IEMA takes a fresh approach to impact assessment
Impact assessment (IA) is a core part of IEMA’s role as a professional body. However, as IEMA has expanded to cover a broader sustainability agenda, there was a risk that IA would lose some of its profile.
To address this, IEMA and the IA Steering Group have been developing a strategy to ensure we meet the needs of IA practitioners and respond effectively to challenges within the sector.
We wanted to find out what you think are the most important issues for IA professionals. We embarked on roadshow events around the country, held an interactive webinar and sought feedback via an online survey. IEMA members have a huge breadth and depth of knowledge about IA; the feedback’s major points were as follows:
- IEMA needs to set out a bold and ambitious vision for IA
- IEMA should deliver this through collaboration with others outside the organisation and be more explicit about what we are seeking to achieve and how we will achieve it
- IEMA should do more IA-related activities and prioritise communication with, and between, members
- IEMA should raise the profile of, and look for improvements to, the EIA QMark scheme.
- IEMA should review whether membership grades and specialist registers could work better for IA professionals.
IEMA and the IA Steering Group have met to discuss feedback and refine the strategy; we will be able to provide a more fulsome report in the next Transform. Finally, we would like to draw your attention to the article on cumulative effects assessment in EIA that appears in the online edition of Transform – read it at bit.ly/EIA_CallToArms
By Spencer Clubb, IEMA head of policy and practice, and Peter George, IEMA Impact Assessment Network Steering Group Chair