- Good verbal and written communication skills, ability to plan and execute well-structured fieldwork, produce clear and concise technical reports, with appropriate interpretation and presentation of data; ability to summarise for a wider, non-technical, audience if appropriate.
- Working safely within in both the office and on-site, maintaining excellent housekeeping whilst following appropriate safety, environment and risk management systems.
- Preparing for and performing risk assessment, desk study, Preliminary Ecological Appraisal, and field survey tasks using the appropriate best practice techniques, procedures and methods of relevance to the activity being undertaken, such as the formulation of species and habitat management plans.
- Promoting and ensuring the application of quality standards relevant to the workplace/environment, including in report writing and communication.
- Carry out field surveys, with basic botanical identification skills to the standard to enable recognized techniques such as Phase 1 Habitat surveys to be carried out.
- Perform analysis, interpretation and evaluation of scientific data both gathered from existing sources and primary data generated on site during Preliminary Ecological Appraisal and fieldwork, such as Phase 1 Habitat surveys, and extended/Phase 2 surveys as appropriate.
- Use creative thinking to solve problems, innovate, make new proposals (for example for ecological mitigation) and challenge the assumption that environmental factors are necessarily barriers to development where necessary.
- Manage projects by planning and prioritising tasks, reviewing and evaluating progress against stakeholder objectives, and preparing appropriate reports.
- Support senior staff in the management and development of stakeholder relationships, explaining factors such as the seasonal restrictions that may apply to ecological surveys.
- Use standard IT packages and currently used applications including GIS mapping software, such as QGIS.
- statistical analysis using packages such as ‘R’
- identify the appropriate analysis to transform data into ecologically relevant information
- communication of research finding to a non-technical audience, both in reports and direct presentations
- the range of specific survey techniques that can be applied to determine if protected species are using a particular site and how and when these can be applied, (i.e. seasonality)
- use of the current standard equipment used in, for example, bat surveys
- accurate data collection and recording in the field for later analysis
- identify when a project will require a project specific licence and demonstrate the ability to produce an appropriate method statement
- technical competency with Geographic Information System (GIS) software including QGIS
- identifying sources of existing data that can contribute to and contextualise specific projects
- prioritise data according to designations, Red List/Biodiversity Action Plan status
- be aware of emerging requirements such as Natural Capital Audits and Ecosystem Service mapping
- perform spatial analyses and produce maps that communicate data effectively
- the underlying scientific principles in ecology and how to carry out field-based investigations in accordance with ‘best practice’ within the industry and/or input from colleagues.
- the principles underlying ecological fieldwork techniques, such as Preliminary Ecological Appraisal, Phase 1 Habitat survey, ‘best practice’ in species survey/monitoring, and of the role of evaluation to inform future projects.
- the theoretical knowledge of the advanced science and technology required to progress in the job role and relevant area of specialisation and the importance of emerging evidence.
- project management procedures and the importance of these in the working environment, both in the office and in the field, in collaboration with multidisciplinary team members.
- the internal/in-house policies, for example those relating to safe practice, lone working, professional conduct, as well record keeping, traceability and confidentiality
- the external regulations/legislation, those pertinent to the sector and organisation, such as those relating to specific species, protected areas and habitats and the importance of minimising disturbance during site-based investigations as well as that relating to Health and Safety
- the business environment in which the company operates including personal role within the organisation, ethical practice and codes of conduct.
- the requirements of internal/external customers and the appropriate workflows, improvements and/or scientific solutions for specific projects.
- the scientific theory and practice of ecological principles and how these are applied in conservation biology
- modelling and prediction techniques, for example those used in population modelling and scenario evaluation
- the management of large data sets and appropriate methods of analysis and representation
- the range of statistical analysis packages available and how and when to apply them
- the need for robust research-based policy/strategy development
- the specific land use planning legislation applying to all habitats and wildlife, including those with protected status
- the biosecurity protocols that need to be implemented when conducting fieldwork
- the requirements of licensing procedures for works affecting protected species
- the appropriate solutions to problems, such as conflict of interest between the aims of the client and the statutory requirements to protect wildlife
- mitigation methods and how and when these should be applied
- the underlying scientific principles of representing ecological data in a spatial format
- the drivers for landscape, rather than single site based, research for long term planning, policy and strategy formulation
- current software, such as QGIS and the specific plugins relating to ecological analysis (e.g. TomBio)
- the analytical techniques that can be used to identify opportunities for ecological enhancement, for example mapping Biodiversity Opportunity Areas
- the role of spatially represented material in effective communication to both technical and non-technical audiences
The individual must also demonstrate the required attitudes, behaviours and interpersonal skills associated with the professional workplace including:
- Self-motivation including effective time management, project management, planning and completing work to schedule.
- Willingness to listen, learn, and show initiative.
- Takes personal responsibility for the safety of themselves and others, both in the office and on-site, adopting and applying appropriate safety, environment and risk management systems.
- Working autonomously as well as interacting efficiently within a professional multi-disciplinary team environment.
- Respect confidentiality on work-related and personal matters, including the need for appropriate use of social media and information systems.
- Understand the impact of work on others, especially where related to diversity and equality.
- Handle change and respond to change management processes.
- Take responsibility for personal development, demonstrating a commitment to learning, self-improvement and to the continual development of technical skills.
Individual employers will set the selection criteria for their apprentices. It is expected that most will either have achieved an upper 2nd class degree or have demonstrated significant prior experience, with evidence of competence in English and mathematics.
It is anticipated that this will typically be 3 years.
On completion, apprentices will hold an MSc degree (L7) in an ecological discipline relevant to their job role, for example Ecology, Environmental Conservation or Conservation Biology.
Successful completion of this apprenticeship will result in eligibility for the appropriate level of membership of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management.
Originally published on Gov.uk, this information has been re-used under the terms of the Open Government Licence.";