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IEMA Foundation Certificate Syllabus

IEMA Foundation Certificate SyllabusThe IEMA Foundation Certificate gives learners a foundation level of knowledge of key environmental and sustainability principles.

It covers a range of environmental, sustainability and governance principles with a focus on practical application. 

Learning outcomes

Within the syllabus are 13 overall learning outcomes. These learning outcomes cover 3 themes: core knowledge, technical knowledge, and knowledge of skills.

Learning outcomes 1–6 make up the bulk of the learning hours. Learning outcomes 7–13 are included holistically throughout the delivery of the other learning outcomes.

Core Knowledge

  1. Outline the implications of global trends for the environment, for society, the economy, and organisations; and
  2. Outline sustainable business/governance principles and their relationship with organisations, products, and services;

Technical Knowledge

  1. Outline environmental principles and their relationship with organisations, products, and services;
  2. Outline major policy and legislation and their implications for organisations, products, and services;
  3. Outline major tools, techniques, systems and practices used to improve sustainability performance; and
  4. Outline the role of innovation and other leading practices in developing sustainable products and services and providing sustainable solutions;

Knowledge of Skills

  1. Collect data, perform analysis and evaluate information;
  2. Research and plan to provide sustainable solutions;
  3. Deliver effective communication methods and capture feedback;
  4. Engage with stakeholders;
  5. Outline tools and techniques that identify opportunities and risks;
  6. Identify and propose ways to improve performance; and
  7. Support change and transformation to improve sustainability.

Course Syllabus

Element 1: Core Environmental Principles 

  • 1.1 – The main natural cycles
  • 1.2 – Ecosystem services
  • 1.3 – Biodiversity and ecological stability
  • 1.4 – The impact of human intervention on natural cycles and ecological systems
  • 1.5 – Pollution sources, pathways and receptors
  • 1.6 – Climate change

Element 2: Sustainability and Mega-trends 

  • 2.1 – Mega-trends
  • 2.2 – Sustainable development and sustainability
  • 2.3 – Principles of sustainability business and corporate governance

Element 3: Policy and Legislation 

  • 3.1 – The key principles of environmental policy
  • 3.2 – Key environmental policy instruments
  • 3.3 – Background to environmental legislation
  • 3.4 – Examples of criminal law
  • 3.5 – Stakeholders and the role of regulators

Element 4: Environmental Management Systems 

  • 4.1 – Introduction to environmental management systems
  • 4.2 – Key elements of ISO 14001

Element 5: Performance Evaluation 

  • 5.1 – Data management
  • 5.2 – Monitoring performance
  • 5.3 – Environmental inspections and audits

Element 6: Additional Management and Assessment Tools 

  • 6.1 – Risk assessment
  • 6.2 – Environmental aspect assessment
  • 6.3 – Other assessment tools

Element 7: Communication and the Management of Change

  • 7.1 – Communication
  • 7.2 – Corporate reporting
  • 7.3 – Green claims
  • 7.4 – Management of change

Course Assessment

There is a 1-hour open-book online multiple-choice exam consisting of 30 questions. There are 30 questions, each with 4 possible answers. You need to answer 21 questions (70%) to pass. 

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