AABR accreditation is widely accepted recognition of competency as a bush regenerator and increases your employment prospects. It is awarded to those having shown they posess AABR’s 12 bush regeneration competencies.
A Standard Accreditation application is open to anyone who has completed an AABR-recognised course in bush regeneration and has 500 hours or more practical experience in ecological restoration work (voluntary or paid) under an AABR-recognised supervisor over a period of at least 2 years.
A Non-standard Accreditation application is available for bush-regenerators who feel they have gained the 12 AABR competencies but not completed an AABR-recognised course and have the same extent of field experience (i.e. 500 hours over 2 years ) as a Standard applicant. A field assessment may be required to confirm the competency of the applicant.
Both Standard and Non-standard applications use the same ‘Accreditation application form’ (available on this page) and are asked to fill in the table listing the sites at which their bush regeneration experience has been gained and the table listing any relevant courses.
The annual fee for accreditation of $30 per accredited member ($15 unwaged), supports the administration and promotion of the accreditation system.
List of competencies used by AABR in assessing ‘Bush Regeneration Practitioner’ accreditation
Below is a list of competencies which a person must have in order to become an AABR accredited bush regeneration practitioner – i.e. a person implementing ‘assisted regenerationtreatments at the industry entry level (generally under supervision). AABR considers a practitioner should possess these competencies if they are to be given the title Bush Regenerator, irrespective of whether they are paid or work voluntarily. The list includes a broad range of competencies, covering what may traditionally be recognised as theoretical knowledge and practical skills.
The Competencies are to be able to:
- identify processes which degrade native ecosystems and describe the basic ecological principles relating to these;
- discuss natural recovery capacity and specify how bush regenerators can maximise this through:
- the strategy of working from areas of higher resilience to areas of lower resilience;
- matching the area of primary treatment to both the site’s capacity to respond and the project’s follow up resources; and
- using intervention techniques which maximise natural recovery processes;
- discuss basic plant and animal habitat issues;
- name a majority of the indigenous and weed plant species, at all life stages, on a familiar site, and be able to identify species not recognised by using a botanical key or another process of identification;
- perform or describe efficient, effective and safe treatment of weeds over a range of plant life forms (e.g. tree, shrub, groundcover, vine), with a range of root types (e.g. tap, fibrous) and propagule types (e.g. tuber, bulb, corm, rhizome, stolon), including herbicide and non-herbicide treatments;
- discuss compliance with all relevant herbicide application legislation;
- discuss the need for commitment to follow up weed treatments and long-term management;
- indicate, on site, approximate boundaries between areas natural or assisted regeneration are likely to reinstate desirable ecological communities and areas where planting or other reconstruction methods would be required;
- discuss the basic techniques used for reconstruction, in areas where no natural or assisted regeneration is expected;
- discuss the principles of genetic diversity and integrity in relation to propagule sourcing for supplementary planting in the context of maintaining biodiversity;
- describe a range of common WH&S hazards and specify ways to eliminate hazards or minimise risks; and
- appropriate information about sites and programs; and
- ideas, concepts and recommendations to the site supervisor.
Assisted regeneration treatments are but one element in ecological restoration practice. They are designed to trigger natural regeneration from soil seed banks, resprouting or colonization at a restoration site. Other restoration approaches (such as reconstructing destroyed ecosystems) are not the subject of this particular AABR accreditation
Behind the scenes of the Accreditation process
Assessing an applicant for AABR accreditation is a comprehensive process performed by highly experienced volunteer assessors. The assessors are bush regenerators who have extensive industry expertise along with a commitment to maintaining the standards of the bush regeneration industry to ensure the best possible restoration outcomes for the environment.
AABR Assessors are accredited practitioners who have themselves been through an application process to become an Assessor. They are required to observe 1-3 assessments with the Principal Assessor and then be an assistant for 1-2 applications before undertaking an assessment by themselves.
When an application for accreditation is received a regional assessor will review the documentation and determine if the qualifications and field experience are adequate for a Standard Assessment. If the qualifications are from an AABR recognised course and 500hr of experience over two years under an AABR accredited supervisor has been obtained, the application is automatically approved.
If, for a variety of reasons, the knowledge obtained in the qualifications needs to be explored, or the skills gained through field experience need confirming a non-standard assessment is undertaken involving either one or two assessors preferably in the field with phone/Skype options for those applicants that appear to already have the required knowledge and skills, this can be confirmed by a conversation.
Determining an applicant’s merit is not just up to one individual assessor. There is an Accreditation Subcommittee , currently of 6 members, who consider the Principal Assessors report and its recommendations. The Accreditation subcommittee then put forward a recommendation to the AABR committee, currently at 11 members, the majority of whom are accredited practitioners themselves.
As you can see it is quite a rigorous process and because of this AABR Accreditation is highly regarded within the bush regeneration community and by contractors and land managers.
Why get Accreditation?
“I’m so excited to be able to even apply for Bushcare/Regenerator accreditation, as we don’t have anything like this in my state. I have wanted my industry to get something together for many years because I consider Bushcare or Bush Regeneration skills to be extremely unique and technical” – Wendy Maddocks ,Balanced Habitats
” I became accredited when working as a bush regenerator in the early 2000s. I have maintained my accreditation over the years as I have found it really useful when applying for jobs. Even though I no longer work on ground in my day to day life, accreditation means I can clearly demonstrate my on the ground experience which is valued by employers as a back ground to environmental community engagement and management roles.” – Vanessa