Insights / August 16th, 2017

Certification of site contamination professionals

If you are a site consultant and you want a planning authority to accept your report, be engaged to undertake site contamination assessments, undertake work on behalf of the EPA or be a member of ACLCA, you will need to be certified under the proposed EPA site contamination, professional certification policy (policy).

According to the EPA, the policy is aimed at improving the quality, reliability and accountability of reports and other documentation provided by site contamination practitioners by requiring them to be certified site contamination professionals (CSCP).

The policy deals with certification bodies and certification body recognition. Under the proposed minimum standards for certification bodies, the EPA will assess each scheme on its merits. The certifying scheme must meet prescribed standards and essential elements, which include that the scheme:

  • conforms to the Australian New Zealand standard for conformity assessment – general requirements for bodies operating certification of persons (Standard);

  • certifies natural persons;

  • satisfies specified governance criteria;

  • is a national, independent scheme that does not limit certification based on a requirement to be a member of another organisation;

  • rigorously tests all applicants requesting certification, has proven competency standards and tests competency;

  • has minimum education and professional practice requirements;

  • is transparent and has clearly documented procedures (application, assessment, certification, appeal and governance);

  • requires continuing professional development;

  • use persons recognised as suitable by the EPA as assessors; and

  • has relevant ethical and professional conduct requirements and seeks regulator feedback for applicants in relation to ethical and professional practice.

If the scheme meets the prescribed criteria, a person certified under the scheme will be a CSCP.

Certification bodies may also be recognised by the EPA by providing a detailed statement (which requires comprehensive information about the organisations, its policies and procedures and application processes) and a statutory declaration.

It is the EPA’s intention that once the policy has commenced, (with the exception of audit reports):

  • all work commissioned and/or managed by the EPA must be prepared, or reviewed and approved by a CSCP;

  • planning authorities only accept reports prepared, or reviewed and approved by a CSCP;

  • persons liable for site contamination only engage a CSCP to prepare, or review and approve reports; and

  • ACLCA require its membership to have a certified professional included as part of membership renewal.

Submissions on the draft policy close on Friday 8 September 2017.

If you would like assistance in preparing your submissions or more information about the policy and how it might affect you, please contact Kathryn Walker or Leah Cowell.