Ecology Specialist

For the purposes of Certification, “Ecological Practice” is “the scientific study of the interactions of living organisms with one another and with their nonliving environment of matter and energy. The field of ecology assists in understanding the importance of biodiversity and the interdependence between humans and their surrounding ecosystems.”

CEnvP Ecology Specialist certification does not differentiate between ‘types ‘ of ecologist, however, applicants are expected to apply based on their specific skills and role within the ecological community, whilst meeting general requirements.

To qualify for a CEnvP Ecology Specialist you need:

  • an ecology related degree and evidence thereof.
  • ten years of full-time equivalent experience in the functional areas of ecological practice during the last fifteen years.
  • nomination by three experienced environmental professionals who are willing to support the application (see to the Referee section).
  • evidence that the candidate is a respected, competent, ethical and active member of the profession in the form of at least two referee statements (with at least one external to the applicants current place of employment), a detailed curriculum vitae, reports, publications, citations, conference/seminar presentations, etc.
  • evidence of and ongoing commitment to training and professional improvement (at least 100 points of training, professional improvement, service to professional practice over a two year period). Fifty percent must be directly related to ecology practice.
  • a signed and witnessed statement of claim covering qualifications, experience, ethics, commitment and the accuracy of the materials provided to the Certification Board.
  • a brief (no more than four sides of A4) personal testimony, describing how the candidate believes they achieve the six key proficiencies for practicing ecologists.

A CEnvP (Ecology Specialist) applicant must first meet the requirements for CEnvP (General) certification. Practitioners can apply for both CEnvP (General) and Ecology Specialist certification at the same time. If an applicant is not approved by the Certification Board for CEnvP (General) certification, the applicant will not be eligible for Ecology Specialist certification.

Ecology types

CEnvP Ecology Specialist certification does not differentiate between ‘types’ of ecologist, however, candidates are expected to apply based on their specific skills and role within the ecological community, whilst meeting general requirements. Certification will be limited to the following two types of ecologist, field ecologists (technical) and managerial ecologists/ ecological impact assessment (generalist), and based on a candidate’s ability to meet the following additional criteria:

Field ecologist (technical)

The candidate should provide evidence of having gained significant experience in at least one specialist field. This evidence should be backed up by at least one of the two referee statements.

Managerial ecologist/ ecological impact assessment (generalist)

The candidate should give evidence of having kept up skills in at least one specialist field of their own (even if they do not regularly undertake field work). This evidence should be backed up by at least one of the two referee statements.

Application process

Applications can be submitted online anytime during the year. Upon receipt of a valid and complete application, the applicant will be requested to attend an interview within two months.

Applications are usually processed within 6 months, but the process may take up to 12 months, if an application is incomplete.

Please note:
• your online application for certification is active for 30 days. After 30 days, your application is voided automatically on our systems.
• you can save your application and resume for 30 days. When clicking the ‘Save and Resume Later’ button you will receive a link to your application via email. If you do not send yourself the link, you will have to start the application again.
• incomplete or flawed applications will be delayed until all missing documentation is received. This may delay your application process.

Application fees

The lodged application form must be accompanied by a non- refundable application fee. Please see further information on fees.

Provided the required supporting material has been submitted, the application is forwarded to the relevant Registrar for a preliminary check to ensure that the application is ready to be forwarded to an Assessment Panel.

An advice of receipt of the application will be sent to the candidate. In case of an incomplete application, it will be referred to the candidate for correction.

Application fees are non-refundable unless it is obvious to the Registrar that the applicant cannot meet the certain criteria. In this case the application will be returned to the applicant together with a portion of the application fee.

The annual fee for the first year is calculated on a pro-rata basis from the month they were certified.

The following proficiencies must be demonstrated by an Ecology Specialist in both written application and interview.

