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Biodiversity Offsets Scheme Training

Muddy Boots Environmental Training, part of Greencap, has been appointed by the NSW Department of Planning & Environment (DPE) as the exclusive training provider for the Biodiversity Offsets Scheme.

Further information about applying for accreditation is also available from this link: Applying for Assessor Accreditation

 

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Why has the scheme been introduced?

Introduced in 2016, the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 aims to deliver ecologically sustainable development in New South Wales and address the loss of biodiversity via a biodiversity offsets scheme and private land conservation agreements.

These reforms are aimed at providing for ecologically sustainable development, improving biodiversity, and utilising the best available science and data to deliver a modern approach for land management and biodiversity conservation in NSW.

 

How does the Biodiversity Offsets Scheme work?

The Scheme allows for biodiversity offsets to be measured in terms of credits, using the Biodiversity Assessment Method (BAM) - a scientific method that assesses biodiversity and calculates losses and gains at development and stewardship sites. Formal assessments under the Scheme can only be conducted by persons accredited as assessors under section 6.10 of the BC Act. Accredited assessors will carry out all BAM assessments and preparation of biodiversity assessment reports.

Key amendments were made to the BAM with BAM 2020 coming into force on 22 October 2020.

 

Training for Accredited Assessors

The Department of Planning and Environment has established arrangements for accreditation which includes a requirement of training in the use of the Biodiversity Assessment Method (BAM). Greencap in conjunction with the Department of Planning and Environment is the current provider of training for the Biodiversity Offsets Scheme.

 

Accredited Assessor Training Modules

To be considered for accreditation by DPE as an accredited assessor, you will need to complete all the accredited assessor training program and demonstrate competency.

Please note that demonstrating competency in the Accredited Assessor training is only one part of the accreditation process, which is managed by DPE. 

For more information, see this page or contact DPE.

 

Biodiversity Offsets Scheme - Online Learning
12-Part eLearning Series

Introducing and detailing the Biodiversity Offsets Scheme

 

 

The Accredited Assessor course is comprised of three components: 

  1. 12-part self-paced eLearning, followed by 
  2. Three face-to-face webinars, and a field day

To enquire about current accredited assessor training, please fill in the Biodiversity Contact Form

If you have any queries relating to the eLearn component, please contact [email protected]

For any questions regarding the face-to-face and field day components, please contact [email protected]

 

Pricing

Accredited Assessor Course (eLearning modules only)

$500 per participant (excluding GST)*

 

Accredited Assessor Renewal Training 

The accredited assessor renewal training course is now comprised of 2 parts. 

  1. 6-part self-paced eLearning Modules, followed by 
  2. Two face-to-face webinars over two days. 

Participants must currently be an Accredited Assessor to attend Assessor Renewal Training. 

As an interim arrangement, renewal training has been split into two parts which can be completed separately. This is because we have not yet been able to secure a teacher-trainer for the face-to-face component of the course. DPE is working with Greencap to find a trainer so that Part 2 can also be presented. It is expected that Part 2 will be available later in 2022. Please see note below about accreditation. 

If you have any queries relating to the eLearn component, please contact [email protected]

Note from DPE: Accreditation Renewal 

DPE has made contact with all assessors whose accreditation expiry date is approaching or has recently passed - these assesors will have a modified renewal process that will allow them to continue their work as assessors. If you have any concerns about your accreditation email DPE at [email protected]

 

Pricing

Renewal Refresher Training (eLearning component only)

$500 per participant (excluding GST)*

Local Government Training

The new training will help council staff to understand the fundamental concepts of the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016, the Biodiversity Offsets Scheme, the Biodiversity Assessment Method, assessor accreditation and councils’ role in the scheme. It includes: 12 eLearning modules  completed at a self-directed pace (total six hours); and two workshops (one day each). Competency is not assessed however trainees will receive a certificate of completion. 

eLearning 

Target Audience 

The primary audience is council staff who have a role in reviewing or determining applications for development or vegetation clearing i.e. council Planners and their Managers. 

Council staff who have a role in referring or directing enquiries regarding applications for development or vegetation clearing may also benefit from the eLearning training i.e. council Customer Service staff, Building Surveyors/Certifiers and their Managers.

Certificate of Completion 

  • Competency is not assessed 
  • Optional multiple-choice quizzes are included to cement key points of eLearning 
  • There is no limit to the number of attempts, and marks are not recorded 
  • Trainees receive a certificate of completion when they have finished all the modules by 22 April 2022. 

Registered trainees can download eLearning modules for future reference. However, trainees must complete eLearning by 22 April 2022 to receive a certificate of completion. 

