Our Principal Ecologist Matt has recently made the fantastic achievement of being accepted onto the Bat Earned Recognition pilot scheme. The scheme is a partnership project between Natural England (NE), the Bat Conservation Trust (BCT) and the Chartered Institute for Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM).
The scheme is designed to provide suitably experienced ecologists with professional accreditation for bat mitigation licences.
The application process is comprehensive and evidence-based, and Matt had to provide testimony of previous projects where he had undertaken efficient survey work and provided appropriate and proportionate assessment, mitigation, and compensation. He was also scrutinised on his understanding of bat ecology in general through a series of graded assessments.
The scheme has only accredited a very limited number of ecologists into the pilot therefore, this is a massive achievement for Matt who has put in countless hours of work, to ensure he can demonstrate his competence, over the last few months. Which involved providing a portfolio of works and attending an interview with one of the Earned Recognition Assessors. Matt has been accredited at the low impact level for a range of roosts of common and soprano pipistrelle as well as brown long-eared bats.
The pilot project was set up to test a simplified, yet hopefully more effective, licensing system. Now he has been accepted into the scheme Matt is able to register sites/projects using a more streamlined online Site Registration (‘licence application’) service.
One of the aims of the scheme is to provide developers and homeowners with a fast and effective process for acquiring a bat mitigation license to damage, modify or destroy a bat roost as part of a proposed development.
The main benefit of the Earned Recognition scheme for developers and homeowners is that Natural England anticipates a c.15 working day determination period once the site has been registered. This is drastically reduced from the standard determination period, which has previously left developers waiting for extended periods for their license to be approved before they can begin work at their site.
If you have a project where you think that Earned Recognition scheme may be of benefit, please do get in touch.