We’re excited to announce that as part of Ecotourism Australia’s partnership with Conservation Volunteers (CV), on-site audits of ECO certified operators will be conducted across New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland and Tasmania between the months of March and June. This follows successful audits conducted on Victorian operators under the partnership over the December/January period.
On-site audits every three years are a core requirement of the ECO Certification Program, necessary to ensure compliance to our standards. The audits also provide the perfect opportunity for operators to speak with an environmental specialist, seek advice and feedback on current or planned initiatives, and showcase their hard work. Through EA’s partnership with CV, we hope to eliminate any negativity attached to auditing. The audit process is designed to be a supportive, constructive and communicative process helping operators to improve, not to merely seek out flaws or inadequacies.
Operators subject to audit are given 21 days’ notice, and on the day the audit process usually takes around three hours. As well as inspecting accommodations, facilities and tour vehicles or vessels, auditors review the documents that an operator in required to submit for their application to ensure they have been kept up-to-date. These plans include; business, marketing and operational management plans, environmental management and interpretation plans. Audits are also an opportunity for operators to upgrade to a higher level of certification if they have introduced new initiatives since they achieved certification.
We are looking forward to hearing more about our certified businesses and their operations, learning about new initiatives that may have been introduced, and further supporting our members commitment to strong environmental and ecotourism principals.
To find out more about Ecotourism Australia and Conservation Volunteer’s partnership and audit program, please contact the EA office.