The Bat Earned Recognition Pilot (‘the Pilot’) was developed in partnership between Natural England, the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management and the Bat Conservation.
The Pilot was designed to test a competency-based accreditation process for bat consultants, and a new streamlined online licensing process, by which the quality of the site registration (SR) submission by the Accredited Bat Consultant is assured.
The report delivers an evaluation of Phase 3 (Assessment and Accreditation) and Phase 4 (Licensing for Real) of the Pilot.
Monitoring and evaluation was carried out iteratively throughout Phases 3 and 4 to:
• Provide insight into the measures of success, what can be improved and managing risk.
• Provide insight into how well the Pilot met the objectives of wider Natural England strategies and commitments.
• Augment wider lessons learnt, informing projects and reforms in licensing (and potentially beyond).
The success of the Pilot, determined primarily by the extent to which the Pilot met its objectives has largely been informed by answering Evaluation Questions identified in the Bat Earned Recognition (BER) Theory of Change.
While it is difficult to definitively evidence all the objectives within the timeframe of the Pilot, evaluation concludes that all of the objectives have been met by the Pilot, or are likely to be met by roll-out of BER.
The BER project has moved onto Beta phase, as a step between the Pilot and potential roll-out. To maximise the evaluation data, the process will continue to be monitored and evaluated until its scheduled closure (December 2022), with the additional data captured in the development of an addendum to the Report in January 2023.