Professional practice

Plan & engagement in continuous learning (general):

  • Undertakes suffcient field work to maintain skills..
  • Attends identification workshops or short courses related to ecology.
  • Continuous improvement through research or journal reviews.
  • Continues specialised skill development throughout career.
  • Broadens skill base throughout career

Use of appropriate information technology and techniques:

    • Demonstrated understanding of assessment techniques and use of specialist equipment.
    • Is proficient in the use, setup and maintenance of field equipment including remote services.

    Environmental awareness

    Understanding of environmental values, current principles and frameworks:

    • Is able to define ecological terms such as biodiversity, resilience, habitat etc.
    • Has an intrinsic regard for the environment, natural processes and wildlife.
    • Understands the cultural context of ecology i.e. why are things particularly important. Consideration of indigenous cultural values and philosophies and how these are linked to ecology practice.
    • Understands how ecology sits within Ecologically Sustainable Development.
    • understands key principles of ecological theory e.g.: Source-sink models, population and community ecology, hysterisis and tipping points.

    Analysis and assessment

    Identification of impact sources, usage of appropriate environmental tools/ techniques/methods, and compilation of relevant information:

    • Has demonstrated observation skills, knowledge and experience of particular habitats.
    • Ability to develop statistically rigorous survey, impact and monitoring programs.
    • Has a robust understanding of survey techniques, including:
      • the ability to critique techniques and select those that are appropriate;
      • the ability to design surveys; and
      • the ability to incorporate relevant best practice guidelines, standards and protocols; and
      • an awareness of methodological bias and limitations.
    • Demonstrates an appropriate skill level and knowledge in relation to their chosen specialist area.

    Analysis of data, assessment of its reliability & accuracy, interpretation and presentation:

    • Has a technical ability to manage data, analyse data and use appropriate statistical techniques.
    • Ensures that a competent suite of statistical software/applications is readily available and accessible.
    • Knows how to interpret ecological data to reveal trends, and to establish positions and judgement about what this means.
    • Knows the difference between reporting facts and making an interpretation.
    • Understands the limitations of uncertainty in ecology e.g. there can be no proof, and understands how to treat this uncertainty.
    • Demonstrates capability in interpretation of the reliability and accuracy of data.
    • Can clearly communicate findings in a graphical, targeted, oral, verbal, written and visual way.
    • Understands the relationship between ecology and risk assessment.
    • Understands the various types of qualitative and quantitative ‘models’ that are used in making ecological predictions.

    Environmental policy and planning

    Planning, implementation, evaluation and improvement of systems, policies and procedures. Understanding, assessment of conformance to and design regulatory frameworks, accountabilities and standards for policies & activities:

    • Knows or knows how to find out about laws, regulations, schedules, codes, guidelines and policy.
    • Has a working knowledge of international laws and conventions (e.g. Ramsar, CBD).
    • Is up to date with ecological best practice.
    • Has a broad understanding of ecology in environmental planning and assessment.
    • Understands ecological principles in a way that will enable policy and procedure development.
    • Is familiar with ecological impact assessment principles and practice.
    • Has an understanding of what is meant by socio-ecological systems.
    • Is able to prepare terms of reference, procedures, reports and manage / monitor impact and risk assessments.


    An ecology degree or a degree with a substantial ecological component will generally constitute the minimum requirement. In the case of the latter, further information verifying the ecological content must be provided (e.g. a transcript or academic record). In exceptional circumstances, ten years of appropriate work experience may be submitted in lieu of a suitable tertiary qualification.

    Work experience

    The minimum requirement is ten years of full-time equivalent experience in the functional areas of ecological practice gained during the last 15 years. Full time work is defined as 35 hours or more per week. Part-time work, volunteer work and work conducted during post graduate study may also be recognised where appropriate.

    Certification will recognise supervisory, research, policy, regulation, community conservation work and teaching as contributing in part or whole to the 10 years ‘functional experience’, providing the applicant can demonstrate how these have contributed to relevant competence. Special dispensation may also be provided for those returning to the workforce from a long leave period associated with illness or parental leave.

