Clear Core Knowledge and Ethical Guidelines Create Stronger Environmental Professionals

ECO Canada has developed, with the support of subject-matter experts, an extensive Body of Knowledge Book which also includes the EP Guidelines for Ethical Practice that all members need to adhere to. The philosophy behind the development of the EP Body of Knowledge is to validate the standard we expect our certified members to meet and hold themselves accountable to. The EP Body of Knowledge and the EP Guidelines for Ethical Practice within the book is to support the vision, values, rules of conduct, and criteria of practice for EP Members.

The EP Body of Knowledge Book is a useful document for the practicing EP who wishes to reinforce the credibility of their knowledge and experience and demonstrate their professionalism, for the new EP who is gaining autonomy and professional recognition, and for the Environmental Professional in-training (EPt) who is preparing to upgrade their designation.

Canada’s evolving environmental sector needs practitioners to be knowledgeable and ethical ambassadors that have the essential professional and technical skills necessary to thrive in today’s workforce and to inspire public trust in the profession.

Download our EP Body of Knowledge Book to learn more or continue reading below.

Download our EP Guidelines for Ethical Practice Document to learn more, or continue reading below.


Environmental Professional Body of Knowledge

Overview of the Body of Knowledge

Section A: Ethics

The EP Guidelines for Ethical Practice and the EP Code of Ethics support the vision, values, rules of conduct, and standards of practice for EP members. The EP Code of Ethics provides a common set of values within the profession.

Section B: Core Enabling Competencies

The core enabling competencies describe the behaviours or soft skills that contribute to the successful performance of various technical tasks; these competencies relate to how the job is accomplished and can be applied in many unrelated roles.

Section C: Core Knowledge Areas

The core knowledge areas are areas of knowledge that environmental professionals need to thrive and contribute in the environmental industry in Canada.

Section D: Specialized Knowledge and Technical Competencies

The specialized knowledge and technical competencies describe the demonstrate ability of an environmental professional to perform a task or a series of tasks to the satisfaction of the employer or otherwise established norms.

Environmental Professional Code of Ethics

Overview on the Central Tenets

The Environmental Professional (EP) Code of Ethics includes several tenets which all certified and in-training members must perform under to remain a member in good standing. In addition, EP staff, volunteers, and board and committee members must also agree to abide by the same EP Code of Ethics.

1.1        Environmental Stewardship

Environmental Professionals uphold the duty to protect, steward, and promote the environment.

Environmental Professionals understand the value of environmental efficiency and sustainability, determine the benefits and costs of additional environmental stewardship, and continue to implement sustainable solutions.

1.2             Environmental Advocacy

Environmental Professionals recognize the importance of protecting the public and the natural world and work to influence the social, economic, and cultural segments to bring positive change.

Environmental Professionals empower communities around them, enhancing the dignity and reputation of both the profession and the designation, as well as respect the welfare, health, and safety of all persons and the environment through competency, honesty, and transparency.

1.3        Professional Responsibility

Environmental Professionals recognize they need the public’s trust for their decisions to be impactful, respected and sought out. They adhere to ethical guidelines, understand rules of conduct, and uphold the standard of practice.

The environmental sector is growing, and the Environmental Professional adapts and grows along with it. Environmental Professionals maintain accountability, understand their responsibility, work within the rules and regulations, and always conduct themselves to the maximum of their expertise.

1.4        Ethical and Moral Standards

Environmental Professionals are bound to an ethical code where objectivity can be ensured, where they conduct themselves with full integrity and serve in the interest of the public’s health and safety, and the environment.

Environmental Professionals have a duty to act as advocates for those who cannot advocate for themselves.

1.5        Confidentiality

Environmental Professionals hold in strict confidence, except as required by law, all information they acquire during their professional relationships and do not use this information for personal gain.

Environmental Professionals safeguard confidential information and understand and respect contractual obligations.

EP Examination

Whatever area of the environment you specialize in, environmental core knowledge and ethics is an important component and touches every type of project or activity. As such we’ve developed an exam that all EP applicants must pass in order to become certified (this exam excludes EPts; EP Auditors have their own examination process).

The EP Core Knowledge and EP Core Knowledge and Ethics Exam includes multiple choice, multiple response, and true/false questions with focus on core knowledge and ethics. The EP Body of Knowledge Book and included EP Guidelines For Ethical Practice is used as a study guide and will be provided to the applicants along with details as to the exam administration process.

EPts will be educated on the important components as part of their training framework. Upon entering Year 5 of their training, a core knowledge and ethics module will be required for completion and preparation to take the EP Core Knowledge and Ethics Exam when ready.

Overview on the Code of Conduct – Complaints Procedure

Along with the EP Guidelines for Ethical Practice ECO Canada has updated the Code of Conduct – Complaints Procedure to offer clarification to the EP community and the public on what the appropriate steps are if they feel that an EP has not conducted themselves according the EP Code of Ethics.

1.1        Policy Purpose and Principles

ECO Canada endeavors to handle complaints against certified persons in a constructive, impartial and timely manner, wherein all parties are treated fairly and equitably.

1.2        Interpretations

Understanding the information collected and the deliverables, the process and the parties involved.

1.3        Filing a Complaint

Along with the Guidelines for Ethical Practice, ECO Canada has updated the EP Code of Conduct – Complaints Procedure to offer clarification to the EP community and the public on what the appropriate steps are if they feel an EP has not conducted themselves according to the EP Code of Ethics.

1.4        Preliminary Review of the Complaint

Acknowledgement of the complaint, gathering & verifying the necessary information corresponding with the complaint.

1.5        The Investigating Panel

A group of three or more members that are selected from the ECO Canada Roster who have met all the eligibility requirements will make up the investigating panel review the complaint.

1.6        Investigation Proceedings

The steps involved in processing the complaint and the timelines they need to adhere to to determine an outcome.

1.7        Evaluation of Complaint

Evaluating the complaint, determining if Subject member has not adhered to the code of ethics based solely on the evidence collected by the investigating panel and providing recommendations of the sanctions.

1.8        Review of the Proceedings

The Subject member will have the right to review the proceedings for procedural error. the EDSC and the approvals board will review the procedures within a set deadline to ensure no errors were made.

1.9        Enforcement

The approvals board has a set of sanctions they may impose according to the EDSC’s Judgement Document and recommendations.