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«DOC08/25477_Attachment 1 Arrangements for BioBanking Assessor Accreditation Arrangements for BioBanking Assessor Accreditation Contents 1. ...»

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DOC08/25477_Attachment 1

Arrangements for BioBanking

Assessor Accreditation

Arrangements for BioBanking Assessor Accreditation


1. Introduction

2. BioBanking Assessor accreditation

3. BioBanking Assessor accreditation process

BioBanking Assessor accreditation criteria

Biobanking Assessor Accreditation Panel

Ongoing BioBanking Assessor accreditation requirements

BioBanking Assessor code of conduct

BioBanking Assessor accreditation compliance

Suspending and cancelling accreditation

Applying to the Director General for an internal review

4. Questions and answers

2 Arrangements for BioBanking Assessor Accreditation 1 Introduction The Biodiversity Banking and Offset Scheme was established in 2008 by the Department of Environment and Climate Change (DECC) to help address the loss of biodiversity in NSW.

BioBanking provides a streamlined biodiversity impact assessment process for development, a rigorous and credible offsetting scheme, as well as an opportunity for rural landowners to generate income from conservation actions.

The scheme operates under Part 7A of the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (TSC Act), the Threatened Species Conservation (Biodiversity Banking) Regulation 2008, and the BioBanking Assessment Methodology.

The BioBanking Assessment Methodology (the methodology) is a science-based, quantitative measurement tool. The methodology is used to assess the current biodiversity values at either a development site or a biobank site. It is also used to measure the loss of biodiversity values that results from development and the gain in biodiversity values from undertaking management actions on a biobank site.

The methodology provides the means to calculate the number of credits associated with the loss or gain of biodiversity values and provides the offset rules related to the retirement of credits.

A computer program called the BioBanking Credit Calculator (the ‘Credit Calculator’)

ensures the consistent application of the methodology, including:

whether a development meets the improve or maintain test for biodiversity • values calculating the number and type of biodiversity credits required to offset the • impacts on biodiversity values on a development site calculating the number and type of biodiversity credits created at a biobank site.

• The BioBanking Operational Manual (the ‘operational manual’) provides instructions on how to use the Credit Calculator and collect field data.

2 BioBanking Assessor accreditation BioBanking Assessors play a crucial role in the BioBanking Scheme. Before a site can be considered for a biobanking agreement and/or biobanking statement, it must first be assessed by a BioBanking Assessor trained in the scheme’s methodology and accredited by the Director General of the Department of Environment and Climate Change.

Accredited persons (‘BioBanking Assessors’) are individuals accredited under section 142B(1)(c) of the TSC Act to undertake surveys and assessment in accordance with the BioBanking Assessment Methodology.

The objectives of the BioBanking Assessor accreditation are:

• to ensure that BioBanking Assessors are skilled at assessing development and biobank sites using the methodology, Credit Calculator and operational manual

• to ensure that assessment of actions affecting threatened species, critically endangered and endangered communities, and endangered populations or their habitats is done to a high standard in accordance with the methodology, Credit Calculator and operational manual

• to ensure consistency in field techniques.

Accreditation will only be given to individuals and not companies or organisations. It is the responsibility of the BioBanking Assessor to ensure that work undertaken by nonaccredited individuals for the purposes of applying the Credit Calculator is accurate.

Accreditation may be suspended or cancelled if information supplied with a biobanking statement or agreement is not accurate or is not prepared in accordance with the BioBanking Assessment Methodology, operational manual or Credit Calculator. To remain accredited BioBanking Assessors must demonstrate compliance with the accreditation requirements set out on pages 3–4.

Accredited BioBanking Assessors are not authorised to provide expert reports under the BioBanking Assessment Methodology unless they meet the separate requirements under the methodology and operational manual (see page 7).

3 BioBanking Assessor accreditation process

The process of obtaining BioBanking Assessor accreditation is as follows:

1. Applicant for accreditation enrols with the Registered Training Organisation (RTO) and pays any associated fees.

2. RTO notifies applicant of acceptance into the BioBanking Assessors course

3. The applicant must then successfully complete the course

4. The RTO informs DECC that the documentation submitted by the course applicant for accreditation is authentic

5. The BioBanking Assessor Accreditation Panel reviews and assesses the qualifications and experience of the applicant for accreditation.

6. The panel makes a recommendation to DECC regarding the suitability of the applicant for accreditation

7. DECC determines if the applicant meets the criteria for accreditation, and if so, issues an accreditation certificate to the applicant (including Assessor Accreditation Number)

8. DECC will maintain a list of all accredited assessors on their website.

The Assessor Accreditation Number must be entered into the BioBanking Credit Calculator when undertaking an assessment. It is included in the credit reports that are submitted as part of applications for biobanking agreements and statements.

2 Arrangements for BioBanking Assessor Accreditation Accreditation will need to be renewed every three years. BioBanking Assessors will be contacted three months before their renewal is due. Accreditation will be renewed following the assessor’s attendance at a one day refresher course.

BioBanking Assessor accreditation criteria The criteria and documentation required to be submitted by an applicant for

accreditation are as follows:

1. Successful completion of the BioBanking Assessors course.

2. A minimum of three years experience in flora and/or fauna survey. Relevant tertiary qualifications in natural sciences (or equivalent). Academic transcripts are required to be submitted;

or A minimum of five years experience if no tertiary qualification(s) in natural sciences (or equivalent). A resume or similar documentation that demonstrates employment history, showing the employer’s name, period of employment and list of projects completed by the applicant relevant to flora and/or fauna survey.

