Information on this page is not current law. It details new laws intended to commence on 1 July 2021 under the Environment Protection Act 2017.

Under the Environment Protection Act 1970, only 53V environmental audits are scoped by an auditor. In the new audit framework, all audits must be scoped by an auditor, offering more flexibility.  

Under the new Environment Protection Act 2017, you can use scoping to define what’s considered in the audit, depending on its purpose. 

Find out more about types of environmental audits under the Environment Protection Act 1970.

How a scoped audit works

When the new audit framework becomes law, auditors must submit a proposed scope of audit before starting it. At a minimum, the scope must include: 

  • the identity of the site or activity the audit covers  
  • the elements of the environment the audit assesses, such as land, water, air and noise 
  • consideration of the standards and reference documents in the audit 
  • any exclusion from the audit and the reason known at the time of scoping the audit.  

When audits are specifically for land use considerations, the scope must identify the current or proposed site use. This extra requirement is for audits that support land use planning decisions and aligns with the current 53X audit.  

Outcomes of a scoped audit

At the end of the scoped audit, the auditor must prepare: 

  • an environmental audit statement 
  • an environmental audit report. 

About environmental audit statements

An environmental audit statement must include: 

  • all the matters set out in the audit’s scope   
  • the use or proposed use of a site if part of the audit scope 
  • any assumptions the auditor makes during the audit, or any limitations on the audit  
  • any additional considerations of the standards and reference documents in the audit 
  • any further exclusions from the audit, as well as those in the scope, and the reason for these extra exclusions 
  • the results of the audit and any recommendations 
  • the name of the person requesting the auditor’s services  
  • the auditor’s signature and contact details.  

Where audits assess the ‘use’ or ‘proposed use of the site’, auditors should include a statement for the site suitability. The auditor will choose one of the following three statements: 

  1. The site is suitable for the purposes specified in the statement. 
  2. The site is suitable for the purposes specified in the statement if the recommendations made in the statement are complied with.  
  3. The site is not suitable for the purposes specified in the statement at the time the statement was prepared. 

In the case of a current 53X audit, these three statements replace a certificate or a statement of environmental audit. 

About environmental audit reports

The environmental audit report must include: 

  • a review of all relevant information the environmental audit collected  
  • the reasons for the findings and any recommendations in the environmental audit statement. 

More information about environmental audits

Read next

Environmental auditing

About environmental audits

Types of environmental audits under the Environment Protection Act 1970

EPA's role in environmental auditing

About environmental auditors

Choosing an environmental auditor

Appointment of environmental auditors

Environmental audits and the planning system 

Preliminary risk screen assessments

Find an environmental audit report

Find an environmental auditor

Reviewed 17 July 2020