SCP Australia assessment panels

SCP Australia assessment panels

Short video (4:24) describing how the assessment subcommittee is appointed, and how assessment panels are organised to review applications for certification.

SCP Australia assessment panels

My name is Paul Saeki and in this short video I am talking about the assessment panels in SCP Australia certification.

With any certification scheme, assessment panels and the way they operate reflect the integrity of the scheme.
SCP Australia takes considerable care and diligence in ensuring the assessment process is fair and unbias, and conducted in a consistent and professional manner, providing transparency by sharing information and collecting feedback.

First of all, assessors are nominated on an application round basis.
Some certification schemes have assessors which sit on review boards for a fix period such as twelve or twenty four months.
SCP Australia Assessors are nominated at every round and are only nominated for one round.
*The only roles which do run for periods outside of assessment rounds are that of the Chief Assessor and Deputy Chief Assessor.
These two roles do not participate in the assessment process, however, play a role in observing the assessment process and the decisions of the panel to ensure consistency across all panels.*

Assessors are drawn from SCP Australia senior certified practitioners or accredited environmental auditors.
A list of nominated assessors for a round is reviewed by the Chief Assessor and requires the approval of the National Executive Committee SCP Australia which is the governing body for the scheme.

Each assessor joins the assessment subcommittee for that round and the assessment subcommittee runs for approximately 40 days until assessments are complete.

Each assessor signs a non-disclosure agreement and is required to declare any conflicts of interest or potential bias before application details are provided.

Applications are group according to their jurisdictions. For example all Western Australia applications are group together and where possible will be reviewed by an assessment panel consisting of senior practitioners or accredited auditors from the same jurisdiction.

*When an application round closes Regulators in every Australian state and territory are supplied with a list of intending applicants seeking certification and regulators have an opportunity to raise any concerns by comment.

This is not a right of veto for regulators, however, if regulators have serious reservations about an applicant applying for certification then this information is shared with the assessment panel, and later with the applicant themselves.*

Once all applications have been grouped they are assigned to an appropriate assessment panel- this process is overseen by the Chief Assessor.
Each assessment panel consists of three assessors and they individually review between 6 to 8 applications each. Once the assessors have reviewed the applications they come together to finalise their recommendations by panel consensus.
This means all three assessors on a panel need to agree about an applicant’s suitability for certification. Where there is a grey area, when the panellists are not clearly convinced of either the application’s suitability or non-suitability for certification, they may request an interview.
This also occurs should the panel be divided and not reach consensus.

Applicants are interviewed by the same assessors who review their written applications. Interviews are observed by the Chief or Deputy Chief Assessor. The applicant is provided with a case study and is given the opportunity to demonstrate their technical knowledge and communication skills.

Once final recommendations are made by the assessment panel the Chief and Deputy Chief Assessors review the list of recommendations before they are submitted for endorsement by the National Executive Committee.
Applicants wishing to appeal a recommendation made by an assessment panel submit their claims directly to the National Executive Committee who will enact the appeals process.

This is a quick overview of the whole process. More information about Assessors and Chief Assessor roles are available on the SCP Australia website on the Assessment Committees link under the about section. Podcast interviews with assessors and the Chief assessor are also available in the SCP Australia news section of the website.