The National Environmental Standard (NES) introduced us to the acronym SQEP (Suitably Qualified and Experienced Practitioner).
The Ministry for the Environment outlined the likely qualifications for contaminated land practitioners and SQEPs in the NES Users Guide . The definition was a little vague thus requiring “industry” to better define what a SQEP should look like.
The WasteMINZ Contaminated Land Sector Group rose to the challenge, establishing a small group of practitioners and regulatory representatives to work on defining what a SQEP might look like.
As part of this an NES workshop was held at the WasteMINZ conference in October 2012 included a panel discussion with members of the SQEP Working Group. Off the back of the workshop and to add more clarity WasteMINZ conducted a survey in December 2012 to gain feedback on a number of SQEP issues and compliance with the NES.
Over the last 12 months the group has reviewed a number of accreditation options for contaminated land professionals, debated the various NES definitions, CPD requirements and contaminated site reporting requirements.
The group has also taken on board comments raised in the survey and has collectively proposed what a SQEP’s qualifications should look like. These proposed requirements for each type of practitioner can be viewed at the link below.
We would like you to give us your thoughts on the proposed requirements. You can of course give us feedback on any of the elements, but some key questions include:
- Should every level of report be signed off by a SQEP?
- Do you agree with the amount of experience specified in each category?
- Do you agree that ‘Contaminated Land Technician – Fieldwork’ ‘Contaminated Land Specialist – Project Management Desk-Top Assessment’ should be included as categories?
- Do you agree with the continuing professional development hours specified?
- Is obtaining three SQEP references as to suitability and relevance of qualification and experience achievable?
Through this process we are trying to provide greater clarity and certainty in the contaminated land sector in New Zealand. It’s important that we hear from you.