Over recent decades there have been significant changes in attitudes to the natural environment. There is new legislation in Europe for environmental protection, and debate about environmental issues is commonplace in the media. As a result the demand for practical advice and skilled environmental management work in the widest sense has grown, and jobs in this sector are increasing. However proper training and appropriate qualifications in the environmental sector were not until recently recognised in UK, and people with little expertise could set themselves up as environmental advisers. In other professions in the UK this problem is addressed by the establishment and recognition of professional institutes. This paper describes first the career characteristics of practitioners in the existing environmental sector who felt moved to join a new institute, and second, education and training for the next generation of professionals.
As described by Everett (in chapter 21), the IEEM was formed in 1991 after discussions involving the British Ecological Society, the British Association of Nature Conservationists, the Institute of Biology and the Royal Geographical Society. It has rapidly established itself as the foremost forum for setting standards for policy and practice among environmental professionals. It is already accrediting members and addressing their needs and