Many of our members have asked about the opportunity for Hydrogeologists to gain professional accreditation within Australia. While IAH (Australia) supports our members becoming accredited, we do not have the resources or infrastructure to operate an accreditation scheme. For IAH members whose work would be assisted by a form of professional accreditation, we have identified three organisations where members may be able to gain professional accreditation, in no particular order:
- Australian Institute of Geoscientists (AIG)
- Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM)
- Geology Society of Australia (GSA)
We suggest that members evaluate the different organisation’s systems and choose for themselves which one if any, suits their needs.
Australian Institute of Geoscientists (AIG)
Name of accreditation: RPGeo – Registered Professional Geoscientist
Details: AIG’s Registered Professional Geoscientist (RPGeo) program is ‘Australia’s most rigorous recognition program for continuous professional development by Australian geoscientists’. RPGeo is a voluntary grade of AIG membership. Applicants for registration may nominate one or more fields of practice, in this case: Hydrogeology.
The voluntary registered grade of membership is designed to: be self-regulatory; meet the minimum requirements of any State or Federal legislation for professional standards; and help maintain professional standards and a high level of competence among geoscience practitioners. RPGeos may use the ‘RPGeo’ post-nomial denoting their status. RPGeos are issued with a stamp identifying: the Institute; the position of Registered Professional Geoscientist; the member; and a registered number. This may be used in endorsing reports to identify the author’s status.
Formal qualification of a tertiary geoscience degree or equivalent approved by the AIG Federal Council.
- A minimum of five years of experience of a responsible nature and involving exercise of independent judgement in the nominated Field of Practice.
- Four referees’ written confirmation regarding the knowledge of the applicant’s professional work and experience in the nominated Field of Practice
- Complete an RPGeo application form available from AIG’s website.
- A minimum of four referees, two of whom must be AIG Members or Fellows, must attest to the knowledge of the applicant’s professional work and experience in the nominated Field of Practice using the Referee Statement form.
- Provide a current CV.
Monitoring methodology and ongoing registration requirements
Maintain the AIG membership.
- Undergo continuing professional development and maintain a record of Continuing Professional Development (CPD), subject to a minimum of 60 weighted hours per annum averaged over three years. CPD activities typically include: attendance at conferences, undertaking relevant postgraduate education including extension courses; in-house courses; distance learning; on-the-job training; and private reading of learned publications.
- Keep an online record of CPD activities
- CPD is auditable by AIG on a random basis.
Cost: Application fee is $100+GST and $50+GST annually. (The application fee was increased in July 2018.)
RPGeo accredited members are required to adhere to the AIG code of ethics when conducting activities.
Online resources: aig.org.au/about-aig/membership/rpgeo-program/
Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM)
Name of accreditation: CP – Chartered Professional Accreditation
Details: The AusIMM Chartered Professional (CP) Accreditation program provides formal recognition of members who actively engage in Continuing Professional Development and Education (CPDE). Chartered Professional members are subject to a peer review through evidence of self-regulation (maintenance of a CP Logbook) in order to maintain their listing on the Register of Chartered Professionals.
- Hold a current financial membership with AusIMM (MAusIMM or above).
- Hold a relevant tertiary degree or equivalent to the accredited discipline.
- Have at least five years of relevant work experience within the resources sector in at least one area of practice in the applied disciplined.
- Demonstrate key competencies and a detailed written response with proof the applicant has worked proficiently in practice and the relevant discipline for five years.
- Nominate three sponsors who can verify the applicant’s qualifications and experience.
- Demonstrate professional development during the three years prior to the CP application. There must be evidence by a completed AusIMM online PD logbook with a minimum 150 hours logged.
- Complete the ‘Competency Statements template: AusIMM CP – Environment Discipline’ available from the AusIMM website.
- Provide a current curriculum vitae and details of three sponsors/referees. The sponsors/referees are preferably from the Register of Chartered Professionals. Furthermore: the sponsor is to have worked with the applicant for more than 12 months; one sponsor is to be from the applicant’s current workplace; and two sponsors is to be from other organisations, clients or previous employers).
Monitoring methodology and ongoing registration requirements
- Maintain AusIMM membership.
- Work in your chosen Chartered Professional field (hydrogeology).
- Achieve an average of 50 professional development (PD) hours per year.
- Keep logbook of PD hours
- AusIMM members are required to observe and be bound by the terms of the BY LAWS, the Code of Ethics or any other Code of AusIMM. These include the: JORC code; VALMIN code; AusIMM code for consultants; and the AusIMM code of ethics. These are applicable in a variety of instances, for example, a hydrogeologist may undertaking work that impacts the JORC code of a salt lake brine resource.
Cost: $660 application fee and $66/year maintenance fee, plus AusIMM registration fees $480-550/year (2021 fee structure)
Online resources: ausimm.com/career-hub/accreditation/
Geological Society of Australia
Name of accreditation: Ac.Geo.5, Ac.Geo.10 – Accredited Geoscientist 5 or 10.
Details: To recognise acquired expertise, two tiers of accreditation have been established. Accredited Geoscientist 5 (Ac.Geo.5) demonstrating five to ten years of expert geoscience practice and Accredited Geoscientist 10 (Ac.Geo.10) demonstrating 10 or more years of expert geoscience practice.
:Graduate of a university or other tertiary institution who has been awarded a qualification majoring in earth sciences and who has been employed in any technical or scientific aspect of the earth sciences for a period of at least 5 years within the last 10 years.
A minimum of five years cumulative experience (for Ac.Geo.5) must be demonstrated and verified by at least four independent people. The experience must involve the practice of the Field of Expertise nominated in the application.
Cost: $100 application fee
Online resources: gsa.org.au