Environmental auditing

Appointment of environmental auditors


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Appointments under the Act

The Environment Protection Act 1970 (the Act) provides for the statutory appointment of environmental auditors under section 53S. Their responsibility is to ensure high-quality, rigorous environmental audits are conducted. Auditors are not EPA staff and currently the majority of appointed environmental auditors operate from within the environmental consulting sector. A small number are also employed in industry and government.

Environmental auditors appointed in other Australian states

In accordance with the Commonwealth Mutual Recognition Act 1992, environmental auditors appointed under equivalent systems in other states may apply to be an auditor in Victoria. Interested auditors must complete Form 1R, Application for auditor appointment via mutual recognition (Word 178KB).

Category of appointment

Individuals can apply to be appointed as environmental auditors in the following categories:

  • Contaminated land
  • Industrial facilities
  • Natural resources

The relevant Western Australian, New South Wales, South Australian, Queensland, Tasmanian, Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory government agencies acknowledge the competence of auditors appointed under the Act for the purposes of auditing contaminated land.

Application process

EPA appoints environmental auditors to carry out statutory duties pursuant to section 53S of the Environment Protection Act, including:

  • conducting environmental audits of segments of the environment
  • issuing certificates or statements of environmental audit for segments of the environment
  • conducting environmental audits of the risk to the beneficial uses of the environment posed by industrial processes or activities
  • other activities related to the statutory duties and functions of EPA and other government agencies.

Applicants must demonstrate expertise and extensive experience in a number of areas depending on the category of auditor appointment sought, plus an understanding of the Act and associated statutory policies, regulations and guidelines.

Applicants must address the requirements set out in Environmental auditor guidelines for appointment and conduct (publication 865) and include the relevant completed application forms.

Pre-application

EPA will run an information session to assist people wishing to submit an application under the initial appointment process. The information session will be held several weeks prior to the application closing date. To apply, candidates have to contact EPA’s Environmental Audit team via email on environmental.audit@epa.vic.gov.au

You do not need to prepare for the information session. However, it would be useful to explore EPA’s website, in particular the environmental auditing section, and read EPA publications 759, 840, 860, 865, 902, 952, 953, 1147.

If you can’t attend the information session, the information can be mailed out to you and you may send a delegate. However, we strongly recommend that you attend, as the information provided will be useful in the preparation of your application.

Application

To become an environmental auditor you must have thoroughly read Environmental auditor guidelines for appointment and conduct (publication 865) for guidance on the qualifications, competencies, experience and skills required. You should also attend the information session, be familiar with the environmental auditing section of our website and read the other publications mentioned above.

Download Application Form 1 – General Criteria and Application Form 2 – Schedule A and complete your application. You must provide information that demonstrates how you meet all the selection criteria detailed in publication 865.

Please submit your application in the form of one hard copy and either a CD or USB copy.

We must receive both the electronic and hardcopy versions of your application by the application closing date. The CD or USB copy must be readable on standard software. We will not accept applications after the application closing date.

EPA will notify you in writing when your application is received. If you do not receive a letter within two weeks of submitting your application, please contact the Environmental Audit team on 1300 372 842 (1300 EPA VIC) during business hours or via email at environmental.audit@epa.vic.gov.au. To ensure your application reaches us you should consider sending it by registered mail.

Application assessment

After the closing date, all applications will be assessed by EPA against the requirements in publication 865. The assessment will be reviewed by a panel made up of EPA staff.

There is no specific training to become an EPA-appointed environmental auditor. Applicants may have previously undertaken specific audit or technical training but are assessed on their current experience, qualifications and ability to meet the requirements listed in publication 865.

If your application demonstrates that you meet all the requirements of publication 865 (suitable expertise, experience and an understanding of the Environment Protection Act and associated statutory policies, Regulations and guidelines), you will be invited to take a written examination.

To increase your chances of success, you should submit a concise and timely application using the forms on the EPA website at the time applications open. We strongly recommend you ensure clarity in addressing the criteria in the guidelines.

Written examination

Applicants who are invited to sit a written examination will undertake a three-hour opened book exam to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of Victorian legislation and policy, data evaluation, exposure and pathway assessment, human toxicology and ecotoxicology, and remediation and site management.

All exams will be assessed by EPA and reviewed by EPA panel members. Successful applicants will be invited to attend a panel interview.

Interview

Applicants who go through to the interview stage will be answering questions about a case study to demonstrate knowledge of legislation, technical expertise and application of audit, as a tool, to a panel of experts. You will be given a short time to read the case study before the interview.

Appointment and induction

After the interview stage, the panel will make a recommendation. EPA will review the panel’s recommendation and, if confirmed, you will be appointed as an environmental auditor. If you are unsuccessful, we will inform you by letter.

No costs are incurred to apply. However, if your application is successful, an appointment fee of 170 fee units will apply. Appointed auditors are expected to attend an induction session

Environmental auditors are appointed under the Environment Protection Act 1970 and must have regard to any relevant guidelines issued by EPA. The functions of an environmental auditor are outlined in section 53T of the Act, and include the ability to conduct audits and issue certificates and statements of environmental audit

Environmental auditors are initially appointed for a period of up to 24 months. At the end of this period, you will have to submit a ‘subsequent appointment’ application. If your subsequent appointment is granted, you will have to pay an appointment fee of 170 fee units and have your period of appointment renewed. A standard subsequent appointment will be for a further five years if the auditor has been active and has not had any compliance issues. At the discretion of EPA, the appointment may be for as little as one month.

Further information on auditor appointment

Form 2 Schedule A – Contaminated land specific assessment criteria

You must demonstrate you meet all the requirements specified in Schedule A of publication 865. To do this, complete Form 2 Schedule A (Word 160KB) and provide a ‘Statement in support to Contaminated Land Specific Assessment Criteria’ (Attachment 5A).

While you are encouraged to be concise, there is no word limit on the amount of information you can present. Given the limitations of the tables, we suggest you summarise the information to complete the tables and provide any detailed information you wish to include in your ‘Statement in support to Contaminated Land Specific Assessment Criteria’. In this way, you can include everything you believe to be relevant.

Expert support team members

You will be required to nominate expert support team members in areas where you do not have sufficient expertise. Details of skill areas and the requirements of your expert support team members are listed in publication 865.

Expert support team members may be employed by your organisation, a university, another environmental consultancy or within a government or non-government organisation. It is your responsibility to present a suitable expert support team with your application; EPA cannot provide a list of qualified people.

If the answer to your questions cannot be found on our website or the guidelines listed above, please contact the Environmental Audit team on 1300 372 842 (1300 EPA VIC) or via email on environmental.audit@epa.vic.gov.au.

Page last updated on 22 Dec 2016