Enviro management training on course for certification

A six-month pilot to recognise high quality training in environmental management was launched in London last month by the Institute of Environmental Management (IEM).

The first of its kind in the UK, the IEM certification scheme will supersede its existing ‘Signature of Commitment’ to formally recognise quality training which can deliver entry to the Institute at Associate Member, Full Member or a new Foundation Certificate level.

“IEM is determined through the new certification scheme to raise standards in environmental management training,” said Alexander Peckham, IEM’s director. “In addition to our core objective of professional development, we are responding to growing demand from both training providers and the users of training for the IEM to certify training.

“IEM certification will be a mark of quality which will become a key factor in the selection of trainers.”

The IEM has seen rapid growth to some 2,500 members since its launch four years ago. Associate Membership levels increased by 60% last year. “The Institute is now established as the professional body for environmental management”, said Peckham. “Associate Membership is increasingly being recognised by employers as representing the knowledge required for the development of lateral, imaginative and integrated solutions to environmental management.”

To be eligible for IEM certification, training providers must demonstrate to independent assessors that their training team has the required competency, course materials are covered in sufficient depth, a certification process is in place and that their training approach is outcome oriented.

Course materials must also be shown to be compatible with the areas of knowledge and learning outcomes as set out in four modules: sustainable business thinking; legislation; tools for the assessment and interpretation of environmental performance; and environmental management systems. Courses may be set out in any number of modules as long as they deliver the material contained in the four modules.

Organisations will be charged for applying for course certification, but Peckham stressed that it will not be a profit-making exercise. “We want to do this properly by bringing in expert assessors, and these fees will just cover costs,” he said. Applicants will be charged an initial registration fee, an annual assessment fee and a per candidate charge.

During the six month pilot, IEM will refine the certification process and start certifying courses, but Peckham said these courses will be not be officially recognised until the launch in the summer 1999.

In the meantime, the IEM Certificate in Environmental Management, developed by the Engineering Employer’s Federation, will continue to be delivered within the certification procedures. Asked how the new scheme fits with the new NVQ for environmental management, Peckham said: “The Institute is currently considering how the NVQ will lead to Associate Membership, but there is a demand now for certified training. Our scheme fulfils that demand.”

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