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CSMR Module 1: Contaminated Land Principles



21 February




8 hrs


8 hrs

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Meet the Expert

Dr Sophie Wood

Dr Sophie Wood
CSARM Program Director

Sophie is a former NSW EPA and QLD accredited Site Auditor and is still a Certified Environmental Practitioner (Site Contamination Specialist) under the EIANZ scheme. She has a bachelor’s degree in Natural Sciences, Geology (BA) from University of Cambridge, UK and a PhD (in geochemistry) from the University of Leeds, UK. With over 30 years’ experience in contaminated land and waste management consulting, Sophie has specialised in risk assessment for much of this time.

Prior to joining UTS in 2022, Sophie was a partner with ERM for 13 years. She was the lead author in the 2013 NEPM Schedules B4 (Site-specific risk Assessment) and B7 (Health-based Investigation Levels) and has worked on many major contaminated site projects including the Barangaroo site gasworks remediation, the remediation of the gasworks beneath the new Sydney Metro station at Central Station and for Western Sydney Airport. She is passionate about high quality teaching and learning and loves working with students to help them get the maximum benefit from their studies.

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Local government officials must possess knowledge of the risks and responsibilities associated with contaminated land, as soil and groundwater contaminants can pose significant threats to people and ecosystems. This introductory module, delivered by experts in the field, is designed for learners with minimal to no experience in contaminated land management.

About this course

Contaminated Sites Management and Regulation (CSMR) Module 1: Contaminated Land Principles will begin with an introduction to the main groups of common land contaminants, such as petroleum hydrocarbons, metals, asbestos and PFAS and learn about the industries and activities that cause them.

Next will be an introduction to the below ground environment, including essential geology, soil science and hydrogeology and the chemical and physical processes that control contaminant movement and behaviour in the subsurface.

Risks are then discussed, including the harmful properties of common land contaminants, and how harm to humans and ecosystems can occur when exposure to the contaminants is present.

The day ends with a workshop on best practice contaminated land communication and how to avoid outrage, development delays and cost blow-outs with effective and timely stakeholder engagement.

Key benefits of this course

This short course has been designed to allow participants to:

  • Recognise land uses likely to result in contamination
  • Describe the processes that can result in contaminant migration
  • Know the properties and key harmful effects of common land contaminants
  • Understand how to communicate effectively about contaminated land risks.


Full price: $700 (GST free)*

*Price subject to change. Please check price at time of purchase. 

Discounts are available for this course for participants wishing to do 2 or 3 of the modules in this course series. For further details and to verify if you qualify, please check the Discounts section under Additional course information.

Information about this course series

This course is module 1 of 3 in a series of Practical Contaminated Sites Management and Regulation (CSMR) courses with UTS. For maximum benefit, we recommend completing all three modules in the series:

Enrolment conditions

Course purchase is subject to UTS Open Terms and Conditions. 

COVID-19 response 

UTS complies with latest Government health advice. Delivery of all courses complies with the UTS response to COVID-19.

Additional course information

Course outline

This is an online only, full-day short course that provides a stand-alone introduction to contaminated land. It can be taken as a single day course, or in combination with Modules 2 and 3 of the series. It is presented in lectures and workshops with a focus on interactivity and learning by doing. 

The day will include at least four different guest presenters who are recognised experts in their organisations, and will be representatives of contaminated land consultancies, NSW Site Auditors and Councils with particular expertise and experience in contaminated land issues in a local government context. The day will be facilitated by the Course Coordinator.

Course content

The course will cover the following content:

  • Land uses (rural and urban) that can cause contamination
  • Typical contaminants and their behaviour in the environment
  • Overview of contaminated land legislation and regulation in NSW
  • Contaminated land stakeholders and roles
  • How contaminants can harm people and ecosystems
  • Public communication of contamination issues.

Delivery details

Topics will be explained in lectures lasting between 30 and 90 minutes, with opportunities for questions and discussion. Presenters will share slides, and other visual material over Zoom. Each session will include exercises for you to complete, to consolidate your learning and practice the skills you have learned. 

Typical exercises include group work to solve problems, group discussions around common issues and exercises where you may be asked to annotate drawings, perform calculations or answer questions. These exercises are for learning and are not part of the optional assessment.

Resources and pre-reading

Our UTS Open learning platform, Canvas, will provide course summary information, contact details and profiles of all the presenters. It will also host the lecture and workshop notes and slides, a reading list and useful links to appropriate resources. The Canvas site will be available prior to the course commencement and will remain available to participants for several months after course completion.

Assessment and certification

Upon course completion, participants may elect to take the optional assessment which will be a written exercise based on the presented content and learning objectives. The assessment period will last for 3 months, with assessment graded as a pass/fail exercise, with a pass mark of 50%. 

Feedback will be provided with grading. Successful completion of the assessment will award you a Certificate of Completion which may be used as Recognition of Prior Learning in other relevant postgraduate qualifications. A Certificate of Attendance is awarded to all participants.

Learning objectives

On successful completion of this course, participants should have an understanding of:

  • The kinds of land use that can result in contaminated land
  • The stakeholders in council contaminated land management and regulation and their roles
  • The most common types of land contamination
  • The ways that chemicals in the ground can move in groundwater, air and in soil gases
  • The ability of common land contaminants to harm people and the environment
  • The key “dos and don’ts” of communicating contaminated land issues to the public and other stakeholders.



  • To complete this online course, you will need a personal computer with adequate internet access and sufficient software and bandwidth to support web conferencing. You will also require an operating system with a web browser compatible with CanvasZoom and Microsoft Teams.


Discounts are available for this course as follows:

  • 10% discount if also booking Module 2 OR Module 3 of this course series
  • 15% discount if also booking Module 2 AND Module 3 of this course series.

Discount for members of Environmental Health Australia and the Australasian Soil and Groundwater Association:

  • 3% on full price for Module 1 only
  • 13% if booked with Module 2 OR Module 3
  • 18% if booked with Module 2 AND Module 3.

Discounts cannot be combined and only one discount can be applied per person per course session. Discounts can only be applied to the full price. Discounts cannot be applied to any offered special price.

How to obtain your discount voucher code for multiple course bookings

Email with details of your booking. Note that the discounts will not be validated until the multiple course bookings are verified.

Contact us

Who is this course for?

This course is suitable for:

  • Planning officers
  • Environmental health officers
  • Council contaminated land specialists
  • Council land managers
  • Private certifiers
  • Lawyers
  • Ecologists and landscape architects
  • Emergency services land managers
  • Infrastructure and traffic engineers.

This is an introductory and refresher level course and requires no previous knowledge of contaminated land.

Book a session

Wed 21 Feb 2024 -
Wed 21 Feb 2024
Expert: Dr Sophie Wood
  • Online via Zoom. Click on the underlined sessions and hours total link below to reveal specific session details.
  • Online
  • 1 session, 8 hours total

Enrolments close 11.59pm AEDT Monday 19 February 2024 or when all places have been filled, whichever occurs first.

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Acknowledgement of Country

UTS acknowledges the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, the Boorooberongal people of the Dharug Nation, the Bidiagal people and the Gamaygal people, upon whose ancestral lands our university stands. We would also like to pay respect to the Elders both past and present, acknowledging them as the traditional custodians of knowledge for these lands.