To enrol in the Local Government Training, please contact our team at [email protected]

Course Outline 

Module Title  Summary of Contents
Introductory Module (Module 0)  Introduction to training and instructions for navigating the eLearning environment. 
Module 1: Introduction to the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 and legislative framework Overview of the legislative framework for the Biodiversity Offsets Scheme and relationship with Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.
Module 2: Overview of the NSW Biodiversity Offsets Scheme (BOS) Introduction to the BOS including: 
•    types of impacts captured 
•    when the BOS applies
•    council’s role
•    the avoid, minimise and offset hierarchy
•    how it relates to private land conservation
•    key definitions and terms. 
Module 3: Introduction to Biodiversity credits and offset obligations Explanation of the following concepts and topics: 
•    biodiversity credits and offset obligations
•    influences on the number and type of biodiversity credits 
•    trading biodiversity credits and offset rules
•    the Biodiversity Conservation Fund
•    conditions of consent and meeting an offset obligation. 
Module 4: Determining whether the BOS applies  Explanation of the criteria that determine when the BOS applies to common planning and approval pathways, and the role of assessors and decision-makers when the BOS applies.
Module 5: Exemptions and other considerations  Exemptions and other considerations when determining how the BOS applies, including:
•    BV Map exemptions
•    Bushfire exemptions
•    Biodiversity certification
•    Cl34A certification
•    Category 1 – exempt land
•    Biodiversity Conservation Licences
•    Offsetting under other legislation. 
Module 6: Biodiversity Assessment Method (BAM) overview Overview of the purpose, use and three stages of the BAM including:
•    Stage 1: Biodiversity assessment
•    Stage 2: Impact assessment
•    Stage 3: Improving biodiversity values
•    Streamlined assessment modules
Module 7: Biodiversity Assessment Reports Outline of the content and certification required for Biodiversity Development Assessment Reports (BDARs) an, provisions for modification and withdrawal.
Module 8: Assessors and compliance Overview of BAM accreditation and the quality assurance framework for assessors including complaints and feedback.
Module 9: Overview of Biodiversity Certification Framework Overview of Biodiversity Certification including:
•    eligibility, effects, benefits, conferral and duration
•    differences between standard and strategic
•    conservation measures to meet offset obligations.
Module 10: Introduction to Private Land Conservation Overview of the three types of private land conservation agreements and an introduction to Biodiversity Stewardship Agreements (BSAs) including:
•    the role of the Biodiversity Conservation Trust 
•    considerations and eligibility for entering into a BSA. 
Module 11: Introduction to systems and tools supporting the BOS Overview of the systems and tools that a local government decision-maker needs to be aware of including:
•    BioNet Atlas and BioNet Vegetation Classification
•    Biodiversity Values Map and Threshold Tool (BMAT)
•    Biodiversity Offset and Agreement Management System (BOAMS)
•    BAM Calculator (BAM-C)
•    Important Habitat Maps. 
Module 12: Closing module and next steps
 
•    A review of the eLearning modules completed.
•    Resources for additional information on the BOS and BAM
•    Participant feedback
•    Outline of two additional training workshop options

Workshops 

Supplementary to the eLearning, two workshops have been developed to provide interactive training so council staff can apply their learning. 

Workshop 1 – Biodiversity assessment and approval pathways

Learn how to determine the correct assessment and approval pathway for a proposal for development or vegetation clearing. This includes how to determine whether the Biodiversity Offsets Scheme applies to a proposal and what that means for the proponent and council. Apply learning to case studies to gain experience and build confidence.


Workshop 2 – How to review a Biodiversity Development Assessment Report (BDAR)

Learn best practice for reviewing a BDAR prepared by an Accredited Assessor in accordance with the BAM. Apply learning to sample BDARs to gain experience and build confidence. The target audience is council staff who have a role in reviewing BDARs for determining development applications i.e. council Planners and their Managers.

It is anticipated that from mid-2022, council staff will be able to register to attend workshops as a stand-alone training option for a fixed price. More details will be available when DPE renews the delivery contract for BAM Assessor and Local Government Training by the end of April 2022.

Make an enquiry about Local Government training by filling in the form on this page. 

Other Training

BAM Accredited Assessor eLearning modules are available for completion by Department of Planning and Environment Staff and Previous Accredited Assessor Participants.

Please note access to the eLearning modules will only be open until 30 April 2022 due to:

DPE procurement policies requires that DPE must renew the delivery contract for BAM Assessor Training by the end of the April 2022. Any changes to current arrangements will be published on the Department’s BOS webpages for accredited assessors when they are finalised. The Department, in partnership with the training provider aims to ensure that training courses are continued to be delivered regularly to support the ongoing accreditation process.


Contact us to discuss accessing these modules or for any for any other training enquiries of the Biodiversity Offsets Scheme. 

Contact Our Experts

Brent Ridgard

National Practice Lead - Environment

Nick Waniarcha

National Operations Manager - Environmental Management

Dylan Burford

Manager – Environmental Management & Contaminated Land

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