    Demonstration of work experience and professional proficiencies is shown by work verification signatures for 10 years of professional ecology practice over the past 15 years, a current CV, and a brief personal testimony of no more than four sides of A4 paper describing how the candidate achieves the six key proficiencies for practicing ecologists. Candidates should provide evidence of having gained significant experience in at least one specialist field.

    The experience claimed for the minimum ten years must be fully relevant to management and improvement of the ecology environment and be independently verified by signature (e.g. current or former employer, senior colleague, referee who knew the applicant at that time). These individuals may be contacted during the application process.

    The applicant must nominate a maximum of three areas of Environmental Practice. The nominated areas will be used to assess your eligibility for CEnvP and once certified these nominated areas will be used in online profiles and directories.

    Evidence of your qualifications is required in the form of certified copies (see suggested Authorised Signatories in Australia, and in New Zealand).

    A certified copy of your educational qualifications must be uploaded and submitted together with the online application. Please do not send us your academic transcripts as they will neither be considered with your application nor returned to you. Current CEnvPs applying for Specialist Certification do not need to provide evidence of their educational qualifications.

    Your CV must be detailed and fully describe experience, roles and responsibilities, skills, outcomes, achievements, citations, presentations etc.

    Personal testimony

    The testimony must explain your role and responsibilities and demonstrate how you achieved the six key proficiencies for practicing ecologists (proficiencies listed earlier in the ‘Key Proficiencies’ tab).

    Additional information

    Information may include but not necessarily be limited to testamurs, academic records, publications, citations, reports, training records, record of CPD activities undertaken, written statements of service, or information supplied by a witness, associate or referee.

    Statement of claim statutory declaration

    All applicants are required to sign a statutory declaration that the materials they have provided are accurate and complete in the presence of an appropriately authorised witness authority (e.g. Justice of the Peace or other relevant qualification in the jurisdiction). Applicants must provide the details of the location where the declaration is being made.

    All the supporting material can be submitted online at the time the online application form is completed and submitted.

    The EIANZ Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct is within the online application form. Please ensure you have read, understood and ticked that you will abide by it before proceeding onto the next section of the form.

    Three experienced environmental professionals willing to act as referees are required. Each must have known the applicant for at least two years. They should be familiar with the applicant’s skills and attributes as they relate to environmental practice, ethics and professional integrity, and cover these aspects in the final report. The applicant should include information on referees’ qualification, employment and relationship to the applicant.

    At least two nominees must be ecologists. They are required to complete the referee report and should be external to the applicant’s current place of employment and familiar with the applicants work on one or more of the key proficiencies.

    Once an application has been successfully submitted online, those nominated by the applicant to act as referee and to provide a referee report, will automatically receive an email notifying them that they need to complete the referee report attached in the email. The Referee should follow the instructions and complete all questions separately as marked on the online form, otherwise there may be delays in your application if we need to follow up. The form must be completed and signed before being submitted online.

    Standard CEnvP Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements apply. Once accepted for certification, applicants must keep a log of professional development undertaken. A points system has been devised to describe the CPD and the total of 100 points requirement every two years.

    Ecology Specialist CPD requirements must be fulfilled through Ecology specific activities, with at least fifty percent consisting of activities that directly contribute to the field’s higher level processes, policy and strategy.

    Certification is reviewed every two years. At this time, the applicant will need to provide evidence of CPD and a statement verifying any changed circumstances including employment and ethical conduct. Specialist applicants must provide evidence supporting any claims of any recent CPD activity with the application. The evidence must be completed on the official CEnvP CPD Log form. Please see CPD guidelines for more information.

    Additional requirements are as follows:

    Field ecologist (technical)

    Provide evidence of existing and ongoing structured and unstructured professional development.

    Managerial Ecologists/Ecological Impact Assessment (generalist)

    If in a managerial position, provide evidence that some of this is through provision of professional development services to others e.g. through use of external providers or teaching, coaching, mentoring of ecologists.

    To apply, simply fill out the online application form and upload the requested documents.