Training & Development

This article aims to provide guidance to students, graduates and early career ecologists on the skill sets they might seek to develop, and how to set themselves apart from their peers in a highly competitive job market. It is an updated version of the article last...

One of our most challenging but enjoyable (in retrospect) internal training courses concerns the public inquiry process and the role of an expert witness. This is a one day course that is delivered to new and recent recruits within BSG and occasionally to external audiences. It includes classroom teaching and a mock inquiry with an inspector, expert witnesses, cross examination and re-examination. To increase the sense of formality and to give attendees a more realistic sense of inquiry procedures the training is held in an unfamiliar venue set up to reflect a typical inquiry location and those attending are asked to dress appropriately as if they were involved in a real inquiry situation.
BSG Ecology is committed to the professional development of staff at all levels in the organisation. Our second management training day was delivered to our Senior Management Group (SMG) on 27 February 2020. The training was bespoke, and reflected feedback from a previous broader-based training day on leadership and management in mid-2019.
Over the past six months all BSG Ecology’s Directors have attended a two-day course on Mental Health First Aid Training. The role of a Mental Health First Aider in the workplace is to act as a go to person for any staff member experiencing a mental health issue, and direct them towards the resources or professional help they need.
For the past three years BSG Ecology’s Kate Rooney has been an invited to deliver a lecture to final year Oxford Brookes Biosciences students as part of their Ecological Consultancy module. During this year's talk, Kate outlined the role which ecological consultants play in development projects, and the skills and qualities which BSG Ecology look for in a graduate level recruit. The students then worked through a case study based on a project BSG had been involved with, and discussed the scope and specification of protected species surveys for the site along with potential mitigation solutions.

During winter 2019/20 ecologist Emily Moore has taken a sabbatical to travel and to work with the African Bat Conservation Trust. She has been involved in research in relation to the ecology of various bat species, including little epauletted fruit bat, white-bellied free-tailed bat, yellow-bellied house bat, and Egyptian slit-faced bat, and has also taken part in local projects to raise awareness of the benefits of healthy bat populations to ecosystems and local communities.

BSG Ecology’s Owain Gabb and James Garside were among the speakers at the Swansea University Employability Event on 23 October 2019. The event was set up to provide second year Biosciences students with insight into the range of career options available to them. Our talk naturally concerned ecological consultancy as one obvious potential career pathway.
BSG Ecology now has five consultants who have been awarded Chartership by the Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM). Chartership represents a considerable personal achievement, as it both recognises technical expertise and is the culmination of a lot of hard work. It should also provide our clients with the confidence that the advice they receive from BSG will help ensure positive outcomes for their projects.
Reptile survey work needs to be designed in a project-specific manner to allow impacts on populations to be accurately assessed and appropriate mitigation designed. Our latest graduate training workshop, held in May 2019, provided attendees with an overview of British reptile ecology, and an opportunity to discuss the scope and specification of reptile survey and mitigation when faced with different development scenarios.