An environmental auditor visits a site and assesses any environmental impact from contaminated land, waste or pollution. Their primary role is to produce an independent environmental report for the site. The report provides advice on ways to improve processes and reduce pollution on the site.  

Environmental auditors give independent advice on ways to:  

  • assess whether a site is suitable for its proposed use  
  • prepare a site for its intended use  
  • improve processes at industrial facilities  
  • reduce risks of harm from pollution, waste and contamination. 

Why auditors need to be independent experts

Environmental auditors’ primary duty of care is to the environment and to the people of Victoria, above all others. This includes their clients.  

The auditor must not:

  • have a conflict of interest
  • have a financial interest in a site
  • have previously assessed a site and commented on its suitability for use, unless it's a further audit of operations related to the original audit. 

Being independent means an auditor can’t:

  • rely just on the opinions, conclusions or reports about the site, from consultants engaged by the client 
  • have an involvement in the design or implementation of site cleanup or management  
  • be an advocate for the client in arguing a lesser case for the level of site assessment or remediation. 

How EPA works with appointed auditors

Under the Environment Protection Act 1970, it’s EPA’s role to appoint environmental auditors and oversee their conduct. It’s an auditor’s responsibility to make sure audits are independent and high quality.  

We provide guidelines in relation to auditor conduct and the environmental audit system. EPA can issue penalties or revoke an auditor’s appointment based on their conduct. 

About EPA appointed auditors when the new Act takes effect 

Appointed auditors will continue their appointments when the new Environment Protection Act 2017 takes effect. The new Act is intended to take effect on 1 July 2021. 

How auditors work with environmental consultants

Environmental auditors often work with environmental consultants. The auditor reviews the work of the consultant who may: 

  • take and test samples 
  • conduct data modelling or analysis  
  • prepare an assessment report or other report  
  • contribute to the auditing process. 

Environmental consultants have expertise in environmental science or engineering. They can do assessments, studies and conduct cleanup programs for contaminated sites. They can’t conduct audits.

Read next

Environmental auditing

About environmental audits

Types of environmental audits under the Environment Protection Act 1970

EPA's role in environmental auditing 

Choosing an environmental auditor

Appointment of environmental auditors

Environmental audits and the planning system

Environmental audits under the new laws

Preliminary risk screen assessments

Find an environmental audit report

Find an environmental auditor

Reviewed 25 September 2020