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CSARM module c/d: assessment of contaminants of concern

The harm posed by contaminants of concern (COCs) to humans and other biota requires an understanding of their properties, behaviour in various media and their toxicities. This module addresses these issues as well the interpretation of laboratory analyses and human toxicological results that underpin the risk assessment of harm.

About this course

The presenters in this module are experts in the field of CSARM. Your teaching team will include: specialists in risk assessments, soils scientist, contaminated site auditors, laboratory managers and other professionals in allied disciplines.

Each will contribute up-to-date information to the overall theme of regulation, professional responsibilities and new approaches by sharing their own experiences and expertise.

You can expect to gain new skills and up-to-date information on the topics such as:

  • the regulatory drivers for investigating contamination;
  • major groups of COCs, their properties and behaviour in a range of media, their persistence, toxicity and transformations;
  • roles of human health and environmental toxicology in site assessment and remediation and the methodology underpinning risk assessment evaluations;
  • influence of the chemistry of COCs and the media on reliability of analytical methods and sampling procedures.

You will experience these through class / panel discussions, workshops, a site visit to an environmental laboratory and also by sharing your own experiences.

Course structure

Approximately two weeks before the module begins you will be able to access the online teaching platform, Canvas, to obtain details of any essential preliminary readings. As the module progresses, other resource materials including the lectures will also become available there, as will the post-module optional assignment.

Your pre-module readings will familiarise you with legislative and regulatory framework that underpin CSARM and relevant case studies. This preparation will allow you to fully participate and contribute to discussions during the presentations of the module. You may be asked to undertake a short online quiz prior to the start of the module.

On your first day of attendance you will be provided with a manual of lectures for the whole of the module. At the end of each day the PowerPoint presentations will be uploaded online. Normally there are 4 sessions of 1.5 hours per day, usually with different presenters for each session. The sessions are designed to be interactive so you will have the opportunity to ask questions as issues arise. Presenters can be contacted after the module by email should you have further questions on their topic.


Learning outcomes

In your lectures, workshops and panel discussions you will gain an understanding of factors affecting the fate and transport of contaminants of concern and the evaluation of risk of harm, as well as appreciating the role of regulatory framework application in real work situations. You will learn about:

  • the regulatory drivers that require investigation of contamination;
  • major groups of COCs, their behaviour in a range of media, their persistence and transformations in soils, groundwaters and sediments;
  • impacts of emerging COCs and current progress in our understanding about these issues;
  • elements of human and ecological toxicology that underpin risk assessment processes;
  • importance of understanding the results of environmental and toxicity analyses;
  • sampling quality issues that impact effective site assessment and evaluation of results.

Workshops, case study discussions with practitioners and a laboratory visit will demonstrate to you the importance of understanding the chemistry and behaviour of contaminants of concern and their risk of harm to biological organisms.

You can complete optional post-module assignment (no fee) based on the topics covered in the module. This will be eligible for recognition of prior knowledge elective credit for a 3-credit point subject in some MSc coursework degrees.


Additional Information

There may be an online quiz before the start of the module to test your knowledge of pre-module readings.

On completion of the module, you will receive a Certificate of Attendance. There is also an optional post-module assignment based on the topics covered in the module, and if you complete this, you will gain a Certificate of Completion.



CSARM module c/d: assessment of contaminants of concern is fully catered with morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea provided. If you have any dietary requirements, please email



Full price: $2000 (GST Free)

Discount codes are available for the following:

  • 9% discount off full price for early bird enrolments up until 7 August 2020
  • 13% discount off full price for group enrolments (more than one participant from an organisation
  • 13% discount off full price for enrolling in multiple modules
  • 13% discount off full price for UTS Alumni or a member of approved professional association (eg AGLA, ACLCA, EIANZ, Engineers Australia, Soils Science Australia, status to be approved by Alex Pulkownik)

If you are eligible for any of the discounts above, you will need to obtain a discount code BEFORE you sign up to this course.

Please email with your UTS alumni, professional assosciation number or provide details of your group enrolment. Once verified, you will be supplied with a voucher code to apply to your cart.

Please note that discounts cannot be combined. A limit of one discount applies per person per course session.


COVID-19 information

UTS is undertaking a number of social distancing initiatives, informed by NSW Health advice, to help reduce social interactions in support of the government’s efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. As part of this response, we are postponing the presentation of this module to a later date in 2020.

Bookings are still being accepted. We will contact all learners with the revised date as soon as it has been confirmed. Should you be unable to attend the revised date, you may transfer your enrolment or request a full refund. If you have any questions in the interim, please do not hesitate to email Alex Pulkownik:

Who is this course for?

Recommended for:

  • a professional already working in the contaminated site area, such as environmental scientist, engineer, a manager, a consultant, or a local government office
  • someone who aspires to gain certification as a consultant or a site auditor as part of your career development, or just get to the higher step in your workplace;
  • a professional working in an allied area to contaminated sites, such as in local or federal government, or even in an entirely unrelated area, wishing to change your career direction to CSARM.

By doing this course you will be immersed in the latest developments in CSARM and will be able to acquire new skills and/or upgrade your current ones.






3 days

Book a session

Self paced

Catering is provided for this course. If you have any dietary requirements, please email

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