Teaching and Learning: The Approaches of a Modern Environmental Regulator

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Authors:
Grant Pink, School of Law, University of New England, Australia & Managing Director, RECAP Consulting Pty Ltd, Australia
Jane Hudson, JBassLearning, Australia
Email: jbasslearning@gmail.com
Published: December 2016
https://doi.org/10.22492/ijss.2.2.04

Citation: Pink, G., & Hudson, J. (2016). Teaching and Learning: The Approaches of a Modern Environmental Regulator. IAFOR Journal of the Social Sciences, 2(2). https://doi.org/10.22492/ijss.2.2.04


Abstract

The Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA Victoria), located in Melbourne Australia and established in 1971, is the world’s third oldest environment protection agency. Like any organisation operating for more than four decades, EPA Victoria has had to change and consider contemporary approaches to its teaching and learning practices for staff engaged in regulatory or enforcement positions. This paper considers the period from 2011 to 2015 which included an Ombudsmen Review in 2011 which was preceded by a Compliance and Enforcement Review. Both reviews led to a range of activities, initiatives and practices being taken by EPA Victoria in its journey to becoming a modern environmental regulator. Particular attention is directed to the pedagogical efficacy of EPA Victoria’s Authorised Officer Induction Program (AOIP), which teaches trainee environment protection officers (EPOs). The AOIP is a structured learning program that blends formal and informal learning, theoretical and practical learning, self-directed and peer learning, and individual and social learning. The AOIP created an experiential learning environment that not only fostered the construction of the required knowledge and skills but also sought to engender the desired behaviours EPOs need to succeed in their frontline field force roles. This paper also considers EPA Victoria’s recruitment and continuing professional development practices as important elements in the organisation’s teaching and learning continuum. The aim was to identify opportunities for other environmental protection agencies, environmental regulators, and regulators more broadly, to learn from the Environment Protection Authority Victoria’s experience to improve the capability of their regulatory or enforcement staff.

Keywords

environment, regulation, enforcement, teaching, learning