Competencies

The core of the scheme is the competencies indicating the knowledge, skills in application and experience of the contaminated site practitioner.  The essence is to ensure a certified practitioner can service client needs in an effective, efficient and environmentally responsible manner across the spectrum of contaminated site management activities while continuing to advance and improve the standard of practice attached to the profession.

Click on any of the 6 competency elements below to view the sub elements:

1. The nature, causes and significance of site contamination

  • Types of industries and land uses (current and historical), and the particular contaminants they produce, which are commonly associated with site contamination
  • The affect of geological, hydro-geological , and environmental settings on contamination issues
  • The significance of the built environment including residences, services, and other land use infrastructure for site contamination issues
  • The fate and transport of common contaminants in typical settings including chemical, biological and physical processes as these relate to the solid, liquid and gaseous phases
  • The primary sources used for assessment of the significance of contamination issues including regulatory and scientifically authoritative references

2. Preliminary site assessment of contamination

  • Planning and contextualising the purpose of an assessment process
  • Site inspection and conducting enquiries sufficient to maximise information for contamination assessment purposes
  • Conduct of a site history incorporating knowledge of common reliable sources and approaches for this
  • Initiation of a Conceptual Site Model based on the above incorporating knowledge of the overall environmental setting including land use/built environment factors , geology and hydrogeology, and surface environment for future improvement
  • Provision of advice as to whether contamination represents a risk requiring further detailed site assessment  by applying understandings in competency 1

3. Detailed site assessment involving the characterisation of contamination

  • Data Quality Objectives, including quality assurance and quality control practices and their application
  • Sampling methodology and design for contamination in soils, groundwater, vapour(soil and indoor), surface water and sediments
  • Documentation and management of data for interpretation of contamination significance and site management
  • Quality assurance of data for assessing contamination, including identification of data gaps and areas of uncertainty.
  • Assessment of the significance of contamination by applying understandings in competency 1 and/or by using Tier 1 risk assessment, or more advanced risk assessment, to understand potential impact of contamination
  • Validation of a site following remediation works

4. Risk assessment of site contamination

  • Criteria and legislative requirements
  • Risk assessment framework
  • Ecological risk assessment and human health risk assessment and the importance of each for a particular site setting.
  • The use and limitations of modelling in undertaking risk assessments

5. Remediation and management approaches

  • Remediation and management options including available technologies for particular types of contamination in soil, groundwater and vapour
  • Remediation/management frameworks
  • Development of site specific remediation/management objectives, implement and monitor performance of selected approaches, and to validate achievement of objectives
  • Handling of wastes generated from remediation activities

6. Professional practice relevant to consulting on contaminated site issues

  • Adherence to ethical obligations and standards
  • Sound project management practices – quality, time, cost
  • Legislation relating to contaminated sites including property and planning law
  • Health and safety management applied to contaminated site activity
  • Writing complete, relevant and understandable technical reports
  • Risk communication with all stakeholders including community consultation
  • Basics of contract law and contract management

Level of competency required

For certification, practitioners are required to demonstrate a minimum “proficient” level in competency elements 1,2,3 and 6 together with a minimum “functional” level in competency elements 4 and 5

A single rating will be given for each competency element cognisant of the levels demonstrated in each sub element but not tied by formula or a reductionist approach to the rating of each sub element. The rating will be given using an on balance approach. It is unlikely that a “proficient” rating could be given to any element where a sub element is assessed as “developing”.

Click on any of the four levels of competency below to view the characteristics of the level:

1. Developing

  • limited or incorrect knowledge of competency element
  • no relevant experience
  • limited or no ability to apply knowledge and experience to achieve objectives
  • lack of awareness of limitation to skills and/or limited ability to identify where solutions might be sought to issues
  • poor ability to communicate effectively

2. Functional

  • basic level of knowledge of competency element
  • limited relevant experience
  • ability to apply knowledge and experience to achieve objectives for simple issues
  • awareness of limitation of skills and the ability to identify where solutions might be sought to issues
  • ability to communicate effectively within the limits of knowledge

3. Proficient

  • sound knowledge of competency element
  • broad experience across a range of contaminated site issues
  • demonstrated ability to apply knowledge and experience to achieve objectives for a range of common issues
  • awareness of limitations of skills and the ability to identify where and how to obtain expert advice for complex issues
  • ability to communicate effectively and at a proficient level about typical issues

4. Advanced

  • advanced knowledge of competency element
  • extensive and varied level of experience, across a range of contaminated site issues
  • demonstrated ability to apply knowledge and skills to achieve objectives for complex issues
  • awareness of limitations of skills and the ability to work with other experts to attain a solution
  • ability to communicate effectively and at a high level about complex issues