The British Standards Institution (BSI) has published a British Standard for biodiversity management, assessment and information provision in the development-planning process. BS42020:2013 aims to set the gold standard for biodiversity professionals, and will be regarded with great interest in the ecological consultancy industry.
As the BSI says on its website: "This British Standard therefore seeks to promote transparency and consistency in the quality and appropriateness of ecological information submitted with planning applications and applications for other regulatory approvals."
Having not seen a copy, we are not in a position to cast judgement on the new British Standard for biodiversity, but we certainly agree that there is great room for improvement in this industry. Minimum standards and guidelines for various aspects of biodiversity and ecological consultancy are already published by CIEEM and other organisations; but we have all encountered bad practice, even if we feel our own standards are high. There is always room for improvement, and this new British Standard might provide a timely nudge for all of us.
Eager would-be readers can purchase a copy of BS42020, but it will set you back £100 (or £50 for BSI members), which seems steep. For a non-profit organisation, it's a shame that the BSI is compromising dissemination by making it financially inaccessible to many. Perhaps someone will find a way to link to it online, or share the pdf somehow.
You can read about BS42020, and buy it if you wish, from the BSI website here.