Registered SiLCs benefit from being part of an industry leading scheme as well as gaining a recognised registration that indicates a high level of standards and experience.
The SiLC Register now offers two forms of qualification which are of benefit to brownfield industry professionals. The SiLC scheme has been operating since 2000 and has focussed on setting high standards in the industry. It provides registered practitioners with a recognised qualification as evidence that they are capable of providing land condition advice in the context of their professional background.
The National Quality Mark Scheme for Land Contamination Management (NQMS) is a scheme that has been developed by the Land Forum to provide visible identification of documents that have been checked for quality by a Suitably Qualified and experienced Person (SQP). The scheme is being introduced in January 2017. The SiLC Register has been identified by the Land Forum as the organisation capable of qualifying professionals as SQPs.
The NQMS is expected to provide increased confidence and improved quality of submissions made under regulatory regimes, particularly planning applications, related to previously used land.
The Land Forum has facilitated the development of this nationally recognised system for ensuring a satisfactory standard of work. Through joint ownership by Land Forum members, it can be considered to have support and acceptance across the community.
The initiative is supported in principle by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the Environment Agency and a positive response has also been received from individual devolved administrations.
More information on the scheme, which is administered by CL:AIRE can be found at http://www.claire.co.uk/nqms
In order to become both a SiLC and an SQP, the SiLC Register offers a process of application, subject to suitable chartership or membership of Professional Institutions, open-book exam and interview. Passing this process will qualify the individual as both a SiLC and an SQP. However, applicants have the option of appearing on the register as just a SiLC, just an SQP or both. The annual subscription for being registered as a SiLC only in 2017 is £95 per annum, with a reduction to £60 per annum for public sector professionals, and for being registered as both SiLC and SQP is £150 per annum for all applicants. Subscriptions are payable to Forum Court Associates.
- Both schemes have been developed and administered by professionals in the sector;
- They provide consistent high standards and quality;
- The SiLC scheme is well respected and has been a long-standing provider of highly capable professionals able to provide confidence to all parties involved in the assessment of land;
- The NQMS scheme has been created to focus specifically on planning applications on brownfield sites to raise the standard of applications, and to make the process of dealing with land contamination issues more streamlined and better for applicants and regulators alike.
What can the two schemes offer?
- A high level of competency in managing the assessment of land condition and brownfield sites;
- Skills to assess the wider aspects of brownfield land transaction including planning processes;
- Capability to ensure the quality of the end product (reports), and to ensure competent people have undertaken the work;
- Ability to assemble competent teams of individuals to cover all aspects of a project, and ensure quality control procedures are appropriately applied throughout the assessment;
- Recognition of capabilities and limitations and knowing when to seek assistance from other specialists.
What are the requirements?
- To become a SiLC and an SQP, you must have a sufficient number of years experience of relevant work since graduation, and then follow a process of application, subject to suitable chartership or membership of Professional Institutions, open-book exam and interview. The single process will qualify you for both designations.