Impact Assessment Specialist

For the purposes of Certification, “Impact Assessment Practice” is considered to be:
“the process of identifying, predicting, evaluating and mitigating the biophysical, social and other relevant effects of developments prior to major decisions being taken and commitments made.”

To qualify for CEnvP Impact Assessment Specialist status you need:

  • An environment-related degree and evidence thereof.
  • Ten years of full-time equivalent experience in environmental practice during the last seventeen years. A minimum of five years must be IA specific, and of those, at least three years must be supported by documentary evidence such as reports or other publications.
  • Nomination by three experienced environmental professionals who are willing to act as referees for the candidate.
  • 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 applicant’s current place of employment), a detailed curriculum vitae, reports, publications, citations, conference/seminar presentations, etc.
  • Evidence of an ongoing commitment to training and professional improvement (at least 100 points of training, professional improvement, service to professional practice over a two-year period). 50% must be directly related to EIA practice.
  • A signed and witnessed statement of claim covering qualifications, experience, ethics, commitment and the accuracy of the materials provided to the Certification Board.

Practitioners can apply for both CEnvP and IA 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 IA Specialist certification.

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 IA Specialist in both written application and interview.

Overall requirements

An IA Specialist must demonstrate they are competent to lead and integrate comprehensive multidisciplinary IA studies. In demonstrating this key competency, IA Specialists must be proficient in the following.


A Certified Environmental Practitioner IA Specialist has a thorough understanding of IA methods. An IA Specialist can describe, using practical examples:

• the role and limitations of IA in environmental planning and decision making
• the various stages in the IA process and their purposes
• the use of strategic and cumulative assessment
• risk assessment and management principles and application
• the use of other environmental management tools, such as environmental management systems; environmental auditing and life cycle assessment
• emerging issues and trends in IA nationally and internationally.

Analytical capability

An IA Specialist has high level analytical skills that draw on knowledge and experience and can be applied across disciplines. An IA Specialist can:

• describe the IA legislation in the jurisdiction within which they operate
• demonstrate an understanding of environmental and social issues and their interconnections through rational and objective thinking and the application of commonsense / professional judgment
• understand the regulatory frameworks, guidelines, methodologies and reporting requirements for specialist inputs to the IA process
• evaluate the impacts of a project as a whole by interpreting applicable government policy, integrating the findings of detailed technical studies and understanding and considering competing views on the merits of the project
• effectively apply scoping and prioritizing tools/methods to determine relevant environmental and social issues, relative importance and investigations required to address them
• identify how baseline information may be gathered and describe the factors that can affect the quality of this information
• determine the significance of impacts at scales from the strategic, to regional, local and site specific levels
• identify when to apply adaptive measures such as avoid, mitigate, manage and/or offset
• review the technical quality of IA documents
• describe the role and limitations of modelling in IA
• identify opportunities for environmental enhancements and social benefits
• look beyond compliance to promote best practice
• explain the importance of monitoring, evaluation and adaptive management.

Interpersonal skills

Effective and efficient IA requires robust interpersonal skills across a range of stakeholders. An IA Specialist can:

• demonstrate the communication skills required for effective public engagement, collaboration and consultation
• clearly express complex concepts and ideas, orally and in writing
• develop effective working relationships with stakeholders, including proponents, technical specialists, community groups and government regulators
• understand and address conflicting viewpoints of different stakeholders from their own perspectives
• exercise perception and judgment in dealing with complex and sensitive issues
• work collaboratively with technical specialists
• prepare EISs and other assessment documents that are succinct and easy to understand; technically robust; scientifically factual and capture community views


An environment degree or a degree with a substantial environmental component will generally constitute the minimum requirement. In the case of the latter, further information verifying the environmental 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 environmental practice gained during the last 17 years. Five years must be recent in the functional areas of IA practice.

Applicant must have at least five years of IA practice in two or more of the following areas:

• scoping, preparation and/or revision of IA documents across a broad range of development types
• developing management, mitigation and monitoring measures and strategies
• undertaking stakeholder engagement on environmental issues
• contributing to IA policy development
• managing statutory IA processes
• teaching and research in IA.

A shorter period may be allowed on an exceptional basis where an applicant:

• can demonstrate that their previous work history has enabled them to develop proficiencies adaptable to IA, and that they have acquired a level of proficiency in IA at least equivalent to that normally obtained by a person with the required work experience; and
• meets all other IA certification criteria.

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 5 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 environmental practice over the past 17 years and a current CV. The experience claimed for the minimum ten years must be fully relevant to management and improvement of the 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.

Professional competency

Applicants should be able to demonstrate professional competency, analytical capability and the interpersonal skills required for effective and efficient IA processes through the provision of four documents. These should include a detailed account of at least three years of IA specific experience over the past ten.

The documents should be uploaded into the application form directly. Any documents subject to confidentiality should be clearly noted. For each document, the applicant must provide a brief (e.g. one page) statement addressing the following questions:

1. What were the key features and context of the project?
2. What was the nature and extent of your role, and over what time period?
3. What were the main areas of concern or stakeholder conflict (if any) related to the project, and how did you assist in addressing these?
4. What were some of the challenges you had to deal with? Why did you make the decisions you did?
5. What environmental outcome did you achieve? To what extent did your advice influence the outcome?
6. In hindsight, could you have achieved a better outcome?
7. What does your work on this project demonstrate about your expertise in IA?
8. Is the document available for reference by the panel if required and, if so, where?
9. Was the document subject to peer review and what was the outcome?

Web addresses should be provided for documents available on the web.

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 respected environmental professionals willing to act as referees are required. Each must have known the applicant for at least two years. The applicant must include information on referees’ qualification, employment and relationship to the applicant.

Referee Reports must be provided from at least two of the nominated referees, including:

  • an experienced IA practitioner who is a CEnvP IA Specialist or would be eligible to apply for CEnvP IA Specialist certification.
  • an environmental professional external to the applicant’s current place of employment who is familiar with the applicant’s work.

The Referee Reports must provide sufficient information to demonstrate how the nominees meet the above requirements.

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.

IA Specialist CPD requirements must be fulfilled through IA 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 activity can be completed on the official CEnvP CPD Log, please see CPD guidelines for more information.

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