Impact Assessment Special Interest Section

Impact Assessment Special Interest Section

The Impact Assessment Special Interest Section (SIS-IA) was set up to achieve good environmental outcomes by:

  • Promoting ethical and competent practice of impact assessment by environmental practitioners through developing tools, competencies and a certification process
  • Developing and promoting, within the wider community, practices to support and extend impact assessment through institutional and decision-making frameworks, processes, standards, competencies and tools.


Membership of the SIS-IA is open to members of:

  • Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand
  • New Zealand Association for Impact Assessment
  • Australian and New Zealand members of the International Association for Impact Assessment.

There is no additional membership fee to join. If you would like to become a member please contact the Chair at ia@eianz.org. EIANZ members can join by logging in to the EIANZ website, going to My Memberships, clicking on 'Update Details' and then ticking the Impact Assessment SIS box under the Special Interest Section heading.

Members can also join the SIS-IA Linked-In group →

Management committee

The work program for the SIS-IA is developed and overseen by a management committee which meets around 5-6 times each year by teleconference. A number of other members of the SIS-IA are contributing to implementing the program through working groups.

The membership of the management committee is:

  • Lachlan Wilkinson | Chair: Principal, Assessments & Approvals, JBS&G Australia, Vic
  • Jack Krohn | Deputy Chair: Senior Impact Assessor, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Vic
  • Mandy Elliot | Secretary: Principal Consultant, EnviroME Pty Ltd, Vic
  • David Hogg: Former Director, David Hogg Pty Ltd, Environmental Consultant, ACT
  • Jeff Richardson: Principal Consultant, EcOz Environmental Consultants, NT
  • Garry Middle: Director, VisionEnvironment; Adjunct Senior Research Fellow, Curtin University, WA
  • Helen Ketelbey: Director, Ketelbey Associates, NSW
  • Anthony Sutton: Director, Assessment and Compliance, Office of the EPA, WA
  • NZ representative TBC

Current activities

International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA) Conference, Brisbane 2019

The SIS-IA successfully submitted a bid to the IAIA to hold their 2019 conference in Brisbane. The conference will be held from 29 April to 2 May 2019 with the theme: The future of impact assessment – evolution or revolution? The theme challenges delegates to consider whether it will be sufficient for impact assessment to continue to evolve, as it has for the last 50 years since its inception, or whether a revolution in thinking and approaches is needed, if it is to address the environmental and sustainability challenges of the future.

The conference is expected to attract over 1,000 delegates from approx. 80 countries. Further information is on the conference website.

Annual impact assessment practitioners’ symposium

The SIS-IA organises an annual two-day symposium for impact assessment practitioners. The 2018 event was held in Melbourne and presentations are available on the EIANZ website. Details of the 2019 event are still being finalised but it is expected to be a shorter event held in conjunction with the International Association for Impact Assessment conference in Brisbane.

Social Impact Assessment (SIA)

The SIS-IA has established an SIA Working Group with the following aims:

  • Develop a community of SIA practitioners
  • Build and share SIA knowledge and lessons learnt
  • Facilitate the improved integration of SIA practice within impact assessment.

Contact sia@eianz.org for further information or to join.

Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)

The SIS-IA has also established an SEA Working Group to:

  • share knowledge and experience of strategic approaches/SEA in the Australian/ New Zealand context
  • build a basic understanding of strategic approaches and SEA as terms and concepts with good practice examples
  • identify potential champions for strategic approaches in government and the private sector
  • highlight where there may be upcoming opportunities for a more strategic approach in planning, impact assessment and/or decision-making
  • establish a ‘community of practice’ for strategic approaches to impact assessment.

Contact ia@eianz.org for further information or to join.

Uncertainty in impact assessment

Impact assessment involves making predictions about expected impacts in the face of a number of uncertainties. The Uncertainty Working Group is examining how these are currently identified and considered in impact assessment processes and will be developing good practice guidance on managing uncertainty in impact assessment.

Contact ia@eianz.org for further information or to join.


In addition to the work that is currently underway, the SIS-IA has also had a number of achievements. These are summarised below.

Certification of Impact Assessment Specialists

The SIS-IA worked with the Certified Environmental Practitioner (CEnvP) program to develop certification criteria for Impact Assessment Specialists. In addition to extensive relevant experience and suitable qualifications, a CEnvP Impact Assessment Specialist must demonstrate an excellent understanding of impact assessment methods, high level analytical capabilities and strong interpersonal skills in working with proponents, regulators and stakeholders.

Find out more about certification →

Memorandums of Understanding developed with other associations

The SIS-IA negotiated memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with the New Zealand Association for Impact Assessment and the International Association for Impact Assessment. These MoUs ensure EIANZ works with these associations to:

  • Promote and enhance the quality of impact assessment
  • Promote academic exchange and professional training
  • Encourage participation in each other's conferences and activities
  • Exchange the latest information in environmental assessment.

MoU with IAIA →

MoU with NZAIA →

IA workshops held

The SIS-IA has run workshops at EIANZ conferences on topics such as scoping of impact assessments, public participation and development of early career professionals. Further workshops are planned.

Resources developed for IA practitioners

The SIS-IA has developed resources to support effective implementation of IA. The documents have been prepared by experienced IA practitioners within the SIS-IA to provide guidance on good practice in IA. While they have been written to apply generally in Australia and New Zealand, IA practitioners should also consider the specific requirements of the jurisdiction within which they operate.

These IA resources are available under the 'Resources' section of the website →