Surrey University Stag

ENVIRONMENTAL AUDITING AND MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS - 2023/4

Module code: ENGM066

Module Overview

The dominant approach towards identifying, documenting and minimising the effects an organisation has on its specific and the wider (physical and to some extent social) environment is originated in the Total Quality Management (TQM) Movement. Auditing as the systematic process of performance evaluation against pre-set standards, as well the need to embed all activities into a contrived system of managing activities are at the heart of environmental management. They are also at the heart of this module, which has the purpose of introducing environmental auditing and environmental management systems in a practical, informative and useful manner. 

The course will explore the dominant, practical and topical concerns surrounding environmental auditing and environmental management systems. It is one of the components required for the Associate Membership of IEMA.

Module provider

Centre for Environment & Sustainability

Module Leader

WEHRMEYER Walter (Civl Env Eng)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: F750

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 8

Independent Learning Hours: 100

Lecture Hours: 10

Seminar Hours: 10

Tutorial Hours: 6

Guided Learning: 6

Captured Content: 10

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

None.

Module content

Indicative content includes:


  • Implementation aspects of management systems

  • ISO14001, EMAS – their content, main differences and similarities.

  • Details to consider when implementing ISO14001

  • Developing and reviewing an environmental aspects register

  • Role of auditing in EMS implementation


Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework PRE-MODULE ESSAY 30
Coursework FINAL ESSAY 70

Alternative Assessment

N/A

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate: their critical thinking and practical skills in understanding and evaluation the environmental performance of a company, as well as the ability to critically reflect on the concept and practice of auditing, including the applications of ISO14001 and EMAS into an effective EMS.

Thus, the assessments (both summative and formative) for this module consists of:


  • 1000 word pre-module reflective essay. (30%)

  • 3000 word post-module reflective essay or company report. (70%)



For both essays, students can pick from a list of topics or get their own topic approved prior to submission if they chose to do so (some students prefer this to match this closer to expectations of their current or future employer, or their personal interests). The reflection of the module content, especially the site visits and the industrial examples are strongly encouraged in the assessment strategy.

Feedback

Feedback will be provided as part of the seminars and tutorials (peer and from the module organisers), as well as in the formative and summative assessment.

Module aims

  • To provide a solid understanding of the knowledge, skills and steps required to undertaking an Environmental Audit.
  • To understand & develop appropriate Environmental Policies
  • To be able to competently read an environmental audit report.
  • Increase understanding of the meaning and function of EMS and its certified standards;
  • Improve the understanding of the role of EMS
  • Aid in the collection of data within an EMS
  • Appreciate common implementation problems
  • Discuss and highlight practical experiences of EMS implementation

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Understand the knowledge, process and practice of Auditing in an organisation, as well as put the results of an audit into an organisational context C
002 Be able to outline and articulate differences in types of audits, as well as how auditing can support broader environmental management K
003 Critically review an organisation's environmental performance in broad terms and develop a Register of Significant Environmental Aspects T
004 Advise on the auditability of an organisation to adopt a register of significant environmental aspects PT
005 Develop a critical understanding of the usefulness of EMS and auditing, its overall purpose and goals, and its shortcomings KT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching is designed to encourage active, case-based learning.  The module will encourage students to explore and critically evaluate theoretical perspectives underpinning practice cases, and consider their application to their own organisations.

The learning and teaching methods include:


  • Lectures and class discussions 

  • Site visits

  • Independent study 


Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

https://readinglists.surrey.ac.uk
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: ENGM066

Other information

The Centre for Environment and Sustainability is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability and Resourcefulness and Resilience, in line with the Surrey Curriculum Framework. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills and capabilities in the following areas:

Employability: Employability is a critical consideration for this module, not only because this is one of the modules required for IEMA/IES accreditation, but also because of the practical, applied nature of the module by design. The module has professional guest lecturers, including a certified environmental auditor who will run the majority of the first three days of the module and who will, as part of the discussion, offer feedback on the ideas of students. In the past, several internship options as well as employment opportunities have arisen from the presentations from industry during the module. . Career options will be discussed in the course as well.

Global and cultural capabilities: The aims of this module were mainly applied to a UK/US/EU context, as it is these regions that shape global environmental management and auditing practice, although reference will be made, where appropriate, to the working and policy context outside these countries. It does incorporate internationally approved standards i.e. ISO14001. Cultural aspects of EAMS are being discussed in the implementation challenges and in the discussions on the practical and behavioural dimensions of conducting an audit.

Digital capabilities: This module is focused on “on-the-ground” type work (in auditing and management of an organisation). Digital capabilities are built into such tasks and environmental management in general, requiring networking, remote communication, and access to a plethora of relevant information. This does include electronic audit protocols.

Sustainability: EAMS is at the heart of managing (and verifying) the environmental dimension of sustainability. In addition, the module covers how these environmental practices and tools can be transferred or widened to include sustainability.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Corporate Environmental Management MSc 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Environmental Strategy MSc 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Sustainable Development MSc 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2023/4 academic year.