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Teaching and Learning: The Approaches of a Modern Environmental Regulator

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Established in 1971, the Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA Vic), located in Melbourne Australia, is the world’s third oldest environment protection agency. Like any organisation operating for in excess of four decades, EPA Vic has had to change and consider contemporary approaches to its teaching and learning practices for those staff engaged in regulatory or enforcement positions. In this paper Pink and Hudson consider the period from 2011 when an Ombudsmen Review, followed by a Compliance and Enforcement Review, lead to a range of activities, initiatives and practices being taken by EPA Vic in it’s journey to becoming a modern environmental regulator. We pay particular attention to the pedagogical efficacy of EPA Vics 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 in order to create an experiential learning environment that fosters the construction of the knowledge, skills and behaviours EPOs need to succeed in their role as a frontline field force. It also seeks to afford the opportunity for transformative learning where the trainee EPO develops their regulatory thinking and identity, thereby changing their world view. Along with the AOIP, we also consider EPA Vic’s recruitment and continuing professional development practices as important elements in the organisations teaching and learning continuum.
Author Information
Grant Pink, University of New England, Australia
Jane Hudson, Monash University, Australia

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