If the appointed ecologist does not meet the definition of a ‘suitably qualified ecologist’ (SQE) the report / information submitted to support the assessment must be verified by an individual who does.
1. The individual verifying the report must provide written confirmation that they comply with the definition of a ‘suitably qualified ecologist’.
2. The verifier must provide signed confirmation that they have checked and approved the report. This must clearly reference the report and can be in the form of a signed letter or their printed name and signature on a completed pro-forma. In doing so, they are deemed to confirm that the report:
a. represents sound industry practice
b. is correctly, truthful, and objective
c. is appropriate given the local site conditions and scope of works proposed
d. avoids invalid, biased, or exaggerated statements
Such confirmation from the verifier must be provided in addition to all other information required by the relevant technical manual and referenced as part of the evidence submitted to demonstrate compliance.
It can take a number of years for an ecologist to meet the SQE definition. Verification of information by an existing SQE supports the practical application of the assessment criteria and is in line with industry practice.
13/08/2019 Updated to clarify, in practical terms, what evidence of verification will be considered acceptable.