In these days of Google and Bing searches, you would think that engaging an ecologist to do some work would be straightforward, but like everything in life, things may not be as simple as they seem. That 'top of the page' search result might be OK but it may be just the case that they have a good marketing person who knows how to play the search engine game and get their listing up to the top. But does that mean they will provide you with the best service?
Fortunately, help is at hand, and the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) have recently published guidance on engaging the service of a professional ecologist. While this guidance is directed at homeowners who might need ecological advice, it is generally applicable to many professionals who may also need to commission ecological consultants.
This document is well worth a read, and can be downloaded from the CIEEM website as well using the link on the image below right.
When seeking quotes, it is worthwhile setting out exactly what you are asking to be done (and perhaps why) - this enables a fair comparison between different fee proposals, and provides the ecologist with a clear understanding about the scope of the work required. Often, we are asked in a vague manner to provide an ecology report or assessment - this is a bit like going into a car showroom and saying you want a car! There are a range of different options available and without more information you may end up with something you don't need or want.
Perhaps the key piece of advice in the CIEEM guidance though, is in my view, that about asking questions. Speak to the ecologist that you might engage - this is by far the best way of gauging their experience and ability to do the work, and will provide reassurance that they will provide you with level of service you deserve.
Over the years, my experience as a professional ecologist has taught me the value of developing a strong trust between client and consultant - this relationship often starts with a good chat about the issues relating to a potential piece of work.
For a free consultation about your potential ecology project, give Jon a call on 07496 255050 or use the Contact page to leave a message or for more ways to contact us.
This is intended to host my articles on ecology, news about what I am up to, and general musings or ramblings about things that concern me....