06 Feb Investing in Quality: our Consultant Ecologist Training Programme
BSG Ecology invests considerable time and money in training our staff. This demonstrates our commitment to both their personal development and to the quality of work we deliver to our clients.
Graduate Ecologist Training
For ecologist-grade (entry-level) recruits, we have a structured two-year programme of consultancy training. We commit fourteen days of Principal Consultant and Partner time to the delivery of this training each year, and consider it essential for the professional development of our ecologists, some of whom are relatively recent graduates. Training in Year 1 is focused on ensuring that the ecologist is equipped to do their job as effectively as possible. The syllabus includes training on wildlife law and policies, effective project delivery, the principles of business development, ecological impact assessment and preliminary ecological appraisal, as well as core survey techniques and skill sets such as extended Phase 1 survey, badger and European Protected Species survey (bats and great crested newts are covered separately), mitigation and licensing. In Year 2 the scope of training is broadened to help refine consultancy skills and assist the ecologist in developing in relevant technical areas. We also concentrate on effective communication (in all forms), and new and emerging policy areas and the implications / opportunities these present for the company. We supplement these internal courses with further technical training aligned to the developing skill set of the individual concerned, health and safety training and office-based CPD. Structured line management and mentoring linked to regular reviews and an objective setting process is also provided to ensure ongoing training needs are identified and acted upon.
Feedback from the training provided in 2018
“The ecologist training has been one of the most important tools given to me since joining BSG Ecology in May 2018. Not only has it provided an excellent platform to discuss all things ecology with my colleagues, but it has also allowed me to learn new skills, in both the practical and theoretical sides of ecology, from experts in a variety of fields. The most valuable element of the training offered, in my opinion, is the chance to ask questions that I may otherwise consider too challenging, simple or perhaps daft! Being surrounded by others of a similar skill level, the training offers a non-judgemental space where no question is a silly question.”
“As a graduate ecologist, my experience of the training I have received at BSG has been very positive. Regular graduate training modules and CPD sessions have provided me with a good baseline in ecological and consultancy-based skills. Courses have been delivered in an open manner to encourage participation, and have involved site visits where necessary, which has kept the content engaging and allowed me to understand the real-world application of the taught content. I have been well supported in my first year as a consultant ecologist, and have benefitted greatly from the extensive skills and experience of BSG staff.”
“As part of the ecologist training programme, the ‘Effective Consultancy’ series of training courses provided me with a head start in the basic building blocks that make a good ecological consultant: understanding the law and policy that underpins our role, how to represent our advice to clients, improving our written and verbal communication in a consultancy context, and developing our commercial awareness and attention to business development.”
“The ecologist training has provided a strong foundation that has enabled me to develop my skills, both in client communication and fieldwork. Courses were delivered to a high standard by knowledgeable and experienced staff members. All courses were interactive, with excellent thought-provoking exercises and discussions. Appropriate field exercises were organised which helped to consolidate and contextualise my learning. I found the effective consultancy training especially useful, as it covered how to communicate with clients. Having attended the training, my confidence has increased and I feel better prepared to undertake my role as an ecologist.”
“During 2018 we were given a series of high quality internal courses, delivered by senior employees within the company, on a range of key subjects. These were very helpful in our development as ecologists, as they both refreshed and added to existing knowledge in key areas such as; licensing (including district-wide licensing for great-crested newt), policy and legislation, effective communication, and in Phase 1, reptile and great-crested newt survey. Practical sessions were incorporated where possible, to demonstrate how the taught theory is applied in real situations. Knowledge gained during these sessions has definitely improved the quality of my work.”
“I found the programme to be an excellent way of strengthening my ongoing development as an ecologist. It covered skills not usually found in other training courses aimed at ecologists, such as effective communication skills and legislation and policy. I think having a group of people with the same level of experience within the same field meant that the courses could be tailored very specifically to our needs.”
The full graduate training programme can be found here.