Generic Environmental Protection Syllabus [1 June 2016]

(Please note: Environment Agency source documents in support of continuing competence may have been withdrawn from circulation  as a result of  policy change   although the content is  current. We provide the information in good faith for the purposes of the Continuing Competence test but it cannot be considered a substitute for obtaining detailed advice or guidance from the regulatory body in terms of site operational requirements. If a link is broken the resources may be available in the waste resource section or searching the source title using a search engine.)



Syllabus areas


Learning Outcome

The candidate will be able to:


1. Environmental Risks


  • Environmental Risk assessment
  • Awareness of pathways / receptors
  • ‘Appropriate Measures’
  • Written Management System


1.1 Know the key criteria of a site environmental risk assessments

1.2 Know the difference between a risk and a hazard

1.3 Know what is meant by the term  ‘appropriate measures’ used in relation to managing environmental risks

1.4 Know how to ensure a written management system enables compliance with permit and relevant Risk Assessments

Incident Response Planning: PPG 21 (2009)
PPG1:  General Guide to the Prevention of Pollution – July 2013
H1 Environmental Risks Assessment
H1 Amenity & accident risk from installations and waste activities
How to comply with your environmental permit v.6 June 2013 
2. Controlling Emissions


  • Control of litter, odour, mud, dust, vermin, noise and flies
  • Discharge of water from site
  • Major emissions from your facility which need managing / reporting


2.1 Know the difference between a point source and fugitive emissions

2.2 Know the ‘appropriate measures’ used to control nuisance to neighbours, including:

  • Mud,
  • Dust,
  • Litter
  • Pests

2.3 Know the ‘appropriate measures’ that can be used to prevent noise nuisance from the site

2.4 Know how to record the measures used in written management systems

2.5 Know who to apply to discharge surface water and liquids from a site to:

  • a watercourse
  • ground
  • sewer

2.6 Know the requirements of an emissions management plan

2.7 Know the requirements of an odour management plan

2.8 Know the requirements of a noise and vibration management plan

How to comply with your environmental permit v.6 June 2013 
H1 Amenity and accident risks from installations and waste activities
Environmental Permitting: H3 Part 2 noise assessment and control
Noise impact assessment: information requirements
Environmental permitting for discharges to surface water/groundwater


3.       Containment and storage on site


  • Impermeable pavements
  • Sealed drainage
  • Hard standing
  • Bunding
  • Interceptors
  • Oil storage
  • Waste quarantine areas


3.1 Know the definition of the term ‘secondary containment’

3.2 Know the required checks for an on-site ‘sealed drainage system’ and bunded areas

3.3 Know the effect of using detergents for washing in an area served by an oil interceptor

3.4 Know the difference between ‘hard standing’ and an impermeable pavement/ impervious surface

3.5 Know the definition of the term ‘sealed drainage system’

3.6 Know the infrastructure requirements for the operational areas on a site including potential quarantined waste areas

3.7 Know the requirements for safely storing oil, other polluting liquids

3.8 Know the maintenance checks required to maintain site infrastructure and prevent pollution

3.9 Know how to manage and store combustible materials safely in accordance with a Fire Prevention Plan

Above Ground Oil Storage Tanks: PPG 2 
Use and design of oil separators in surface water drainage systems 
How to comply with your environmental permit v.6 June 2013
Understanding permeable and impermeable surfaces
Fire Prevention Plans Guidance 
WISH28: Reducing Fire Risk at Waste Management Sites 
4.   Fires


  • Fire Prevention


4.1 Know the measures used to prevent fires and minimise their impact on a waste facility

4.2 Know when a Fire Prevention Plan is needed

4.3 Know the key elements of a Fire Prevention plan and how it should be implemented

4.4 Know the information that should be made available about a waste facility to emergency services in case of fire


WISH28: Reducing Fire Risk at Waste Management Sites 
Fire Prevention Plans Guidance



5. Environmental incidents and spillages on site


  • Steps needed to remediate problems
  • Prevention
  • Reporting
  • Enforcement
  • Spill kits (including what to do with the absorbents)
  • House keeping
  • Flood Risk
  • Surface water/ drainage


5.1 Know the actions to take in the event of a spillage or other accident which causes or could potentially cause environmental damage

5.2 Know the records, reports and notifications required in order to comply with permits

5.3 Know how to check if a facility is liable to flood in order to ensure appropriate measures are included in the written management system for the site to minimise environmental harm

5.4 Know the colour the Regulator recommends for foul water and surface water drain covers

5.5 Know the factors taken into account by the courts under the Sentencing Guidelines when deciding on penalties for environmental pollution/ non-compliance with permits


Pollution Prevention Pays
Incident Response Planning: PPG 21 (2009)
How to comply with your environmental permit v.6 June 2013 
Regulatory Guidance Series No 11: Enforcement powers
PPG2: Dealing with Spills – April 2011 
Environmental Offences: Definitive Guidelines
Environment Agency – Check flood warnings and river levels

Additional Sources of information:

Please Note:

Pollution prevention guidance (PPGs) and Regulatory guidance notes (RGN) that were previously maintained by the Environment Agency have been withdrawn from use and are now only found on The National Archives. This is because they contained a mix of regulatory requirements and good practice advice. The Environment Agency no longer provides ‘good practice’ guidance.

(Please note: all information is accurate at the time of publishing. It is the learner's responsibility to refer back to the author's website for latest information.)