Engagement Framework

Our Engagement Framework is designed to bring community, customers and partners together to share ideas and collaborate.

An engaged community working together will achieve better outcomes for the environment and human health.

The framework outlines our commitment to everyone we work with and recognizes it's essential to involve people in decisions that impact them. 

We draw on international best practice to ensure we are effective and consistent in how we work with external stakeholders. Read about international best practice engagement from the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2).

Our Charter of Engagement

We want you to have a good experience when you engage with us. Our Charter of Engagement outlines our commitment to everyone we work with. It signals our intent to better listen, inform, consult and involve community, industry and government in our work. We will be guided by the following principles. 

We place people at the centre of our thinking 

We will

  • consider the perspectives and views of affected or interested stakeholders
  • tailor engagement to take into account the stakeholder needs and diversity
  • identify the potential impacts of our decisions on our stakeholders
  • target engagement to the stakeholders who are most directly affected.

We prioritise positive behaviour change 

We will

  • use education, training and behavioural insights to drive positive behavioural change 
  • use research and seek to understand motivations and actions, in developing our programs.

We are clear and genuine when we interact with people 

We will

  • set out a clear purpose for why we are engaging
  • be open and transparent about the level of influence you have and what we can and cannot do
  • make it easy for you to engage with us

We are service-oriented

We will

  • create genuine opportunities for stakeholders to participate in decision-making 
  • provide accessible and easy to understand information 
  • plan carefully, and engage early, to ensure you are given an appropriate and fair amount of time.

We communicate with, not to, people and the starting point for this is listening 

We will

  • listen to you genuinely and seek to understand your perspective and views 
  • ensure our communication is two-way 
  • allow space and time for difficult conversations, and ensure these are respectful

We are outcomes-focused and close the feedback loop 

We will

  • let you know how we have listened 
  • respect that you have taken time to engage with us 
  • provide a timely response 
  • tell you the outcome and reasons for our decisions

We have a learning mindset 

We will

  • seek out, and listen to, your feedback on our engagement processes 
  • evaluate and continually improve our engagement.

How we engage

graphic showing customer service, effective engagement and productive partnerships

 

Customer service
Delivering good customer service is key to every interaction we have as a world class regulator  

Effective engagement
Our relationships and engagement with stakeholders is planned, purposeful and beneficial for both parties

Productive partnerships
We develop partnerships with clear goals and a commitment to achieve better outcomes together

 

 

 

 

Whether we are protecting our natural environment and preventing its degradation, promoting a circular economy, or preparing for the future and climate change our engagement framework follows six core approaches: Inform, Educate, Consult, Involve, Collaborate and Empower.

Inform

We will provide balanced and objective information to help you understand the problems, options, opportunities, and solutions. Wherever possible we will speak to you directly on issues that affect you.

We will use efficient and effective communication channels and seek innovative new ones.

  • direct communication, for example letter or email
  • our website and public registers
  • media including social media
  • newsletters, factsheets and campaigns
  • door knocks and information sessions

Educate

We educate to enable action, change behaviour and to help you to understand what is expected of you, why it matters and where and how to get help when needed.

We offer education in a number of ways, including

  • events, presentations, webinars and workshops
  • fact sheets and newsletters
  • joint activities with our partners
  • community education programs or advertising campaigns
  • face to face interactions
  • behaviour change campaigns

Consult

We seek broad and diverse views on issues that are relevant to our stakeholders. Our goal is to provide many opportunities and avenues for you to provide feedback, express concerns and suggest alternatives.

Our consultation channels include

  • EPA stakeholder surveys and polls
  • online consultations on yoursay.epa.nsw.gov.au
  • community and advisory committees
  • Workshops and forums
  • email: engagement@epa.nsw.gov.au

Involve

We want to include your advice, opinions and expertise in the formulation of recommendations and regulation so that we can design and deliver the right solutions.

We will create and promote ways for you to be involved in our work through

  • roadshow forums
  • site inspections and audits
  • reporting pollution to Environment Line and Report to EPA App
  • research and data sharing
  • face-to-face and virtual meetings and workshops
  • drop-in sessions and community meetings

Collaborate

By collaborating with contributors as equals and applying the principles of equality, diversity, access, and reciprocity we aim to  develop solutions together. We will incorporate design thinking, innovative ideas and alternative solutions in our work with you through

  • multi-agency workshops
  • design thinking facilitated workshops
  • developing and fostering partnerships

Empower

We want to empower the people of NSW to help protect the environment and human health. We will offer guidance, data and information, expertise, connection and resources to enable others in their work alongside using

  • education and training sessions
  • behaviour change programs
  • partnerships with community and industry
  • volunteer and citizen science initiatives

Engagement and our regulatory approach

The six approaches of our engagement framework support the eight elements of our regulatory approach.

Some of the ways you can see our regulatory approach in our engagement work include:

graphic showing engagement strategies to support our regulatory approach described in text on this page
  • influence: awareness and advertising campaigns
  • listen: growing and improving our relationship with Aboriginal people
  • educate: running forums and workshops on emerging issues
  • enable: creating partnerships to support and deliver initiatives
  • act: consulting with parties to inform our regulatory reform program
  • enforce: working with other regulators to run joint operations
  • monitor: working with volunteers to collect monitoring data
  • require: clearly communicating expectations

If you are interested in, or impacted by our actions or decisions, we see you as a stakeholder. Read more about who we work with.

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