Managing risks to human health and the environment can be complex and sometimes difficult to understand. You may need a qualified consultant to help you.
Consultants offer services like environmental assessments, risk assessments and designing environmental management plans. They can specialise in areas such as contaminated land, noise and odour.
EPA doesn’t endorse any individuals, businesses or professional associations. You’ll need to determine who’s best qualified to give you advice.
It’s important to know your responsibilities before you select a consultant. The notion of 'buyer beware' applies, so be cautious and follow the tips below:
- Provide the consultant with as much information as possible so they can supply an accurate quote.
- Give a clear scope of what your job requires.
- Request multiple quotes from different consultants.
- Request a detailed proposal. For example, the project team members, timings, costs, relevant previous experience and health and safety procedures.
- Ask the consultant to confirm they are familiar with all relevant Victorian legislation. Check they refer to and understand environment protection laws.
- Ask the consultant to provide copies of their insurance documents. For example, Certificate of Currency or Professional Indemnity.
- Investigate their credentials. One way of doing this is to check the associations of which consultants are members.
- Always make sure you read the fine print on the quote and get legal advice before signing an agreement.
Where to find a consultant
There are many ways you can find a consultant, including:
- word of mouth – contact individuals or businesses you know have engaged a consultant. Ask who they would recommend
- online search – using the search term 'Environmental and/or Pollution consultants' will return many results. You’ll need to check their credentials
- expressions of interest – open tenders for an environmental consultant in a major newspaper can yield respondents. You’ll need to assess the quotes you receive against the scope of the work.
Professional associations may also be able to help you find a consultant. They can often provide contact details for their members.
The association you choose to contact will depend on the nature of the work you want to commission.
Some associations include:
Association of Australasian Acoustical Consultants
Australian Contaminated Land Consultants Association
Australian Institute of Geoscientists
Australasian Land and Groundwater Association
Clean Air Society of Australia and New Zealand
Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand
International Association of Hydrogeologists (Australian Chapter)
International Erosion Control Association Australasia
Download the factsheet
You can download the information on this page as a Fact sheet: Engaging consultants (publication 1702).
Reviewed 23 September 2020