposed changes, and the tracking and implementation of The Panel’s decisions in the VIS Classification module.
  6. The Panel will meet at least once every 6 months.
  7. The Panel may recommend improvements to the PCT Operational Standard (in preparation), which should be directed to the Executive Director Science, Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, or their nominee.
  8. Appointment of The Panel members is subject to endorsement by the Executive Director Science, Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, with appointments to be reviewed every three years.

For advice about how to establish an endorsed vegetation classification and/or mapping project contact the BioNet team.

More information will be available when the PCT Operational Standard is finalised.