3. Written references including contact details from two recent professional referees (within the last 3 years) in the field of natural sciences from two separate organisations who can vouch for the applicant’s skills, experience and professional conduct. A professional referee can be an employer or a professional in the same industry.

Where an applicant does not strictly meet Part 2 of the criteria, the applicant must demonstrate other skills, experience and knowledge that meet the objectives of the BioBanking Assessor accreditation listed on page 2.

BioBanking Assessor Accreditation Panel The BioBanking Assessor accreditation process will be overseen by a panel comprised of experts from government, academia and industry.

The expert panel will make recommendations to DECC regarding the suitability of applicants for accreditation. The panel will also provide advice to DECC on the suspension and cancellation of BioBanking Assessor accreditation.

Each member of the panel will hold this position for the length of time specified in the letter of acceptance sent by DECC. Members of the panel may be removed at any time by written notice sent by DECC. The procedure of the accreditation panel is to be determined by DECC or (subject to any determination of the DECC) by the accreditation panel.

Documentation submitted by applicants for BioBanking Assessor accreditation will be reviewed by the panel. Applicants submitting an application for accreditation consent to the panel reviewing personal information for this purpose.

Ongoing BioBanking Assessor accreditation requirements BioBanking Assessors must demonstrate compliance with the ongoing accreditation requirements stated below by completing an annual statement of compliance.

The ongoing accreditation requirements for BioBanking Assessors are as follows:

1. BioBanking Assessors must provide a statement confirming that they will continue to work in accordance with threatened species and biodiversity survey and assessment guidelines endorsed by DECC.

2. BioBanking Assessors must provide a brief statement demonstrating that they are keeping up-to-date with the changing requirements of the industry, such as newly introduced legislation, government polices or methods of work.

3. BioBanking Assessors must hold, and must keep up to date, all licences and permits legally required to perform the tasks required (e.g. scientific licence under s.132C of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974, animal ethics approval in relation to fauna survey, a wildlife atlas licence and/or a fisheries licences). An individual must comply with all conditions of the licences and permits held.

4. BioBanking Assessors must demonstrate that they adequately supervise the support team members involved in the preparation of a study.

5. BioBanking Assessors must be able to demonstrate how and when it is determined that specialist expertise is required and provide examples demonstrating that process.

6. BioBanking Assessors must commit to a continued adherence to the code of conduct.

BioBanking Assessor code of conduct BioBanking Assessors must be committed to the professional operating standards and ethics presented in the BioBanking Assessor code of conduct.

Professional standards

• Must provide independent, consistent and objective advice using sound scientific and ecological sustainability principles.

• Must provide a truthful opinion on any matter submitted to them for advice or opinion, must not give false or misleading information and must not conceal information.

• Must express opinions, make statements or give evidence with fairness and honesty, and on the basis of adequate knowledge.

• Must ensure the incorporation of environment protection considerations from the earliest stages of project design or policy development.

• Must not conduct professional activities in a manner involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, misrepresentation or bias.

• Must, if committing to or tendering for work, have (or have access to) the resources and experience necessary to undertake the work.

4 Arrangements for BioBanking Assessor AccreditationEthics

• Must not advertise or conduct themselves in a manner that will bring disrepute to the BioBanking Scheme.

• Must act with fairness, honesty and in good faith towards all in the community, including clients, employers and colleagues.

• Must carry out professional activities, as far as is possible, in accordance with emerging principles of sustainable development and the highest standards of environment protection.

• Must place the integrity of the natural environment and the health, safety and welfare of the human community above any commitment to private interests.

• Must be personally accountable for the validity of all data collected, analyses performed or plans developed by them and for the scrutiny of all data collected, analyses performed of plans developed under their direction.

• Must not act in circumstances where there is a potential conflict between a private interest and the client’s or public’s interest.

• Must apply their skill and knowledge in the interest of their employer or client for whom they shall act as a faithful agent or advisor, without compromising the environment or the health, welfare and safety of the community.

• Must not falsely claim accreditation status where accreditation status has not been awarded.

• Must practise in a careful and diligent manner, ensuring that their work satisfies all legal requirements.

• Must not knowingly make a false statement and take all necessary steps to correct any false statement unknowingly made by them.

• Must continue to develop ecological knowledge, skills and expertise throughout their career and actively assist and encourage those under their direction to do likewise.

BioBanking Assessor accreditation compliance To remain accredited, a BioBanking Assessor must ensure that all information supplied in relation to Credit Calculator reports and any associated document complies with the BioBanking Assessment Methodology and Operational Manual.

DECC will assess and monitor compliance of BioBanking Assessors in accordance with the BioBanking Compliance Assurance Strategy. The BioBanking Compliance

Assurance Strategy is available from the BioBanking website:

www.environment.nsw.gov.au/biobanking/compliancestrategy.htm To monitor compliance, DECC will check every Credit Calculator report submitted as

part of a biobanking statement or agreement application to ensure that:

1. the Credit Calculator has been correctly applied

2. BioBanking Assessors are demonstrating compliance with the BioBanking Assessment Methodology, Credit Calculator and Operational Manual In addition DECC will be undertaking detailed audits of assessments to ensure compliance with the BioBanking Assessment Methodology. BioBanking Assessors are required to retain records of site surveys, including targeted flora and/or fauna surveys undertaken and used as part of any application for a biobanking agreement or statement for at least five years after the survey to which they relate took place.

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