Providing employers with a high level of professional environmental expertise through structured in house work experience and external education to degree level.
The Society for the Environment supported the development of this level six degree apprenticeship alongside a Trailblazer Group of organisations from across sectors - the very first degree apprenticeship for the environment sector.
Environmental Practitioners are found in a broad and growing employment sector, with organisations of all types seeking to promote sustainable growth in a manner that is practical whilst responsible, using fewer natural resources, producing less waste, and without compromising the quality of the built and natural environment.
What is an Environmental Practitioner?
Once confined to conservation, waste management or pollution prevention, the occupation has become more mainstream, infiltrating into many areas of the business world. The broad purpose of the occupation is to provide employers with a high level of professional environmental expertise, whilst providing a robust overview of key issues and the relevant policies, regulations and legislation an organisation must consider when delivering a specific project or programme.
Environmental Practitioners will combine a high level of knowledge and understanding of environmental principles and techniques to complex environmental systems, with their expertise being developed, adaptable or transferable to a range of environmental specialisms, for example, environmental policy and legislation, air quality, climate change, energy, water resources, waste management, ecology, acoustics, land contamination, sustainability, landscape or heritage.
Environmental Practitioner, Environmental Consultant, Environmental Advisor, Environmental Engineer, Environmental Protection Officer, Environmental Scientist, Environment Impact Assessor, Environmental (Monitoring) Assessor, Environmental Auditor, Land Use Planner, or Environmental Coordinator.
Environmental Practitioners can also be involved in a range of more specialist fields covering air quality, acoustics, ecology, landscape, heritage and water resources, and as such this can be reflected in job titles such as Air Quality Engineer, Acoustics Engineer, Energy Engineer, Energy and Renewables Engineer, Waste Planner, Water Environmental Consultant, Water and Flood Risk Consultant, Flood Risk Advisor, Cities Engineer, Energy Manager, Sustainability Architect, or Environmental Regulatory Consultant.
Environmental Practitioners have the capability to manage, at an operational level, the provision of innovative solutions that maintain, enhance and minimise environmental impacts, for example, when designing, developing, refurbishing or monitoring drainage, utilities, renewable or emerging technologies, coastal or flood defences, transport systems, or major development programmes across the urban, rural and natural environments.
Responsibilities of an Environmental Practitioner
An employee in this occupation will be responsible for leading projects and/or playing a key role in a larger programme and must manage their own work with a high level of autonomy, have the capability to respond positively to complex and unpredictable situations, and be able to influence and make decisions that support others across and external to the organisation.
Practitioners will also be aware and responsible for:
- initiation, coordination, and management of technical input from a wide range of specialists,
- ensuring projects and programmes are planned and delivered effectively and in a timely manner
the compliance and review of these projects with relevant regulatory requirements
- line management or development responsibilities for other team members, such as Environmental Technicians
- their own capability and capacity and seek help from others such as specialist technical experts to support them in their role
- operating effectively within their organisational, financial, and resource constraints and policies, and being compliant with statutory safety and employment regulations
- maintaining high levels of professional conduct, ethical behaviour and integrity at all times.
Want to Find Out More?
My organisation would like to employ an Environmental Practitioner Apprentice. How do we do this?
Initially, more detail regarding the apprenticeship can be found here. Please take some time to ensure that the apprenticeship is right for your needs as an organisation. You will then need to contact a training provider that delivers the apprenticeship standard who can advise you on the next steps.
For apprenticeship delivery starting in September 2019, please contact Kingston University on firstname.lastname@example.org.
For apprenticeship delivery starting in Spring 2020, please contact the University of Central Lancaster on email@example.com.
I would like to be an Environmental Practitioner Apprentice. What are the next steps?
Many apprenticeship vacancies in the UK are listed on the Find an Apprenticeship Service website provided by the Government. To find the Environmental Practitioner degree apprenticeships simply type "environment" into the key words field and select "degree" for the apprenticeship level field when searching. Other apprenticeships will also show, but the search will be significantly narrowed.
If you are interested in working for a specific organisation, please head to their individual websites to find any vacancies available.
Alternatively, if you already work for the organisation that you would like to do the apprenticeship with, but they don't currently offer the apprenticeship, we recommend initially speaking with the HR department to discuss the idea and refer them to the employer focused section above.
The best time to look for apprenticeships that start annually in September is between March and June in the same year.