Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a statutory requirement for most developmental and industrial activities in our country. It is also being progressively used by financial institutions to assess the soundness of investment in a given project.
National Accreditation Board for Education & Training (NABET), a constituent board of the QCI has developed a voluntary accreditation Scheme with inputs from various stakeholders including experts in the field, regulatory agencies, consultants etc., and launched it in August 2007. Some of the leading consultants in the field obtained accreditation under the scheme. The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF) reviewed the scheme in 2009 and desired that the Scheme be updated incorporating the learning since launching of the Scheme. The Scheme was made mandatory by the MOEF through an Office Memorandum dated….
EIAs are essentially multi-disciplinary activities where inputs are required from specialists having knowledge of the industry/sector for which EIAs are to be carried out as well as in functional areas like land use, air pollution control, air quality modeling, water pollution control, noise and vibration, ecology and bio-diversity, socio economic aspects, risks and hazard management etc.
The ‘Scheme for the accreditation of EIA Consultant Organizations’ evolved by NABET (the Scheme) identifies the following basic requirements of the EIA Consultant Organization:
1. Qualification and experience of EIA Coordinators and Functional Areas Experts
2. Requirements for field investigations and laboratory arrangement to ensure the quality of the baseline data
3. Quality management systems to be followed
4. Office facilities and other enabling factors to be provided by an organization
Apart from the fact that currently it is mandatory for organizations which prepare EIA reports for obtaining environmental clearance, to get accredited under the Scheme, some of the other advantages are –
1. A system of yearly assessment by highly experienced NABET assessors providing valuable input for improvement
2. Listing in the QCI and the MOEF websites, which is an important database for prospective clients
3. Use of the QCI-NABET logo, a mark of quality in stationary, to improve the brand image of the organization
4. Recognition in the international arena through the QCI which is a member of International Accreditation Forum (IAF)