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Complaints and feedback management


Accredited Assessors Complaints and Feedback Management Policy

You should only make a complaint or provide feedback about an assessor's work or behaviour relating to Biodiversity Assessment Reports and their role in the Biodiversity Offsets Scheme. Other complaints or feedback about an assessor are outside the scope of the policy.

Biodiversity Assessment Reports are:

  • Biodiversity Development Assessment Reports
  • Biodiversity Stewardship Site Assessment Reports 
  • Biodiversity Certification Assessment Reports.

The Accredited Assessors Complaints and Feedback Management Policy provides the approach taken by the department to consider and respond to any complaints received. Under the policy you can:

  • provide relevant information using the Accredited assessor complaint and feedback form [PDF 39KB]
  • send your complaints or feedback about an assessor after a Biodiversity Assessment Method assessment. Government decision makers are expected to try to resolve any issues that arise during the review of individual reports before making a complaint.

Accredited Assessors Complaints and Feedback Management Policy

Complaints or feedback about an assessor should only be provided after reviewing a Biodiversity Assessment Report if/where the accredited assessor has been given the opportunity to amend/fix the report but their response is unsatisfactory. Government decision makers are expected to try to resolve any issues arising during the review of individual reports or in relation to the scheme.

Complaints and feedback

  • A person making a complaint or providing feedback should have first-hand experience of the incident being complained about or be able to provide clear evidence. 
  • Lodging complaints based on reputation or third-party comments doesn't meet the requirements of the process. 
  • Anonymous complaints are not encouraged but will be accepted. Without knowing who the complainant is, the department is unable to verify or ask for extra information, which may limit our ability to investigate.

The department handles all information provided in connection with complaints and feedback in accordance with the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (NSW), including keeping complainants' identities confidential.

Accredited assessors who work within a project team 

Many companies undertake biodiversity assessments in project teams. Sometimes the accredited person who prepares and submits the Biodiversity Assessment Report is unlikely to do all the ecological assessment and write the report.

If an accredited person is working within a project team or using information required by the Biodiversity Assessment Method that was gathered or prepared by another person, the accredited person must ensure the quality of all work. This is required by the code of conduct. The accredited assessor must:

  • be accountable for correctly applying the Biodiversity Assessment Method and preparing the Biodiversity Assessment Report
  • ensure staff and contractors operating under their direction have adequate skills and knowledge to undertake the field work accurately and in accordance with the Biodiversity Assessment Method
  • retain a copy of the field data sheets collected for each case for at least 10 years and be able to supply them to the department when requested
  • have the knowledge and skills (prerequisite and Biodiversity Assessment Method training skill competency) required to provide quality control, confirm the validity and accuracy of all information used in the assessment, and oversee preparation and sign-off on this work 
  • operate within the code of conduct 
  • acknowledge the roles of support team members in the field work, applying the data in the credit calculator, preparation of parts of the Biodiversity Assessment Report and credit calculations
  • ensure the Biodiversity Assessment Report correctly identifies which assessor is the responsible assessor for the report and the credit calculations.