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 of the report must confirm in writing they have read and reviewed the report and found it to:
a. represent sound industry practice
b. report and recommend correctly, truthfully, and objectively
c. be appropriate given the local site conditions and scope of works proposed
d. avoid invalid, biased, and exaggerated statements.
Written confirmation from the verifier on all points listed must be provided in addition to all other information requested in 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.