FAQs

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Fees (1)

Q. Is there an option for a reduced fee for part time employees or who take extended leave (i.e. maternity leave)?

Answer:

At this time there is no option for reduced fees.  However, consideration will be given in extenuating circumstances for individuals who have taken extended leave periods.

Education (1)

Q. There is a great deal of emphasis placed on the scheme being national. However, will certification be state based?

A. The scheme will be national and certification is not intended be state based.  The competencies require that applicants fully understand the national and their own state requirements plus have an overview of how other states / territories operate. Where certified practitioners seek to operate in a different jurisdiction to their home state or territory, they will need to completely familiarise themselves with the requirements of the new state / territory, or work with a practitioner who does have appropriate competencies in this area.

Assessment (8)

Q. Will interviews be held in each state?

Answer:

The intention is to hold interviews in each of the state capitals although the frequency of interviews may be influenced by the number of applicants.

Q. Will interviews be held in regional areas?

Answer:

At this stage we are planning on capital city interviews only but we will consider scheduling interviews in regional centres if there are a number of applicants in the region. 

Q. Can an applicant object to individuals on the panel?

Answer:

Applicants will have the opportunity to ask for a review of their assessor panel where they can demonstrate a genuine conflict of interest.

Q. If I am not competent in one niche area can I still gain certification?

Answer:

It is proposed that a single rating be given for each element cognisant of the levels demonstrated in each activity or sub element but not tied by formula or a reductionist approach to the rating of each sub element.  The rating is to be given using an on balance approach.

For example, in a niche area such as vapour sampling. Would lack of vapour sampling skills result in applicant being deemed inadequate?

Applying this to the specific question regarding a lack of vapour sampling skills, the competency assessment would take into account the competency of an applicant in sampling methodology and design across all media, in conjunction with all the other sub elements of competency element 3.  The outcome would be a balanced consideration of all the sub elements, so a lack of vapour sampling skills on its own would not prevent assessment at “proficient”.

Q. Why are interviews required?

Answer:

The scheme aims to assess competency through a number of processes rather than rely on one or two.  A practitioner’s application will be supported by client reports, referee reports, a case study exercise and the interview.  Having multiple inputs increases confidence in the assessment being made for all stakeholders. 

It also acknowledged that individuals perform differently in different assessment methods and considering the total evidence of all inputs provides a fairer assessment.  The interview process will enable the panel to seek further clarification of areas and evidence which may have been lacking on the earlier assessment tasks. 

Further, it is envisaged that individuals applying for certification will be client/regulator facing and will have to formulate an appropriate response quickly and under pressure. Demonstrating quick access to knowledge is fundamental to the scheme.

Q. Who appoints the Assessment Panel and how are they selected?

Answer:

A pool of certification panel members will be appointed by the NEC and assessment panel will be formed from the pool.  In the establishment of the scheme, an approach will be made to some of Australia’s leading Auditors to act as assessors.  In later years, once a pool of certified practitioners has been established, there will be an expectation for senior certified members of the certification scheme to act as assessors.

Q. Will there be mutual recognition of other accreditations/schemes?

Answer:

Where applicants have an existing accreditation/certification which demonstrates the achievement of certain competencies required for SCP Australia certification, these can be provided in an application for certification.  In time SCP Australia will seek to formalise mutual recognition of relevant competencies with other national and international schemes.

Q. Is there a mechanism for considering the ACTRA accreditation as part of assessing competencies?

Answer:

Accreditation or certification gained through ACTRA or other related professional and technical societies provide evidence of achievements which will be very relevant to include in an applicant’s portfolio for the SCP Australia.  While we haven’t yet specifically assessed the relative merits of other related schemes to our defined competencies, assessment panels will be able to do this during the initial phase of assessments and offer guidance for future applicants.

Complaints (1)

Q. How would a practitioner be made aware of a complaint or suspension?

Answer:

The practitioner who is the subject of a complaint will be provided with a copy, during the initial review of the complaint, and asked for a written response.  If the complaint is found to be valid, following the detailed review process outlined in the Complaints and conduct review procedure, the National Executive Committee (NEC) will give consideration to the appropriate action to be taken which may include one or more of the following:

  • A warning to the member together with corrective action required for future activities and/or additional professional development
  • Suspension of certification for a defined period of time
  • Termination of the member’s certification

The executive officer will provide written notification of the outcome of the review to the practitioner and the person who provided the notification.

The executive officer will prepare an annual statement of the reviews conducted and the outcomes.  The annual summary will provide summary information only and will not include the names of individuals or organisations.

About SCP Australia (4)

Q. Why a national executive committee (NEC) and not state/territory specific committees?

Answer:

The scheme aims to operate nationally and establish a nationally consistent professional standard.  This has been a fundamental objective of the organisations which have supported the development of the scheme.  Operating the scheme with a national executive committee is consistent with this objective.

Q. Will there be mutual recognition of other accreditations/schemes?

Answer:

Where applicants have an existing accreditation/certification which demonstrates the achievement of certain competencies required for SCP Australia certification, these can be provided in an application for certification.  In time SCP Australia will seek to formalise mutual recognition of relevant competencies with other national and international schemes.

Q. Who appoints the NEC and do they have operational Terms of Reference?

Answer:

In the first instance, stakeholder groups who have been involved in the development of the scheme, as outlined in the Consultation document, will be asked to nominate individuals to be appointed as their representative member(s) of the NEC.  It is expected that this appointment will be an initial term of 2 years.  Following this initial term, election of members of the NEC will be undertaken to maintain sector representation as outlined in the Consultation document.

Terms of Reference for the NEC have been established to allow it to govern the scheme and operate as an independent organisation.  These will be periodically reviewed with stakeholder sectors as the scheme develops.

 

Q. Who appoints the Assessment Panel and how are they selected?

Answer:

A pool of certification panel members will be appointed by the NEC and assessment panel will be formed from the pool.  In the establishment of the scheme, an approach will be made to some of Australia’s leading Auditors to act as assessors.  In later years, once a pool of certified practitioners has been established, there will be an expectation for senior certified members of the certification scheme to act as assessors.